I’m currently reading Denis Waitley’s Empires of the Mind, a book of lessons to succeed and lead in a knowledge- based world. One of the early stories he tells is a series of seminars he participated in with Tom Peters, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard and Peter Drucker during the early 90’s in Asia. Between 2,000 and 5,000 people would attend to hear some of the greatest minds speak about leadership, success and the future- the majority of which were teenagers through people in their mid 20’s.
In America I agree with Denis Waitley’s assessment that you’d have to throw in a free car offer or get the best rap or rock group in the nation to get the same audience to turn out here. Which is a shame in a time period where we have instant information within our fingertips and laptops. Individuals today can learn about anything and enhance their skills at a quicker pace than at any time period in the history of the world. I believe in order to get our youth on the right track, they need to learn from the best source closest to them- their families.
To all of us who have finished our formal education, let me ask you a question. In the last five years, when have you sought out a non-fiction book to learn more about a skill that would improve your performance at work? Have you ever asked your boss if you could sign yourself up for a daily or weekend workshop where you could enhance your ability to deliver a better you, which could provide a higher quality work week and impact the bottom line for the company?
What if you wanted to start a part-time side business to develop another income stream- how would you go about learning all that you need to know to improve your chances for success?
I love the people who tell me their so busy in their day that they don’t have enough time to spend with continuous learning. How many hours a day are you spending surfing the web anyway? What about cutting out an hour a day from your television and devoting it to reading? Can you clear your calendar a couple of times a year to attend seminars where you can cut down the learning curve in years- surrounding yourself with other like-minded individuals striving to get the best out of life they can get?
The only way to get in the top in your field is by staying up with the current trends, techniques and technology. I didn’t become a good bowler by wishing it, I put in the hours bowling, I read all the materials I could get my hands on, I was willing to pay for a coach at times in my career- I study the game, the new equipment, and adapt what I can to fit my style of play. I’m never afraid to ask questions of others who I believe excel at the sport- and I also apply mental fitness techniques from a lot of the magazine and book material I’ve read through the years.
My wife and I didn’t take our responsibility as adoptive parents lightly. Beyond our three month training course that we took, we’ve read books on a number of the great therapists and doctors in the field. We’ve sought out the best therapists in the state to work with our daughters. My wife attends seminars when she can, we’ve both appeared in training classes for other prospective adoptive parents- we know that even with six years under our belts we are far from expert status in parenting adoptive children.
Even though I’ve been writing about metal music for 20 years, I admire and study other metal writers in the field. I look at their craft, take in their interviews, and see if there is something I can also apply in my style. I can learn from a veteran like Jeff Wagner just as much as I can watch the development of a newer writer.
The bottom line is, if you wonder why you seem stuck in stagnation with your life, look into knowledge portability. Start now to seek out the right books, develop those skills, and be sure to pass on your abilities to the next generation. You’ll make a big impact and leave a legacy.