I began this journey into deeper personal development about 4 years ago. I remember working here at the hospital and finding that I could fill much of my free time by studying. My father in law reminded me that a lot of people that work overnights often are going to school in some way to better themselves, because this particular job lends itself well to reading and studying.
So I’ve gone on my own personal journey, the study of success. When will the journey end? I feel it will continue on for a lifetime- because how much do we ever really know? The rate of technology and information streams moves at an exponential speed- just when you think you have mastered one subject, someone changes the framework and you have to learn a new language or application.
The methods for learning include book reading, audio listening, visual mediums, attending lectures and seminars in person, as well as taking classes to advance my skills. I’ve personally read 800 books over the past 3 years- and continue to average about 2-3 books a week. I believe it’s improved my state of mind, my well being, my relationships, my productivity, my overall mood and attitude as well as setting me on a path for greater events and accomplishments in the next year, three years, five years, decade and beyond.
Where do you start if you want to begin on this journey? Just ask. Find successful people and ask them to tell you their story. What they did, what events happened in their lives to shape them, what books they read, what lessons they’ve learned that they may not do ever again- and see if there’s a way you can find out what they desire to do with their life now as far as goals. Mark Victor Hansen suggests finding millionaires and asking them out to lunch and dinner at least once a month to probe their thought process and see what nuggets you can extract and apply to your life.
I know that within my hobbies and passions of music and bowling, I’ve achieved so much more since beginning this journey. I’ve made wonderful lifelong friends, I’ve experienced sounds and sights I would never have dreamed, and my life is much more full and peaceful as a result. I never take for granted the gifts that I’ve been given and the people who have helped me along- my wife, my children, my friends, my co-workers, my teammates, my classmates, my editors and fellow writers, teachers, parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews- it’s wonderful to be surrounded with such energy and enthusiasm, comfort and compassion.
If you are unsure of what to do, take the journey one step at a time, one book at a time, one class at a time, one experience at a time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and ask specific questions to get what you desire. Partner up, use the resources at your disposal- even if the local library and your computer with internet access are all you have currently. I sincerely believe challenges are there to make you a better person- not only in the mind but also in your body. Life isn’t meant for coasting- life is meant to be lived, minute by minute, day by day.
Little things add up over the course of time to make big changes. Let’s support each other, listen and learn to make this world a wonderful place to live in.