Pizza is a lifetime sport and so is learning. During this time of year I always catch the butterflies of an upcoming fall semester. I’m years out of school, but I try to stay as hungry for knowledge as I do for new and interesting pizza.
Continually reading, learning and seeking new experiences can be half the fun of life. By consuming new information I’ve always got new ideas flowing and a fresh pizza perspective. In the last couple years I have fully realized the power of a good book.
You are what you read.
I didn’t always read, actually for the longest time I thought it was really boring outside of a classic fiction novel now and again. By progressively getting more into non-fiction I have taken some pretty cool strides in my personal and professional life.
It’s funny to look back when I was young and I participated in the Pizza Hut “Book It” program through my local library. The basic concept as I recall, was to read a certain number of books and get a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut. I don’t know if this brainwashed me, but I read more than ever now and treat myself with pizza.
“Book It” aside, a lot of very successful people believe regular reading and learning can help us excel. In an article from Business Insider it was said that Bill Gates reads 50 books a year. Warren Buffet, the second wealthiest person in the United States said, “I just sit in my office and read all day”. Tech visionary Elon Musk responded, “I read books” when asked how he learned to build rockets.
Billionaire Mark Cuban (who is said to read 3 hours a day) addresses the importance of continual learning in his book How to Win at the Sport of Business, “The thing you do need to do is learn. Learn accounting. Learn finance. Learn statistics. Learn as much as you can about business. Read biographies about businesspeople. You don’t have to focus on one thing, but you have to create a base of knowledge so you are ready when it’s time.”
A Student of Slice.
Making a habit of self-education can seem tedious and boring. I’ll share ways I’ve found to motivate myself to learn on a daily basis with the help of some delicious pies.
One slice in front of the other.
“The Clam Pie” at Gates & Brovi in Madison, WI taught me to ease into pushing my pizza envelope. “The Clam Pie” is basically an awesome cheese pizza that has some clams, fennel and a dash of cream on it. Delicious and an easy first step towards broadening my pizza horizon.
When attempting to get into a book, start by committing to read a page a day. Usually this will naturally turn into more as the material grabs your attention. I started with one page a day and now enjoy reading 20 pages a day.
Listen and learn.
A kind waitress at Brixx Wood Fired Pizza in Charlotte, NC had the brilliant suggestion that I get a half buffalo chicken, half 4 meat/4 cheese pizza. She saw that I was torn on what to order and gave a much appreciated recommendation. I got the best of both worlds because I listened to her.
Many books reference and quote other books and authors. Once you begin reading, a snowball takes effect as you discover one outlet for information leads to another.
You can also swap the radio for podcasts on your commute. I enjoy the Tim Ferriss and James Altucher podcasts. I’ve found many of my favorite books this way.
Go outside your comfort zone.
At White Pie Pizzeria in Denver, CO I went out of my usual comfort zone and tried the “White Pie” which had a runny egg smack dab in the middle of it. The pie was truly amazing and I’m very pleased I pushed my usual boundaries.
We can also benefit from exploring reading material outside of our normal interests. You could start reading a magazine/blog that doesn’t really fit in your normal wheelhouse and stumble upon a subject you really enjoy. For example I started reading Wired magazine (a technology magazine) and have found all sorts of cool things I never would have been exposed to.
What pizza taught me:
Continually learning and discovering makes life so much more exciting. If we embrace the student mindset slice by slice, book by book we can become even better versions of ourselves.
What I’m reading: How to Win at the Sport of Business -Mark Cuban