I recently saw an interview with Hadiza Bala Usman, Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA). She gave an account of her reading habit and I must say her level of intelligence and self esteem is amazing.
She said it was her hobby to read, it was her own way of exercising her mind. I thought wow! for someone this pretty and so busy you still find time to study.
“I just always remain bold and confident, always be better than them (men) and always try to know more than they know,” she said
This made me understand that it’s not the content of your face that matters but the content of what you have in your head. Even the bible says study to show yourself approved, but in this part of the world our hobby is far from reading, or maybe not?.
In my chats with some teenagers, i ask them about their hobby, they’re quick to reply! it’s reading and writing, it’s making friends or it’s doing new things, it’s this and that!
But really when i look at them closely, all they mention as hobbies feels like a hassle to them.
I would love to give a short meaning of the word. The dictionary meaning of Hobby is “An activity that one enjoys doing in one’s spare time”
Many people name some activities as their hobbies just to fill in the blank when this kind of discussion jumps up, but this is far from what they enjoy doing in their spare time! or maybe not?
HOW DO YOU EAT?
The easiest task for a healthy person to do in order to continue living healthy is to eat, that’s one task that finds itself on the top of the pyramid of hobbies.
A Study showed that the average American consume about 905Kg of food per year. This is remarkable, as it shows how important it is that we feed ourselves with good food in order to stay healthy and active.
Little wonder some people can eat more than 5 huge meals daily, a lady even joked that she eats like 13 times daily. No one can deny the fact that eating is a hobby you do to stay alive, it’s something we do every day even if you add it to your list of hobbies or not, it’s an hobby on it’s own.
If you can feed your body this much for it to survive then why shouldn’t you feed your mind. “The mind is a tool we use to shape our reality feeding it with the right information should be a task worth pursuing, a hobby worth enjoying“.
I see a book as a plate, and the words in it as the meal meant for the mind to consume. No wonder the whites would say “if you want to hide something from a black man put it inside a book”. It’s because we have not recognised the book as a plate where nice meals for the mind is kept hot and ever ready to be served.
When you see the mind and body as entities you need to feed to keep them alive, you’ll tend to feed both of them equally. And if that was done, the mind itself would be very fat as you won’t starve it of it’s meal which involves studying to receive new ideas.
I use the word “studying” here for a reason, because reading alone is not the only way to keep the mind informed, but meeting people whose minds are well fed and receiving information from them is also a thing to do.
Paying attention to details of things in the environment is also part of studying, as their are bits of information lurking everywhere which only an open and attentive mind can feed on.
HOW DO YOU READ?
Sometimes back i had a feeling of Nostalgia and thoughts of my childhood flushed into my head and splashed memories, like a swimmer jumping into a pool.
When I was a small boy probably in primary school i had this habit of reading anything i saw, from things that concerned me to things i didn’t even know at all. I would be sent on an errand and still have time to be staring at pieces of papers and posters, the curiosity was more than that of a cat,
I see people eating buns and puff-puff, I’ll watch them drop the oily newspaper used to wrap it and i will feel the need to go and pick it up from the floor to read what’s written on it.
I guess that was just a childish exuberance. Honestly, childhood conceals a lot of “funny behaviours” because if it were to be an adult doing all this, people will move closer and ask him “Egbòn kì lò shèlé, shey è ju CV yin nu ni àbi key room yin lèn wà nle nlè nì” ( meaning bros are you okay, why are you staring at the floor, are you looking for your CV or the key to your room got lost?)
Funny right, that’s just to show the benefit of childhood, your curiosity is unchecked and unfiltered, you feed your mind with any thing you lay your little fingers on just like babies tend to put everything into their mouths.
Truth is we need to study to keep our minds fresh, to sharpen our minds with new ideas. Learning one new idea won’t make you a genius, but a commitment to lifelong learning can be ‘transformative’, because a mind that is stretched by a new idea cannot go back to it’s original size.
Each book you put before yourself to read, not only teaches you something new but also open up different ways of thinking about old ideas. As Warren Buffett says, “That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound
Just like eating one meal won’t mean much but a commitment to life long eating helps sustain the body, likewise reading and studying continually helps sustain and develop the mind.
Let’s be honest not everyone would use his/her certificate to put food on their table but we should also know that no idea learnt in the four walls of the university is a waste of time.
That’s why it’s important to be open to new learning everyday, because your breakthrough idea can come from any source.
It’s important to be careful of what you take in, just as not all junk foods are beneficial to the body, so also not all study materials are beneficial to the mind. Watch your minds diet and be careful not to feed it wrong.
Just as the main reason behind eating is not because you love rice or beans, but because you want to survive, then reading doesn’t end at you knowing, just because you want to know, but because you want to do.
To AAUAites out there aiming high, setting big goals for themselves. It’s important to feed your mind with more than just words and hyping but with quality ideas.
Like I said studying is more than just reading but also being open to new ideas, going for knowledge everyday and doing what you’ve learnt, that’s my definition of studying.
You’re at liberty to choose whatever works for you, as long as the end result is to have a healthy mind the way you have a healthy body. Because a healthy mind and body leads to a healthy life.