The Importance of Being a Lifelong Learner
I cannot emphasize enough the need to be a learner in every area of your life. Learning is integral to growth and, consequently, success. As you’ve heard me say in my audios, formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune. Because here’s what’s exciting: If you step up the self-education curve and commit to being a lifelong learner, you will come up with more answers than you can use.
Having said that, here are my thoughts on the importance of being a lifetime learner:
1. The Mind Was Designed to Learn. The Master Planner (the one who created us) gave us an incredible ability to learn. He gave us a practically limitless capacity to learn and store knowledge. He gave us the ability to take that knowledge and then process it rationally. In short, the mind was designed to learn! When we stop learning, we stop using the mind we were given, and then it is not exercised in the way it was meant. The basic functions of the mind are to govern our actions and to learn!
2. Times Change, and We Must, Too. We live in a rapidly changing world. There are always changes in technology, information, systems, culture, and even the way people relate to each other. So, with everything changing, we must constantly be learning. We must constantly be taking in new information, processing it and changing accordingly so that we can adapt and succeed.
3. Your Competition Is Learning! This is a given. We live in the most competitive time in history. Individuals, companies and nations compete. Everyone is looking for the edge to win. Friends, I must tell you that the edge is learning. Those who can take in information and process it quickly and correctly (to help people and turn a profit) are the ones who will come out on top.
4. We Must Learn so We Can Help Those Who Follow. We should not live our lives selfishly. Instead, we must learn so that we forge new ground for ourselves, yes, but also so that we have the ability to improve the lives and welfare of others. The further we take ourselves, the further we can take those who work for and rely upon us. Everything we learn is for a twofold purpose: for us to grow and to then help others.
A Basic Plan for Lifelong Learning
Plan what you want to learn. If you do not plan to learn, chances are, you will not. The lifelong learner is a decided learner; they choose to learn. People are different and run their schedules differently, but the point is, no matter how you plan, your learning must be “in your book,” as they say.
Truly believe in the power of learning. If you don’t believe that learning will help you, then you will not grow. I am under the strong assumption that because you are here today, that you believe in growth and learning, and that is good. But, even so, you can always increase your ability to trust in the process of learning and the power it holds to transform your life. Every time you learn something, root it deeply and tell yourself that you will be better off because of it!
Set aside time to learn and grow. Each and every day we should have a planned learning time. The best way to get through a 300-page book is by reading a few pages each day. That way, you are sure to finish it. The best way to listen to a 12-part series is to listen to one part each day. Even if you can only get to your learning every other day or a few days a week, it will be best if you have it written down in the book as planned learning. Build it right into your schedule. Set aside time to read and listen, to participate in small groups of people who want to learn.
Feed your inquisitiveness. Always ask questions. Always see if there is something more you can learn. Look for new knowledge on new topics. Expand your base of knowledge by picking up new subjects. Go broad in your knowledge, but go deep as well. See if there is another question that can be asked so that your knowledge can go one step deeper and your understanding a bit broader.
Master history. A friend of mine once asked a mentor of his whether or not he looked primarily for people with an MBA. This mentor was responsible for business development for one of the largest companies in the world. The answer my friend received was surprising. The gentleman said that he actually liked to hire history majors. “They prove that they have an attention to detail and can learn from the past.” Those are brilliant words. Study your history, because history helps you learn what to do from the best and what not to do from the worst.
Keep a journal. This has been a big point for me for many years now. Keeping a journal enables you to log what you are learning, reflect upon it, and go back to it and chart your life. It doesn’t have to be filled with long entries, but keeping a journal can help you in your lifelong journey.
Take advantage of resources. The way we live today enables us to learn in so many different ways. Here are just a few:
Quite frankly, there are so many resources, there’s no excuse not to learn. Just looking at the list should give you plenty of ideas for filling out your learning plan.
Learning is very important, and it is important to plan for it. Do what you can to put yourself into a lifelong learning plan!
Until next week, let’s do something remarkable!
