Reading vs. Netflix: My 2016 New Years Resolution

I just bought a book on Amazon for $1. Not just any book, but Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, one of the most influential books of ancient knowledge as recommended by Naval Ravikant in a recent Tim Ferris podcast episode.

It brings to the forefront something I've been thinking about lately...

Reading is a high leverage activity.

Watching TV/Netflix/Sports is a low leverage activity.

Reading and knowledge value is cumulative. Over time it magnifies as your knowledge increases.

Learning how to learn is the ultimate meta skill. And that begins with reading.

- Naval Ravikant

Sports viewing is more immediate gratification, relaxation, and social enjoyment. Nothing at all wrong with that, but for me spending hours watching sports can be destructive rather than constructive. Plus the peripheral negative impacts of the emotional strain of having your team lose and watch them do it oh so badly, is kind of painful. The joy of them winning, doesn't always justify "being a fan".

The most simple tweak such as cutting out 90% of my entertainment diet, and replacing it with reading non-fiction books, will make probably the most positive impact in my life outside of my food diet and physical exercise regiment.

I'm so quick to sit down and watch a show on Netflix, or watch an hour or two of sports on tv, when books hold a depth of knowledge far beyond anything I could glean anywhere else.

Most of the world's smartest people are smart because they read a lot. The library was their daycare.

Now granted, I read a decent amount right now (1 book per month on average). I read my Bible every day. I read a lot of blogs.

But I've kind of been coasting. Underperforming to my potential.

Time to make some drastic changes...

You ever think to yourself, man, there's got to be a better use of my time than this.

I'll bet that many of the "issues" I complain about, such as not having enough time, being tired, unproductive, etc. are a result of underperformance in my health/fitness goals, procrastination, and bad priorities (failing to follow through on promises to myself, basically).

No duh, right.

So what to do? For me, the answer is to choose one thing and commit to change it. Baby steps.

In 2016, I plan to cut out 90% of my entertainment diet of sports and Netflix. Cold Turkey. Hard pass.


That's step #1. A small step for today, a giant leap for Luke Tucker.

I'm trying to pin point those simple changes that can make big results. I see this as one of those.

Stay tuned for my progress.


Endnotes:

  • I'm reading Tim Ferriss' 4-hour work week over the New Year break, which will also hopefully help with some systemic changes as well as little life hacks that can help me be more efficient and execute.

  • This post is not about fitness goals (which I also have), etc. but I wanted to focus on something that I think will be the biggest impact on my life and stay simple: under-promise and over-deliver.

  • Watching sportscenter or a show on netflix with my wife is currently how we unwind and relax. Relaxing is good. I realize I need a replacement: answer - fiction books. Answer for time with my wife - games + doing a chronological read through the Bible in a year challenge together.

  • My cutout of sports, does not include live sporting events, or films (hence the 90% commitment). I love films - perhaps through this process I will wean myself off of this entertainment novocaine. I need to learn to like to read more. It's the habit, practice and positive association of this activity that will help.

  • I've started a google sheet of books I'm looking at reading *UPDATE: I've decided to put my books and readings in Goodreads. Follow me at www.goodreads.com/luketucker. Let's connect and share books!

  • To clarify, "reading" includes audiobooks as I intend to look in to Amazon's Audible. And as much as possible, I'll get books at the library or hard copy, but kindle is quite convenient and elegant a tool, so digital copies will be consumed :).


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