Malcolm X discovered the power of books while in prison. Within the walls of the prison, he was only physically imprisoned, but mentally he was always free.
He spent most of the six and a half years in prison, reading books day and night. In his book “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”, he stated the following about his nighttime reading habits:
“The night guards were checking every room at one-hour intervals. Every time I heard approaching footsteps, I would lie in bed and pretend to sleep. And as soon as the guard had passed, I would get out of bed, and under that dim light that filtered into the room and reflected on the floor, I would read continuously for the remaining fifty-eight minutes, until the guard on duty came again… This would repeat three or four times each night. Three or four hours of sleep a night was enough for me. Most of the time I slept less than that in my years on the streets.”
It is the reflection of a rich mind. No matter how isolated you are, how lonely you are, your mind is never alone. If you are enriched with knowledge and ideas, you will never feel bored or lonely.
Think of it like this; knowledge is the main source of the mind. A mind full of knowledge is rich, a mind without knowledge is poor. “You need money to make money.” do you know what he said
The thing is, when you have money, you invest that money to get more. At this point, you will have so much money that losing your wealth will actually be difficult. The same goes for your mind. When you have a rich mind, you only get rich.
How much do you enrich your mind every day?
We don’t really need to sleep 4 hours a day and spend the rest of our waking hours reading to have a rich mind, as Malcolm X did. The truth is, it only takes one hour a day to train your mind.
I call it the “Munger Technique,” inspired by investor Charlie Munger. I believe you can improve your life on every level if you dedicate the best hour of your day to cultivating your mind.
Having a rich mind is the most important thing you can do. But I want to take this one step further. If you’re stuck in life, lost your job, failed at your job, or whatever; Take at least 4 hours a day to enrich your mind.
In my experience, only if you devote hours of uninterrupted learning to yourself, only then can you develop and possess a rich mind.
In 2015, I was going through a difficult time. My grandmother had passed away, a long-term relationship was over, and my career was not advancing at all. In the process, I decided to step back and focus only on developing my mind. I finally quit my job and spent every day reading, studying, taking notes, or whatever. I aimed to enrich my mind as if it were a full-time job. I moved in with my parents and spent 8-10 hours a day developing my mind. It took almost a year before I started thinking about making a living again.
Mind development, in my opinion, goes like this:
– Read a book: It’s obvious. If you want to learn about a subject, buy the best books and start reading.
– Take courses: Books are great for giving ideas but often lacking instructions. Programming, writing code, creating websites, etc. If you want to learn practical skills such as
– Listen to audiobooks / podcasts: This is how I continue to learn even while running or driving.
– Watch interviews or documentaries: Sometimes you don’t want to study or attend a course, but still want to keep learning. That’s why I love watching interviews on YouTube. I also enjoy watching documentaries about inspiring people.
– Keep a diary: I always write down what I learn in my own words. This helps me remember more.
– Share your knowledge with others: When you talk to others about your ideas and knowledge, you not only help but enrich your own mind.
These are all very simple. We all know what it takes to enrich our minds. The biggest problem we have is that we think it’s hard. Sounds easier on Instagram to spend hours spying on the lives of celebrities, ex-classmates, and lovers, right? Doesn’t that sound weird? We all do this unfortunately.
But this is obviously a waste of time. What effect do such activities have on your mind? Zero if you’re lucky. If you look at others, compare yourself to them, envy them and start to feel bad about yourself: the effect is negative, of course. I think this is bullshit for sure.
“And what does a rich mind look like?”
Let me ask a few questions first:
– Have you ever been bored?
– Do you often feel restless?
– Do you feel the urge to spy on the lives of others?
If you answer no, no, no to all three, then your mind is rich. This is the sign I want to look for within ourselves. And look, we all have moments of weakness. It can happen to even the richest minds in history.
The Stoic philosopher Seneca expressed this in one of his letters. Unfortunately, I could not find the full text of the letter. He said that the goal of Stoicism was not to be perfect; The point is, you intend to live by Stoic principles, and it’s your intention that matters.
When you enrich your mind, you will never be bored or lonely. There is a constant thirst for more information in your mind. And that will keep you active forever.
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