I’m reading a great new book by John Wooden regarding mentoring. John Wooden has won the most national college basketball men’s championships in the history of the sport. He’s had the longest winning streak in the history of the game and also had the privilege of coaching a couple of undefeated teams. But one of his greatest gifts he’s given to people have been the lessons of knowledge and experience he’s passed on to others through mentoring.
Not just basketball players or coaches benefit from his Pyramid of Success tool he’s developed. One of the concepts he talks about with basketball coach Roy Williams is the fact that if someone with experience and success offers to give you their time to gain knowledge and wisdom, you should take the opportunity when it shows up.
I’ve been lucky enough through the years to have business owners pass on wisdom to be about running a business, coaches who’ve helped me excel at bowling, and professors who were willing to take the time to break down and reconstruct my writing. I’m always up to ask questions of others who are more skilled, more knowledgeable and who’ve gone through a lot of the ups and downs of life that I want to learn from.
I believe you can learn from the moment you are born to the moment you pass away. If you are unwilling to grow, I do believe certain parts of you wither away from non-use. Every time my children experience something, whether it’s an excellent grade on a project that worked hard on or a punishment they receive as a result of making a poor decision in their life, I hope they take what happens, learn from it to grow in the right direction.
I found it interesting in the forward that John Maxwell would be willing to spend a certain amount of money for people he wanted 30 minutes of their time to ask questions of. When he would get people to accept, John would spend 10 times the amount of time he would get with the particular person preparing for this mentoring question and answer session. Don’t be afraid to ask these people out for a breakfast or lunch and probe their brains and be willing to take down their answers and implement their knowledge into your own habits.
I study the best writers, I continually read 3-5 books a week, I watch motivational DVD’s and video material, I listen to audio books and lectures/ seminars on my car rides to and from wherever I go. I take notes, I ask more questions and I’m willing to implement what is offered into my life. I think most of my successes have happened in my life by the Jack Canfield adage of preparation meeting opportunity. When you’ve learned a skill and can apply it with ease, you can achieve more faster than someone else who’s ill prepared for what may be placed in front of them.
I hope you think about this as we approach the new year. Everyone makes pie in the sky resolutions of what they want to achieve, but without research, preparation, the resources to achieve these resolutions and accountability, you’ll quickly fall back into the same routine you’ve always had, getting the same results you’ve always seen. Don’t you want to achieve more next year? Wouldn’t you love to be increasing your income and increasing your recreation time? How about improving the quality of your relationships both near and far?
Be ready to make this year a year of learning, a year of sharing, and a year of special outcomes. Good luck in the pursuit of all your hopes and dreams- I look forward to discussing these concepts more in the coming year.