Recently I got addicted to reading non-fiction. Granted, for some the book meaning leisure and entertainment, non-fiction sounds boring and kind of defeats the purpose when it comes to reading in the sense of escaping what is “real”.
But for me it is all about what you can take and learn from such literature, and being a personal development aficionado, it gets logical to dedicate even those spare hours to at least some sort of self-improvement.
It is fun as well, don’t get me wrong, but what I find more fascinating is the fact that you get to discover real stuff from real people, real events, real experiences, how they reacted, etc…
Especially when it comes to memoirs and autobiographies; It is like, in one sitting, you consume many experiences, many outlooks on life, many interesting and applicable information, even having some of your dilemmas being discussed or partially solved.
Here are the 5 reasons why I think reading memoirs and autobiographies has the huge potential of improving your quality of life.
1. You surround yourself with people who you admire
I’m a big fan of the notion that you become the type of person according to the people you hang out with and learn from. It’s like a chicken and egg situation between whether you have chosen all your friends using the same criteria, or somehow they shaped you as a person instead.
And albeit the first being more logical at a glance, I’m willing to wager that the people that you have in your corner make for the type of person you gradually develop into.
So if you agree that this statement of mine holds even the tiniest of common sense, then by all means you, your beliefs, your actions, hence your path in life are being shaped on the premise of who you are with.
And surrounding yourself with like-minded people is not to be understood only in the physical sense of the word. You can refine your social networks and contacts via the net, you can try to access some literature from people who you admire and want to learn and adopt something valuable from.
2. You’ll adopt some new values
Great people are carrying, and are indeed driven by great values in life. They respect things that your average person does easily overlook. Reading about these values you are getting reminded what really counts in life and what is worth striving towards.
It changes your whole perspective, improving you as a person.
3. You learn from someone else’s hardships
It’s a common belief that someone who never experienced a hard day in his life, physically as well as mentally and emotionally, cannot have the same comprehensive outlook on life, or the charisma and type of smarts that people who have been through some sort of a hardship have.
And it is not the hardship itself that makes us different, but what we make of it and how we perceive it; what chain of emotions and feelings do we attach to it.
So reading about these people’s lives, reading their memoirs, tapping deep into what made them who they are and how they reacted to it every step of the way, we are prone to experiencing all sort of emotions, shaping ourselves accordingly.
4. You get answer to some of your dilemmas
You see, people writing memoirs, famous and admired people, celebrities, they are all same as every one of us. They face the same problems, they face the same fears, excitements, make the same emotional calculus, have the same questions to life and various aspects of it.
The fact that they led somewhat more dynamic or fulfilled lifestyle, or maybe went through some really hard moments and then had the time and invested the effort into putting all that on paper, is what makes their answers to those questions interesting, intriguing, profound even.
No one says that you can find the answer to your problems or even tune your perception on life for that matter, but through the wisdom, experience and charisma of these role models, you will probably consider things from a somewhat different point of view. And sometimes that’s all it takes.
5. Your attitude changes
And this is aimed but not limited towards perception of things. It’s simply a matter of reading about someone who went with a winner attitude through many things in life, hence adopting some of it yourself.
I for one, reading Michael J Fox’s “Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist”, am blown away by how this amazing person, role model of mine, holds his head up and enjoys life, praising everything as an opportunity, even after dealing with Parkinson’s disease.
He says that he is living life now even more than he was before this condition. And that’s winner attitude right there.
Reading memoirs and autobiographies makes for a perfect agent of change and improvement in your life.
All those like-minded people, their takes on whatever happened in their life, the sum of their experiences together with some positive life-affirming attitude; it sure gives one whole different perspective on living and enjoying life.
Image credit: By Irene Mei