Column: 15 minutes will change your life


Commentary by Jim Serger

Reading a book is one of the most fascinating hobbies one can have, but it’s a habit that I fought for years. To be honest, I thought I was too cool to be labeled a reader. Boy, was I wrong.

It took me nearly 20 years after college to hunker down and read a book from start to finish. I waited too long to pick a passion I have built into my daily regimen. Now, my record is reading 110 books in a year!

Where did this passion come from? It all started when I heard Pat Williams, a vice president with the Orlando Magic, give a speech on how reading will change your life. He looked into the audience and said to, “Grab 15.” He explained that if you read 15 minutes every day, it equates to 5,475 minutes in a year. Moreover, that equates to 91.25 hours of solid reading in the course of 365 days.

Pat is a father to 19 children and author of more than 100 books. He’s run more than 50 marathons, hosts two Bible studies on Sundays, has his own radio show and oversees an NBA team. Wow, I thought, what was my excuse for not reading 15 minutes a day?

At the end of his speech, I received one of his books, and it took me one month to complete it. At the end, I grabbed another book, and that took me three weeks. Then, I grabbed another and finished it in two weeks. Then, I grabbed another and read it in a week. Fifteen minutes is where I started — slow as molasses. But 15 minutes turned into 20, 20 into 30, and 30 into 60.

Today, the wordsmith in me is 100 times greater. “Jeopardy!” is a lot easier, and my knowledge has grown tenfold. Pat was right; reading will change your life.

By the way, I also got my Carmel library card, my first card since I was in junior high.

Jim Serger is a Carmel resident and author.

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