Reading Beats Netflix: Giving Up Binge Watching For Knowledge Building
Netflix & Chill? Hulu & Hang? Amazon Prime & Bedtime?
Mindless entertainment has got a stranglehold on society. Streaming services or subscription video on demand (SVOD) has all but consumed us. Depending on who you get your news from or what reports you’re reading, the SVOD market is expected to reach $70-$80B by the end of 2021. Most people have a combination of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+ or YouTube TV. Before COVID, I didn’t own a TV. I watched football at the bar like a normal person and the rest of the time there were so many other things to do, I couldn’t bear the idea of staying inside staring at a television. The global pandemic changed that and I bought a TV online, had it delivered and binge-watched.
Watching Everything There Is
Having lived most of my life without watching TV there was no limit to movies I had not seen. I don’t go to the movies either unless there’s something someone really wants to see and asks me to come along. I saw XXX in the theater in 2002, Man of Steel in 2013 and Avengers: Infinity War in 2018 and that’s all the movies I have seen in my adult life at a movie theater. Needless to say, there was plenty of catching up to do or so everyone claimed. In the first couple weeks, I found a lot of very interesting or entertaining movies to watch. But as the days went by I became less picky about what to watch and found myself getting sucked into plots I had little interest in.
Time, no matter how much money you have, you can’t buy a second of it.
Cutting The Strings
I have always been a little obsessed with time and I hate wasting it. Sitting alone in front of the TV does not seem like the best way to spend my time. Years ago I read Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity which was great because I already was the most productive person I knew but now I had tools to get even more things done. With social distancing, closed gyms and quarantines, options were really limited on what I could do for my blog promoting locally-owned restaurants and I stopped being productive after work. Not getting things done is terrible and by the end of the third quarter, I decided I couldn’t just keep sitting around and watching TV. In August of 2020, I drove to Sedona because I was about to lose my mind and did my first hike and it right then that I decided I needed to start engaging my mind and DIG Your Journey was created.
A Book A Week In 2021
Reading a book a week is a great challenge. Although it really depends on the book topics you’re reading. Sometimes reading something too complicated is not all that relaxing. However, if you like to learn, please send me your book recommendations.
Trying To Decide What To Read
Like movies, there are books worth reading more than once. Especially books about happiness, time management, growth and truly any topic that makes you feel good about the world around you. It’s the first week of April and I have just started on my next book but am always looking for new ideas. Here’s what I have read so far this year:
Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life
Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action
Poke The Box
The Sickle (twice)
Trade Wars Are Class Wars: How Rising Inequality Distorts The Global Economy and Threatens International Peace
Talking To Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know
How To Influence People: Make a Difference in Your World
Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong In The Real World
Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It (current)
Ageless: The New Science Of Getting Older Without Getting (current) (recommended by my friend Marci@texaztaste
The Longevity Paradox: How To Die Young At A Ripe Old Age (next)
I typically read more than one book at a time since sometimes complicated matters need time to settle before moving on to the next topic. This is no different than people who will binge watch multiple series at a time and I highly recommend it over sitting in front of your TV.
Math, Metaphysics & Food
While my tastes have varied over time, I always go back to my Wall Street roots and anything finance-related piques my interest. However, if I had to pick a few favorite authors (besides myself, hah!) my #1 favorite would be Richard Bach. I’ve read most of his books 2-3 times and they’re always a source of entertainment and reflection. If you’re a foodie, I highly recommend Michael Pollan. In Defense Of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma were two of my favorites. If you read and haven’t heard of Malcolm Gladwell by now, I urge you to hurry to Amazon and pick up any one of his books. The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers were my favorites but I haven’t been disappointed by his writing yet.
Spend Your Precious Time Wisely
While all of your time is important, I believe our precious time is the most valuable. There is time that’s not really your own. You have things that you must do like sleep, bathe, work, etc. But you also have a lot of other time that is available to you that you can choose what to do with it and I call that precious time. Be careful of what you spend your precious energy and precious time on because these are the things that shape your life and determine your happiness. If I am doing cardio to get my morning going, no longer do I listen to music, I hear motivational speeches as I climb each stair. I keep a book handy with me when I travel so I don’t need to drain battery life on my phone. There’s always a book ready to read on my Kindle app on my phone. You never know what nugget of wisdom you’re going to find at just the right time. If you love watching movies and get great enjoyment out of it, wonderful, but ask yourself if that was the best way for you to spend that hour? Happy hunting