Keeping Your Mind Tuned for Success
Here are some ways to keep “tuned in” to “success”!
Use Your Innate Ability to Decide and Choose
When we constantly flex our muscle of choice, we build it up and it helps keep us on track for success. It is just like working out: The more we do, the stronger we get and the more “fit” we become. Do you want to keep your mind tuned for success? Keep it healthy by making good choices and decisions on a regular basis. For example, do you have a bad habit? Then flex your mind muscle and choose to change—today. If you choose to stay the same (and those are the only two choices), you will have just chosen to tune your mind to a different station other than “Success.”
Put Good Stuff into Your Brain
There are lots of things that want to work their way into our minds (and eventually work themselves out again in our actions). There is much that we take in just by walking around all day. But what about the things we put in our minds on purpose? We can choose to put good stuff in on a regular basis. Do you take time each day to put good things into your mind, to tune in to “success”? Here are two things to consider when you are choosing what to put into your mind: First, is it positive? Will it build you up or tear you down? Will it make you a better or lesser person? Will you grow from it or not? Will it tune you to “success” or not? Second, will it move you toward your goals in the areas of your life that you want to see success and abundance in?
Keep the Junk Out
As mentioned earlier, there will always be junk floating around, like a co-worker who complains all the time. But what surprises us is that many people who want success actually choose to put junk into their minds and then expect to be tuned to it. Here are some thoughts on this: First, evaluate everything that you put into your mind. Evaluate what you read, listen to and watch. We live in a fast-paced world and have little time. Why then would we spend our precious time putting junk into our minds? Do the things you read, listen to and watch move you toward your goals or away from them? It is a simple question, really.
Eat Right and Exercise
That’s right! The way we eat and the amount of exercise we get go a long way toward our mind’s ability to tune in to “success.” Put the right foods into your body, and the brain responds. Exercise on a regular basis, and the body releases chemicals that literally ignite your brain for success!
Put these key principles into practice, and soon, you’ll be dialed into success and abundance.
Winning the Thought Battle
Our success begins in our thoughts.
The process is that thoughts become actions and actions produce results. So the equation starts with thoughts. The key to success is to start with and control our thoughts. Good thoughts become good actions, which become good results.
But, as humans, we have an ongoing “battle” with our thoughts. Thoughts of depression, negative thoughts and thoughts of fear constantly creep into our minds and cause us to act in certain ways that produce the opposite kind of thoughts we need to produce success.
So, what can we do to win the battle of our thoughts? Here are a few key points. Apply these immediately and consistently, and you will be on your way to winning the thought battle.
1. Guard Your Mind. Behind that forehead of yours is a very precious thing: your mind, because it is precious. If you had a storehouse of gold on your property, you would hire an armed guard to stand watch and keep all the bad guys out. Yet, many of us let any old thing come into our minds. We need to keep the bad thoughts, the negative thoughts out! Now, when we say this, we mean both the ones that start in our heads and the ones that come from external sources.
2. Proactively Place Good Thoughts in Your Head. Just like a garden, where you weed (pull the bad stuff out) and plant (put the good stuff in), we do the same thing with our thoughts. Buy audio programs and music that will produce good, happy thoughts! Watch TV programs and videos that put good thoughts in your mind!
3. Avoid the Naysayers. They are all around you. You work with them, you live near them—some are even in your family! Whatever you do, do not let them affect you with their negative thoughts and words. Spend as little time as you can with them (unless it is your spouse or kids, and then you might consider getting counseling!)
4. Act on the Positive Thoughts You Do Have. When a positive thought comes into your mind, act on it! This will begin to create a “bridge” between what you think and how you act, and will help make the transition even easier as time goes by!
In review, here are the four key ideas to win the thought battle:
– Guard your mind.
– Proactively place good thoughts in your head.
– Avoid the naysayers.
– Act on the positive thoughts that you do have.
Go forth and win the battle!
Be sure to download this week’s workbook pages to complete the Questions for Reflection and Action Points exercises.