by investing in the now. – David DeAngelo
You can learn anything you need to learn in order to accomplish any goal you want to achieve. There is an incredible amount of information available today on how to improve our lives. Smart and successful men and women have poured their knowledge into books, audio programs and seminars for you to learn and grow from. All you need is a desire for self-development.
Make a decision right now to start becoming a student of success. Dedicate yourself to ongoing personal and professional development by devoting 1 hour per day to studying. 1 hour of study per day in any subject will make you an expert in a couple of years. If 1 hour seems like too much time, consider that the average adult watches 3 hours of television per day.
Set aside a small percentage of your income every month for purchasing study material. Invest it on personal and professional development that help you and are consistent with where you want to go. Continually learn and grow within your field of expertise and also challenge your mind with new subjects. You should work at least as hard on yourself as you do on your job.
The triangle of self-development refers to books, audio programs and seminars. All of these learning strategies represent condensed time. They can save you months and even years of hard work as you learn new and faster ways of achieving your goals. If you want to be successful in any area of life, you must make it a study and learn to use proven success methods. Life is too short to try and reinvent the wheel and learn it all by yourself. As you study, take careful notes, visualize yourself applying what you learn and then use what you have learned throughout the day to make the knowledge your own. Remember that the more good things you put in your mind the more good things will start coming back out.
Become an avid reader. Invest a period of time each day reading something educational, inspirational or motivational. Read non-fiction books containing practical knowledge in each of the five areas of success and in other areas of interest to challenge your mind and enhance your life. Learn how to speed read so you can go through material faster and easier. Read with a pen in your hand and take careful notes or make lines in the margin next to important ideas so that you can review and summarize them later.
If you read for one hour per day, you will be able to get through about one book per week. Because the average person reads less than one book per year, this habit alone will give you a competitive edge that you will never lose. You will be amazed how just one book per week can change the course of your life. Start off with a simple program if you need to, reading only one page per day, and increase it gradually. To find and keep current with the best that is being written in your field you can join a book club. You can also subscribe to book condensations from companies such as Soundview or Audio-Tech.
Listen to educational audio programs during transition time. Audio program learning has rightfully been called the greatest revolution in education since the printing press, because of the convenient way in which it allows you to learn new things while you are busy doing something else. It lets you turn the hundreds of hours of passive transition time into valuable learning time, for example when you exercise or travel. The average person spends at least 1 hour a day commuting to and from work, so turn that time into learning time.
A huge advantage to audio learning is that it makes repetition practical and easy. New ideas heard only once tend to disappear very quickly if we do not repeat them, write them down or apply them. While most people will not go to the same seminar or read the same book several times, they can easily listen to the same audio program over and over again, making the information much more likely to stick. For the average person, a new idea needs to be repeated about seven times in one month before it can be fully integrated into their life. A good habit to establish therefore is to go through one audio program each month, and to repeat it until you start to apply the information.
Just as you can learn to speed read books, you can increase the rate at which you listen to audio programs. This feature is available in many audio players and you can easily increase the rate with 50%, 75% or even higher without losing any meaning. Just like with speed reading, you will find that the increased flow of information actually improves your concentration and thereby your comprehension and recall as well.
Attend seminars created by people who are successful in the subjects they teach. Set a goal to go to a specific number of seminars each year and schedule them far in advance. The person giving the program may have spent many hundreds of hours assembling the information so that you can get it in perhaps less than a day. While books and audio programs have the advantage of being portable, stoppable and repeatable, live seminars provide a concentrated learning experience and requires a greater commitment of time and money – which makes it more probable that we will strive to apply what we learn. They also take us into an environment where we have an opportunity to form valuable relationships with other successful growth-oriented people. As a complement to the live seminars you attend, there are many great seminars available on DVD as well, and although they do not have all the benefits of a live seminar, they still provide a powerful learning experience.
One of the greatest secrets of success is to learn from the masters – to find out what other people have done that works, copy what they do and then to improve upon it. Seek out successful people in every important area of your life and ask them for their advice. Ask them what to do more of and what to do less of, what to change and what to improve. Ask them what books to read, audio programs to listen to and seminars to attend. Find out what ideas they thought were most influential to their success. When seeking help, know that true winners will always encourage other people to pursue their goals and will be generous with their advice, because they are already living in abundance. Likewise, as you become more successful, you should also be willing to help others with your advice.
Actively seek out feedback in your life, both negative and positive. The willingness to ask others for help is a key part of personal and professional growth. If you have a problem that keeps on reoccurring in your life, it is almost certainly caused by you, not your surroundings or bad luck. We often cannot see our own weaknesses clearly. However, other people can see them, just as we can see theirs. Find someone who knows you well and ask them for help. Ask them for honest feedback in areas they think you could improve, and also where your key strengths lie. Listen carefully to their answers. Do not try to explain, justify or argue with the feedback. Your only responses should be “tell me more” or “for example”, so as to not discourage them from being honest. Evaluate the feedback carefully, especially if it is not what you wanted to hear, and use it to improve yourself and your performance.
Keep a success journal and develop a daily habit of journaling. Take 5 to 10 minutes every day to summarize the day, including the high points from your daily list and daily notes. Record things you have learned, activities you have enjoyed, ideas you have discovered, choices you have made, goals you have set and victories you have celebrated. The journal itself can be in any form you prefer – whether on a computer, a mobile phone or in an actual blank book.
There are many benefits of journaling. It provides an excellent way to measure your growth and progress, which is something we have a hard time grasping on our own. It lets us organize our thoughts in writing, which sharpens our thinking. It also enables us to see our thoughts from a third person perspective, which makes it easier to see solutions to our problems and to make better decisions. Finally, it allows us to remember our life in greater detail, and a life worth living is a life worth remembering.
Dedicate yourself to constant and never-ending improvement. Commit to finding some small way to improve everything you do every day, in every area of your life. It is a commitment that will profoundly increase the quality of your life. The better you become at the things you do repeatedly, the more value you add to your life and the better your rewards will be. By becoming just a little bit better each day we start to distinguish ourselves very quickly. Do not compare yourself to others, but work to improve your own past results. Study your performance to find what you are doing right and what you could be doing better. Learn from every mistake you make and from everyone around you. This principle of constant improvement is one of the most important principles of success, because all success revolves around improvement of some kind.
- Devote at least one hour a day to studying books, audio programs or seminars.
- Invest a percentage of your income on personal and professional development.
- Listen to educational audio programs during exercise, travel and transition time.
- Start a daily habit of journaling.
- Improve continually in everything you do.
Nightingale Conant is the best:
Handbook of Success