I’ve been a reader my whole life. I believe my mother started reading to my brother and I when we were infants- and I’ve been hooked every since. Even with the explosion of knowledge at our fingertips with the internet, I feel very empty without a book of some form around me.
I learn through other people’s experience. You can soak in decades of hard work and tough knocks through a 200-300 page book, and probably get through it within 2-3 days. Early in my life fiction ruled my head space. Mystery/ detective novels gave me the right balance of character and plot development- and when I felt a connection with the atmosphere and the main protagonist, I would easily be hooked into reading the series.
The non-fiction material started for me with Anthony Robbins. His late night info commercial programs appeared on every channel, so I sought out Unlimited Power and Awaken The Giant Within. Re-reading these books on a continual basis started me on a path of older and new books such as The Power of Positive Thinking, How To Win Friends and Influence People, The Magic of Thinking Big, Think and Grow Rich, The Success Principles, The One Minute Millionaire, Zero Limits, Time Power, See You At The Top, and hundreds of others in the field of self-help, inspiration, philosophy, business, psychology and personal development.
I’ve learned that I enjoy audio material as much as reading books- to the point that my children can quote many famous sayings from Jack Canfield, John Maxwell, Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn and a host of others that I’ve played time and again in spaced repetition for travel in my car. I bring DVD’s from time to time of material that I’ve acquired through the years as well- it’s the next best thing to me attending the seminars that I envision being at within the next few years.
If you feel like you lack in any area of learning, you can find the resources easily through searching on line and then seeking out the books through libraries, your local book stores and amazon.com . Do you want to read faster? There are plenty of books and audio courses on this subject. Do you want to make better fiscal decisions? In addition to the great blogs online such as thesimpledollar.com or wisebread.com , seek out books from Dave Ramsay, David Bach, Suze Orman and Jean Chatzky for their insights and then develop a plan of action that works best for your current financial situation.
Are there any business owners in your community that you admire? Take the time to ask them a few questions to discover their thought patterns and how they handled certain struggles when running their career. I feel like you can always learn from everyone- it doesn’t matter how long they’ve been doing things, whether they are 18 or 80, if they are within your community or half way around the world. Prime your ears, bring a pad and paper or a recording device and pay attention to the gold you could be mining just with concerted time, focus and effort.
I remember reading in a Brian Tracy book (I believe it was Time Power) that every person should be spending about 3% of their monthly take home income on personal development materials to keep their skill set sharp. That could be one month buying a 6 disc audio program, another month 2-3 books, a third month a special weekend seminar retreat. If you don’t invest in yourself, you’ll never grow beyond the life that you currently lead. I know I’m not the same person today that I was 5 years ago, let alone 10 years ago. Taking these concepts and putting them into practice makes the difference.
I refuse to let life idly pass me by. I prefer to learn from the experts and pass on what I can to others in areas that I have expertise in. We have only one life to live- so let’s make it the best that we possibly can. Teach others and empower them- you’ll give them a foundation to build on and we can see the fruits of your labor multiply and prosper.