Closing Your Gaps: The Power of Reading

by placers on June 21, 2024 in Outside Insights



If you’ve been part of the Outside Insights community for a while, you’re familiar with the concept of closing your gaps. For those of you that are new – welcome! Our goal here is to take steps every day to live a more intentional and authentic life, and closing our gaps is key.


The “gap” represents the space between where you are now and where you want to be. It encompasses every aspect of your life: personal, work and career goals, dreams, and aspirations. So, how do we close these gaps? Today, I want to focus on one of my favorite tools: Reading.


Yep – reading. Hear me out!


Reading is a seemingly simple activity that translates directly into knowledge building. My advice: you should always have a book in progress.


I am often in conflict about how to spend my time. Should I be in action mode and doing something productive, or have I earned the right to sit in the sun and read? Reading often feels like an indulgence, but I have come to learn that it is essential.


I love nothing more than to spend a Saturday morning putzing around. As the self-proclaimed Chief Putzing Officer, I do the smallest tasks that often go unnoticed, like cleaning the coffee machine or putting things back in their place. However, I struggle to just “be” in the moment unless I feel I have earned it—that is, until I start reading.


For me, reading signifies that I am organized and on top of my to-do list and life plan – Reading unlocks creativity, exposes me to new ways of thinking, and generally helps exercise my brain.


So, how do you close your gaps and read more? Here are a few tips:

1. Start a Book Club: At Placers, we have a club called A Better Book Club, with hundreds of curated titles. We even pay people to read. Imagine that!

2. Set a Reading Goal: Changing habits requires measuring efforts. Are you willing to measure your progress on a daily basis?

3. Trust the Process: Knowledge doesn’t happen overnight. It comes as you consume and apply it.

4. Start Simple: Pick a book. I often practice interviewing employees and giving them book recommendations. Need a summer read? Want to learn something new at work? Looking for knowledge on a world event? Challenge yourself. And hey, if you’re just looking for a little escape in a good fiction book, that does the trick too.


After you read this, I hope you’re inspired to dust off your “to be read” list or head to the bookstore to see what title pops off the shelf for you. It doesn’t matter what you read, as long as you’re reading, learning, stretching your imagination, etc. you’re doing yourself a much deserved service.


And, excuse my directness, but if you want to further close your gaps, try my book, Opposite the Crowd. Each chapter focuses on lessons learned through a lifetime of trials and triumphs in life, business, entrepreneurship, sales, service, and leadership. It’s purpose? To help people take the steps they need to take to close their gaps. Check it out on Amazon here.


Share a good book recommendation my way before you go – I’ve included a few favorites from my summer reading list below.

Slow Productivity by Cal Newport – If your looking for answers to get out from under your inbox and slack channel.

A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy – A daily bit of wisdom with spirituality as its root.

Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Essential Wit and Wisdom of Charlie Munger by Charlie Munger – Read about the “richest” man and I don’t just mean money!

The Son by Philipp Meyer – A page turner, Maybe the best historical fiction book I have ever read.  Caution its graphic.


Until next time, friends.


Our book is now available as a paperback, hardback, and Kindle on Amazon. We hope you will check it out here!

If you enjoyed this article, I recommend reading these past Outside Insights posts:

Lessons Learned from a Lifetime of Closing Personal and Professional Gaps

The Art of Quitting: Hang In or Hang It Up?

Our Theme is To Be

This Outside Insights blog brought to you by my Life Plan Review. If you’re looking for the life you want and have a goal or two to get done and your looking for accountability in a community click here for more information.

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