Reading teaches me to turn a dream into action
Planting seeds
Published: May 30, 2024 08:53 PM
Editor's Note:

"Read ten thousand books, and your pen will be guided as if by the gods" is an ancient Chinese idiom that can be seen in students' textbooks. China's Ministry of Education has published an action plan to further promote reading among students across the nation. With new and diverse book recommendations, the reading scene is expected to be revived not only at schools, but also across society. To contribute to this endeavor, the Global Times launched "My Reading Life" essay contest for middle school students.

Please pick up a pen and share your stories with us at

Participants will be rewarded once the article has been selected.



Hey, wise investors! Do you believe that some investments have no risk and high reward? Yes, indeed! That's reading! 

Reading books has near-zero marginal cost, you only need to spend a lovely Sunday afternoon in the library, immersing yourself in the heaven of books. The returns? A relaxed and cheerful mind, a wealth of ideas, a key to success, and a road map to your dreams. 

Remember, the profit from reading is infinite.

Bold steps 

First, reading can help you build a dream. It gives you a rich mind to contemplate numerous possibilities. However, if you are just thinking about the dream as a concept, then nothing will happen until you take action to achieve it. I admire many great people in the world, and I discovered a similarity in them is that they are daring enough to take bold steps toward turning what they think into what we all can see.  

In my opinion, opportunities are only for the prepared mind. If we don't make any attempts, a dream will always be just a dream, no matter how many opportunities come by. I profoundly believe that we must come out of our comfort zones to seize the opportunities that pave the way for our dreams. 

That's why I wrote this essay - to challenge myself - and I can already feel something great happening. As Bodo Schaefer aptly stated in Kira and a Dog named Money, "If you don't force yourself, you will never know how capable you are. The things we are most proud of are often the hardest to do." 

Kira and a Dog named Money is a fairy tale, but it surprisingly reveals some knowledge about finance management. The financing management expert in the story is a white Labrador retriever. It helps Kira, the main character of the book, to achieve her dreams. 

Through reading the story, I realized that reading can equip you with the means to realize your dreams. My dream is to travel in space in a rocket I invent, which requires significant financial support. Reading showed me the way. I have started to make small inventions such as a time-saving clock, hoping to patent and mass produce them. Some may think the little money we make now means nothing to our dreams. To them, I say: Congratulations, you still have much to read and learn. Every small effort today lays the incredible foundation for the miracle we will create tomorrow.

Magical key 

Second, reading can also build confidence and tenacity. Confidence is essential to success. "Confidence determines whether you dare to do something. Without this confidence, you won't start doing it, and if you don't do it, nothing will happen," Robert Kiyosaki wrote in Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Yet, many lack this magical key, letting opportunities slip away due to fear of failure. 

"You do want to win, but the fear of failure outweighs the excitement of success. 

"Only you know that deep down in your heart, you always thought you couldn't win, so you chose stability," Kiyosaki commented. What a pity! Luckily, reading can instill beliefs that shift our mindset to self-empowerment. As revealed in Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, millionaires believe "I create my life" whereas those unsuccessful believe "life happens to me." The more you read, the more you can form an optimistic and confident attitude. As long as you believe in yourself and start progressing step by step confidently, your dream will come true.

Once we start taking meaningful actions toward our dreams, where can we get the tenacity to never give up even after thousands of failed experiments? Still reading. As Schaefer noted, "It is not the difficulty that prompts us to give up; rather, it is our decision to give up that makes it so difficult." Whenever I'm confused, defeated, and helpless, these words remind me of my goals and give me the power to continue fighting. Sometimes, books are the best antidote.

Finally, reading unveils the meaning of life. People often lose sight of their purpose or even forget their original dreams when they have a wealthy and stable life. From picture books to novels to Tagore and Hesse's beautiful poems and proses, numerous books have touched my heart. I can feel the tremors of my soul while reading them, and I figure out the meaning of my life is to be happy. The greatest happiness I can imagine is exploring the universe and unraveling its mysteries. If you're still looking for the meaning of your life, keep on reading, and you will soon uncover it.

To realize my aerospace dream, I need a clear understanding of my motivations, and these are exactly what reading gives us. 

Good books encapsulate lifetime wisdom, and we just need to read them and use the wisdom to achieve our own dream. Isn't that the most worthwhile investment you've ever heard of? So what are you waiting for, wise investors?

The author is a student at the Affiliated High School of Beijing Foreign Studies University