A Day of Reading, A Lifetime of Knowledge

This is an essay by Cody Wheeler.

I never used to be much of a reader. In high school, I only read when it was required for book reports. In college, the only reading I did was cramming for tests. I never really saw the value in it until a good friend of mine recommended a book to me called “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac.

This is a classic in American literature. It’s a book about two friends traveling across the country hitch hiking, getting into all kinds of antics, and having the time of their lives. It’s a very pure read and I couldn’t put it down. I read that book in a single day, and that day changed my life forever.

An Amazing Array of Benefits

It was after I read that book cover to cover that I realized the value that reading had to offer. To me, it was an escape from the world and a way to relax, a way for me to stimulate my imagination and exercise my brain, a way for me to experience something I may not be able to conjure up myself.

Humans have been on this planet for thousands of years. Each and every generation has documented their experiences in the pages of the books of our world. Whether through stories of fiction, or books full of facts – books offer an endless amount of knowledge from some of the brightest minds on the planet.

For anyone looking to become more than they are today, it’s insane not to take advantage of. Books offer you a simple way to sit down with anyone from every day freelance writers to some of the greatest minds that have ever lived. You have the incredible opportunity to enjoy their wisdom and experiences through written print – all while relaxing, escaping, and experiencing something that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

Anything you could ever want to learn is written somewhere. All you have to do is find it.

A Life Completely Changed

From the day I picked up “On the Road” to now, I’ve probably read over 100 books. Many that teach skills, many that teach philosophy of thought, all of which together, have significantly impacted my life.

From that day I’ve gone from being a semi-lost college kid that had no idea what he wanted to do, to a highly educated man with a graduate degree, near six figure income, and developing dream that will hopefully impact the world in a very positive way.

All of this has been made possible through the books that I’ve read over the years and the experiences I have been exposed to through reading them. Here are a few of my favorites, in no particular order.

Six Books of Life-Changing Knowledge

Think and Grow Rich – A classic by Napolean Hill, this book harnesses the successes of some of the most extraordinary people that have ever lived. It teaches how deep desire and the power of thought can catapult a person to amazing success.

Psycho Cybernetics – With over 30 million copies sold, this psychology classic by Dr. Maxwell Maltz basically pioneered the self-help industry. It teaches you how to program your self image to literally put your success on autopilot.

Influence – Another classic by Robert Cialdini. This one is all about psychological triggers that are programmed into humans. These techniques are used all over the world in many different fields to influence decision-making, most often by consumer targeted advertising.

Four Hour Work Week – Written by the inspiring Tim Ferris, this book chronicles the life of the New Rich, teaching techniques to hack the world, escape the 9-5 grind, and live life on your own terms.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich – A rogue offering on personal finance, this book written by Ramit Sethi teaches you not just what you need to do to get control of your finances, but also how to change your behaviors to stay on the right course.

No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs – Written by the renegade marketer and dynamic speaker Dan Kennedy, this is no ordinary time management book. Dan lays it all out in this one and even goes as far as telling you to never use the phone. It’s definitely a different perspective on time management that caters to maximum output.

Those six books and many more have shaped my life and taught me lessons to form the basis of the way that I live and the things that I have a passion for. Reading has brought me so much to date, and its something that will always be a part of my every day life.

From one life scholar to another, I highly recommend making reading a very regular part of your life.

What has been the most influential book you have read? What lessons did you take away from it?

cody wheeler academy successCody Wheeler is a Lifestyle Design blogger at Academy Success. He focuses on teaching his readers how to develop themselves into more productive, effective, and happy people through simple and actionable content. Grab his Productivity Success Secrets action guide now available for free download.


  1. Chris

    Hmmm. I don’t know what I think about Tim Feriss (Tim Ferris is a different author, the writer behind “The Liberty of Science, by the way”). I didn’t read the 4-hour work week, but I did read the 4-hour body, and a lot of it was suspect. Interesting, some good information in there, but not super-reliable, in my opinion. I would recommend “You Have More Time Than You Think” by Laura Vanderkam as a less extreme option.

  2. Cody Wheeler

    The Four Hour Work Week was definitely a much higher quality read than the Four Hour Body. I read both and wasn’t too impressed by the latter. FHB was a pretty disconnected read. The biggest takeaway for me from FHWW was a mindset shift of the way I think about time, as well opening up my eyes to my own potential and dreams.

    Tim has a good way of laying out how to identify the low hanging fruit of the things you need to get done and what you can really accomplish, and then takes it to an extreme by inspiring you with his stories. It’s a bit radical, but there are definitely some great concepts in it.

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