In an interview with The New York Times, Bill Gates shared that he reads about 50 books a year. Similarly, Warren Buffet is famously quoted advising people to read 500 pages every day to build up knowledge, ‘like compound interest’.
This should not come as a surprise, as it is widely known that some of the world’s most successful people read a great deal. Reading comes highly recommended as the best way to broaden one’s horizon and accumulate knowledge, with many successful people writing books themselves.
But did you know that many Olympic champions also believe in the magic of words and written language? Some of them have even published bestsellers. I would especially recommend the work of one of my favourite Olympians, Michael Phelps. However, my all-time favourite has to be ‘In the water they can’t see you cry’ by Olympic gold medallist swimmer and New York Times bestseller, Amanda Beard-Brown.
Of course, I would say that. I was a swimmer myself and naturally I can relate to someone who spent most of their formative years in the pool. But it is a far more profound read than one expects. The reason why her book sold is that she touched a nerve. Beard courageously discussed mental health but did so in such a compelling and authentic way, she helped break some long overdue taboos. Her struggle with inner demons and constant battle for wellbeing with support from her husband and therapy were mesmerising, poignant, and so human. I believe it was the risk she took to be so vulnerable in her story that made her book such a success.
Touching a nerve is exactly what we aim to do with ‘A Career Carol’. I actually put myself in the shoes of my twenty-something self and tried to capture moments of angst, worry and self-doubt - and thought very deeply about the advice I would have liked to have received! The process of writing about these inflection points in my life was emotional. Thank God I had Dr. David Oxley as my congenial co-author, thought partner, and mutual support group. I think his fatherly empathy and encouragement came in very useful. Otherwise, I fear I may have incorporated some of the ‘GenZ mindset’ in to my GenX life.
Your Inter-generational Dr. Helmut Schuster