Why do you read?

You’re reading this blog right now.  Why?

It might be for entertainment, or a diversion.  Or it might be because you want some ideas about how to do things differently.

If you’re interested in doing things differently, you have to ask yourself: do I want just to be exposed to new ideas, or do I actually want to act differently (today, someday)?

If it’s about acting differently, what will it take to get you there?

It’s probably been two years since I read Seth Godin’s missive on Really Bad Powerpoint, and I’ve been carrying around his maxim of “No more than 6 words on a slide. EVER. ” since then.  I’ve also made a million excuses why this is a nice idea but it’s not realistic; why it doesn’t apply to my own storytelling.  Or I’ve said, “6 words per slide is a nice idea, but what he really means is fewer words per slide.  I can hack that.”  That’s a cop out.

Tomorrow, in a big, very visible, very important meeting, I’m giving a presentation that has 17 slides and 51 words.  I’m giving it a shot.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you might have thought it interesting to consider reorganizing your RSS feed, changing the way you write email or conduct conference calls, or practicing your storytelling.   If you’ve been reading Seth’s blog, you might have thought about getting a professional picture on Twitter, learning graphic design, or listening to your sneezers.

But are you stuck thinking “this idea might be interesting someday” or are you actually doing things differently?

Sometimes it takes a few tries to get there.  It took me more than two years to take the plunge on my next PowerPoint.  But you should be honest with yourself and ask if you’re reading as a passive observer or as someone who is going to act.

Go ahead, act.

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3 thoughts on “Why do you read?

  1. This is such a crucial point in our age of abundant information. What’s the point of consuming it all? Yours is a great example of doing it the right way.

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