Introduction: Extreme Reading Challenge
The Read the World Challenge, an extreme reading challenge, was officially launched a few months ago. Although it’s called Read the World, it’s so much more than that because participants also read broadly and read to push themselves. And when you think of the word, “world,” it also has a broader definition. The world is made up men and women. People from many countries – 193 member states, two observer states, and 11 other states, according to the United Nations. People from different generations. People from different cultures and so on. Participants in this global reading challenge read books to become more rounded. To enable them to succeed in the workplace and in their personal lives. Although I am an avid reader, who often reads 200 books in a good year, sometimes I find the global reading challenge I created difficult. And that’s a good thing, because it adds structure, and rigor to my reading. There are many times in my life when I go through phases, reading only one type of book. The extreme reading challenge diversifies my reading. Therefore, I am reading some really good books that I normally wouldn’t read.
The extreme reading challenge is not for the faint of heart, says Kristian Wilson in her post, “9 Reading Challenges for Adults to Take In 2016.”
Extreme Reading Challenge: Career Resilience Meets Cultural Awareness
When I started the Read the World Challenge, it was my way of responding to the increasing level of violence in the world, and the quickened pace of automation. My belief was, and still is, that if more people were culturally aware, we would not have most of the problems that we do today. With the extreme reading challenge, Career resilience intersects with cultural awareness. When we read a well-written book, for the time we are reading the book, we enter the world of the author. We walk a mile in his or her shoes. We let him or her teach us things. We listen, reflect, and learn lessons. For those who practice intentional reading, we are often able to apply what we learn. We use the new-found knowledge to grow as a person.
Take the Global Reading Challenge – Start Today!
During this extreme reading challenge, you read five books each month – 60 books in the year. Imagine the knowledge you gain when you are intentional about the books you read! Although I somehow manage to read the books to satisfy the requirements of the extreme reading challenge, I think that having monthly requirements forces you to read broadly. This benefits you in the long run. When you read the world, that is, read books written by authors born in different countries, from different generations, and books from different genres – besides the many other benefits of reading broadly – you develop empathy, a very useful workplace and life skill.
Why the Read the World Challenge: Extreme Reading Challenge
There are a lot of reading challenges for you to choose from, so why choose the Read the World Challenge? For one thing, it’s an extreme reading challenge. It pushes you beyond your comfort zone. The Read the World Challenge is very different from other reading challenges – even the most popular ones like Goodreads and Book Riot – because there are specific types of books that you have to read each month. The other reading challenges gives you specific types of books for you to read the entire year. That’s a subtle but important difference. A surprising thing I discovered since the challenge officially started, is that the power of choice is overrated. People love choice, but when they have too much choice, it’s difficult for them to decide. People ask me for recommendations for books by authors from different countries.
On top of that, you receive weekly emails reminding you to read. To digress a bit, close to 15 years ago, a friend remarked that she admired the way I am able to apply the information from the books I read. My response, “Doesn’t everyone know how to do that?” I was very surprised when she said, “No!” This has been food for thought for a long time. When I read, I take detailed notes, so that I can review the information later. And I do review the information later. So, as an additional benefit of my reading challenge, I encourage you to take detailed notes as you read, then extract the five big ideas from the books you read. After you have read four books, you have a tool that walks you through the process of combining ideas. In doing this, you never know what hybrid ideas may emerge.
You may find it odd that I am introducing the Read the World Challenge again. I want to emphasize that you can start the reading challenge at any time. It doesn’t have to be in January. The Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge is structured in such a way, that if you start today, you start at Month One, and you will be prompted to read the books for that month. Another big reason for introducing the Read the World Challenge again, is an epiphany that I had since starting the reading challenge. This epiphany will benefit me and others if you choose to do what I propose. Another reason is that when I first launched the reading challenge, all the requirements were in one blog post. Frankly, that can be overwhelming. It makes better senses to have a post for each month that focuses on the requirements for that month. In the weekly email prompts to remind people to read, I will have a link to the related post.
In life, we make improvements as we gain more experiences.
Extreme Reading Challenge: Create a Personal Professional Development Plan
That sounds like a tongue twister. Bear with me for a second. A few weeks ago, I wrote a series on stretch assignments over at Birds on the Blog, where I am a resident blogger. While thinking about the concept, it occurred to me that participants of the Read the World Extreme Challenge can create their own stretch assignments (Personal professional development plan). During the extreme reading challenge, readers get the opportunity to read many books to enhance their careers. Each month, you read five books. Only one of them is required to be a book by an author born in a country other than your own. There are ample opportunities for you to read career related books. What are your aspirations for your career? What are you trying to accomplish? Where would you like to take your career? You would be happy if you accomplished XXX in your career? Working toward achieving XXX is your personal professional development plan.
At the start of the global reading challenge, or before, create your personal professional development plan. Use you plan to get your career going again. Let this extreme reading challenge work for you. Read the books that can help you to soar. Read diverse books. Read broadly. Join the extreme reading challenge today!
Tools of the Trade: What You Need for the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge
To succeed during the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge, you need to take detailed notes when you read. After you have taken notes, you have to review them, then extract the five ideas. After you have read four books, and extracted the big ideas, it’s time to combine the big ideas from the books you read to generate hybrid ideas. This action has the potential to transform your life.
Digital Note-Taking Tools
I have the Livescribe Echo Smartpen. That’s what I use to take notes while reading. I am thinking of getting the Wacom Bamboo Spark because it works with the iPad.
Extreme Reading Challenge – Join Us!
If this sounds like it’s something that can benefit you both personally and professionally, join the extreme reading challenge today. In another segment on the extreme reading challenge, I will write about how to create your personal professional development plan.
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This year I am practicing what I preach. I purchased Stretch: How to Future-Proof Yourself for Tomorrow’s Workplace to learn more about achieving workplace goals. As soon as I have read it, I will summarize on the blog.
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