When it comes to work and family balance issues, I don't make an exception. I read about problems in the workplace. I read about political fixes for family problems. I read inspirational business books, even though I don't think I ever took a business class in my life. I read success stories. I read parenting books (though they don't always seem to apply to my kids). I read articles and magazines and haunt the library. I spend way too much time on Facebook chasing down links to articles in business magazines or parenting sites or helpful blogs.
Of course, they all promise more than they deliver. To be fair, this might be because I'd much rather read about a subject than actually work on exercises or work on real-life principles. But if there's a book that tells me how to make a million or be a leader or find my destiny or any other lofty concept, I get hooked.
It's easier for me to learn from someone else than to go through the painful, hard-knock school of learning. It doesn't always work. Real-life lessons have the most sticking power.
But even if I don't retain every tip, I love a good story. One reason is because
stories inspire me. I think every human with a pulse knows the rags-to-riches
story of J.K. Rowling, for instance. We hear about the Susan Boyles of the world
and we think, yes, that could be me. I just have to keep trying. I just have to
ignore the people who tell me it's impossible.
The stories help us remember, more than the most successful formula could ever do. It's one thing to talk about how if you're successful enough, people will ignore the factors that they'd usually use to discriminate you. It's quite another to show the truth of this ideal with a photo of Jackie Robinson or Marissa Mayer.
So I'm going to keep reading, but maybe I won't devour the easy-sell but
forgettable "Ten Easy Tips" articles in the future as much as I read the
stories of the men and women who can serve as role models, the ones whose faces whisper to me that just maybe, my dream is possible.
Do you read to find inspiration or solutions? What are some of your favorite books?