Can you succeed without reading books?

These days, people think their success depends on the degree they obtain, or the university they attend. They grind their way through college, studying long hours to fulfill academic requirements, and ultimately wave their diplomas upon graduation.

However, most college graduates mistake their diplomas as evidence that they are ready to tackle the challenges of life. And after college, they cease learning, and hardly pick up a book. In their minds, whatever they need to learn to navigate life and pursue their careers are packed up inside their heads.

That is a big, big blunder.

The demands of the workplace is rapidly changing, and what college graduates have learned are often inadequate for the required skills. People who don’t read are unable to gain new knowledge and skills. For one thing, it betrays an attitude of one who has shut the doors to lifelong learning. Second, reading gives our brains a good work-out; every page we read is like a rep of pumping iron.



Work-life balance

The prescription is all too common: we should aspire for balance between our work and our personal lives.

But how do we define work-life balance especially in the technological age when most of us are glued to our tablets or smart phones or laptops? These gadgets have become so much part of our lives these could easily be extensions of the human anatomy.

I watched a Stanford Graduate Business School interview with Ajay Banga, CEO of Mastercard, and I liked how he presented his view on work-life balance.

“When I’m with somebody who matters to me, I’m focused on that person,” Banga said.

Like most people, Banga said it also happened to him before when he found himself switching his attention between his gadget and his family. He decided to change all that. When it’s time to be with the family, he makes sure there are no distractions.

But Banga said that the key to work-life balance is that you enjoy what you are doing. He said he changed jobs several times when it reached a point he wasn’t enjoying his job. He emphasized the need to find time for the people who matter to you.