Reading is one of my favourite things to do. There's this satisfying sense of accomplishment, feeling whole and in touch with myself.
Some people experience this when they cook, do crafts, go to shows of all sorts, or simply when they share moments with friends and family. I feel like this, not exclusively but mostly, when I'm reading.
For years I've been experiencing different, but nonetheless similar, progressions while practicing yoga, meditation and working out — even though I'm not by any means proficient in any of these activities. However, lately, my mind has been bouncing back and forth about how I feel when I'm reading and, specially, why books are my go-to whenever there's a fraction of downtime.
It has to do with what I read the most: non-fiction.
Don't get me wrong: being able to stretch and put my imagination to work with fiction books is a tremendously rewarding exercise and source of inspiration. On the other hand, I catch myself experiencing micro epiphanies, random moments of joy, and also a lot of 'DOH!' moments when I'm reading non-fiction.
To me, the inexplicable urge to pick up a book, stems from the constant need to learn more. Learning more not just about myself, why some techniques work and others don't, how some people navigated life, built and shared great things with the rest of us.
For the most part, reading just helps me articulate ideas that I knew somehow were related, but that I had no way of explain them or be able to say 'That's because of X, or Y and the paradox of choice'. This keeps me at ease, relaxes and calms me down, and like Daniel Gilbert explains in Stumbling on Happiness, just makes my brain feel like I'm in control all the time. And that's a good feeling!
Long story short, I have massive Knowledge FOMO — Fear of Missing Out — and it's actually something good. It's been helping me understand the world and the people around me, learn from other peoples' experiences and, most of all, it has been a constant, ever growing inspiration to become a better human being… And to try to make the world a better place.
Thanks for reading.