Hamilton Insurance Group - September 2019

THE SILVER LINING To Your Life & Health


D oors to N ew W orlds

The Power of Books in a Changing World

It sounds cliché, but you really can travel all over the world and open all sorts of doors just by reading books. The importance of books in my development as a businessman, a husband, a father, and a person is, ironically, almost impossible to put into words. That being said, I’ll give it a try. Books opened me up to new ideas, helped me become a better problem solver, and have absolutely made me more successful in the insurance industry. With how I stress the importance of books and reading, you might be surprised to learn I didn’t read a book the whole way through until I was in 10th grade. The book was “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” and I’m not sure what got me to stop being so antsy for once and sit through it (I remember liking my teacher for that class, so she might have convinced me), but I finished the book. Admittedly, I don’t remember much of what the book was about, but I remember thinking after I read that last page, “Is this what I’ve been missing?” It was like when you finally try a meal you disliked vehemently as a child and find out it tasted incredible all along. I’ve loved reading ever since.

They say the average CEO reads about 60 books a year. I don’t see how that’s possible, but I definitely read my fair share — even if I do cheat a little bit with Audible. The books on my to-read list are mostly business and “self-awareness” books (I dislike the label “self-help books” — I think we have the tools to help ourselves, but books can make us aware of them), with a few other genres scattered in between. If I ever see a book that seems interesting to me on a shelf at a store or in a magazine, I’ll take a picture of it, so I can look it up later. Every book is a door to a new world, and I want to open as many doors as I can. I think there was a time in America when there was a greater desire to open those doors. Back before the internet, and even before television, when the only way to learn anything was by reading it in a book or listening to it on the radio. When a football game played on the radio, someone had to describe the throws, tackles, and touchdowns — and the listener had to imagine it. Exercising your imagination leads to innovation, and most people aren’t using their imagination when they watch TV. With books, you have to use your imagination to create both the sights and sounds of a new world, and that practice of creation is something we’re

–Duane Hamilton 1 770-744-1855 you’re not constantly learning, you’re not growing, and if you’re not growing, you’re dying. Things may be changing fast, but through books, we have the power to stay along for the ride. missing right now. I doubt the guys that created “Star Wars” conjured up the idea for their universe out of thin air. I think it was inspired by the things they had read. The innovation that reading inspires goes far beyond just creating more stories, though. Anything you want to know about or learn how to do can be found in books, including cooking a meal or solving a math problem. I’ve been told smart people learn from their mistakes, but wise people learn from other people’s mistakes — and you can get a lot wiser by reading books full of these lessons. If I weren’t an avid reader, I probably would have failed in the insurance business. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve solved a problem in my business by using information from a book I’ve read. We live in an age where information is coming at us from every angle, and industries are changing faster than ever. A professional has to stay on top of their game to grow the business, and if

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