I want to talk about a thought personal development author Brian Tracy discussed on the August 2010 audio interview with Darren Hardy in Success magazine. Brian has a theory that the average adult would rather spend most of his active time engaging in entertainment based activities versus educational activities. He states that if the ratio is wildly in favor of entertainment versus education, it’s little wonder why many adults are struggling to make ends meet financially and aren’t going in the direction they desire in other areas of their lives.
He believes the average person’s ratio of E to E (entertainment to education) is 50 to 1: meaning that the average adult will spend 50 minutes engaged in entertainment related activities versus 1 minute of education related activities. If you can shrink that ratio down to 5 to 1 in Brian’s opinion, you will probably be a very rich individual.
What are entertainment related activities? Television watching, newspaper reading, listening to music on the radio, talking with your co-workers about social activities at work, taking in sports games, and so on. I think if we tracked our day to day activities and see how much we are cracking open a book in our related field to achieve more knowledge and implement better skills to become a more productive worker, we would be surprised to see that many of us stopped reading non-fiction material in our career or skill sets since college.
That’s a shame with the amount of information available at our disposal. If you aren’t getting better as a person and keeping up with the changes in your field- someone else is, and chances are they are achieving more, making themselves more valuable and also increasing their finances.
What’s wrong with making your car travel learning time and keeping audio books and seminar courses at your disposal? You can get 500-1000 hours of learning on average with the amount of time we spend traveling in our cars to and from work alone. Even if you take away one new idea a month and implement it, can you imagine how much more productive you will be? Imagine if you were able to start a side business based on your interests and produce multiple sources of income? What if you were able to sustain better relationships with your bosses, your co-workers, your friends, your partner, and your family?
I’ve spent the past 4 years making continuous learning a lifestyle and not just a passive activity. I read, I listen, I take notes, and I implement new ideas. Some work well for me, some don’t- but at least I’m getting in the game and taking action. Garrison Wynn in his recent book The Real Truth About Success mentions, “Knowledge is not power; implementation is power.” You can be the smartest man or woman in your community, at your company, in your country- and yet if don’t put the information into practice, it’s useless.
Make it a point to change those entertainment versus education ratios. We do have to have play time to recharge our creativity as human beings. But we can’t stop learning- because if we don’t grow, we slowly wither away. You can always learn through books, through audio material, through video material, through in person seminars, finding mentors and coaches- whatever it takes to better your life.