On Oct 19, 2012
People are born with a natural talent for learning.
We learn by:
- understanding self (starts with our body parts and how they interact with surroundings),
- observing other people (our parents having a huge initial impact),
- observing our surroundings (identifying patterns, posing & testing hypotheses)
- perceiving (creating unique & personal explanations of the vast array of stimuli that 'hit' our senses),
- memorizing knowledge (short-term & long-term memories of manifold experiences and perceptions),
- imagining (holding images in our mind's eye...remembering past events and envisioning future events)
- practicing skills (so they get hard-wired into our brains), and , of course,
- interacting with people and things around us (from mirror neurons and Theory of Mind to mentors, trainers, and championship teams).
Born to learn: that's the way we are born.
Our learning takes the form of a life-long series of self-corrected behaviours coupled with a life-long series of successful outcomes and not-so-successful hard knocks.
People are created with a remarkable capacity for learning.
All people are created that way. Then individual experiences affect the duration and extent of learning. Also, individual choices affect the extent and duration of learning.
Here's an example of a string of thoughts about learning:
- I was born to learn.
- In the past, as I went about my learning, some people encouraged me and some people put me down.
- Now, I see learning as my responsibility...I don`t seek encouragement and I am not put off by put downs.
- Now, I see introspection as the ongoing starting point for learning...as the ancient Greek aphorism states - Know Thyself.
- Now, I see individual strengths, wisdom, self-control, and positive attitude as the key ingredients for success in any endeavour...and each of these is the substance of life-long learning.
- I know, to succeed in a business role, I must combine my talents and specialized knowledge with life-long practice and exploration of new things. That is the only way to master business work.
- I know, because I have seen it first-hand, the capacity for learning does not have to wither with age...it is the one blessing that remains with us as long as we want it to and are prepared to do the brain work that self-feeds.
The capacity for life-long expanded learning is our unique blessing.
On May 7, 2012
Thought Tweet #471 Better to be stuck on sticky problems than to be burned by fire-fighting.
The Thinking Behind The Tweet
In business, we need to save our brainpower for innovative and creative work. When we fire-fight those daily fires, we remove our ability to excel at problem-solving and opportunity-capturing. This is especially so if our ongoing fires generate emotional heat, which they often do. When we fight fires we get burned at least 2 ways: (1) we burn energy in our brains that could be used to fuel better-caliber thinking and (2) we burn time that could be spent on better-caliber work or other important activity. This is confirmed by the 80-20 Rule. It is at the root of ancient wisdom, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".
On Apr 6, 2012
Thought Tweet #450 “Self-help has accomplished about all the great things of the world.”
The Thinking Behind The Tweet
Recently, I made a rule - not to post any more quotes in my Thought Tweets. However, it wasn't a hard-and-fast rule [like a Master Rule], so, here I am, today, breaking it. I am breaking my no-more-quotes rule because I am impressed by Orison Swett Marden's wisdom. And, this particular quote expresses, in a much better way than I am able to do, a major piece of my life philosophy. This quote is one of 151 quotes I copied from Orison Sweet Marden 1911 self-development classic - 'Pushing to the Front'. [I am fortunate to own a first printing of this 2-volume classic.]
On Apr 6, 2012
Many leaders understand the merits of principle-based leadership.
But...what does principle-based leadership mean?
Specifically - what exactly does principle-based leadership mean?
James Allen1 provides most-clear answers to this question.
For example...excerpts of James Allen's wisdom:
“The first things in a sound life – and therefore in a truly happy and successful life – are right principles.”
“The first principles in life are principles of conduct.”
Allen states 5 of them...
Duty “The principle of duty means strict adherence to one’s own business, and just as strict non-interference in the business of others.”
Honesty “It means not cheating or overcharging another. It involves the absence of all trickery, lying and deception of word, look or gesture. It includes sincerity, the saying what you mean and the meaning what you say.”
Economy” “The conservation of one’s financial resources is merely the vestibule leading toward the more spacious chambers of economy. It means, as well, the husbanding of one’s physical vitality and mental resources.”
Liberality: “Liberality follows economy. Only the man of economy can afford to be generous. The spendthrift, whether in money, vitality, or mental energy, wastes so much on his own miserable pleasures as to have none left to bestow upon others.”
Self-Control: “Self-control is the last of these five principles, yet it is the most important.”
“The five principles are five practices, five avenues to achievement, and five sources of knowledge.”
1. James Allen, ‘Foundation Stones to Happiness and Success’, (1913)
On Mar 30, 2012
I have touched on the topic of self-management, but, as yet, I have not presented a concise summary of how to go about it.
I am about to remove that shortcoming.
Here are some suggestions on how to go about obtaining the benefits of Self-Management:
- Have a definite purpose - also known as a life purpose. People who have a definite purpose have an easier time with self-discipline. The reality is - most people, perhaps as many as 98-out-of-100 people, do not have a life purpose. Put another way, most people do not have a consuming, driving, life-long ambition/goal. The natural next question is, can you develop one? The good-news answer to that question is - Yes. [It will take a concerted & lengthy introspection...but, it can be done.]
- "Know Thyself". Perhaps Socrates said this first? Anyhow, it is ancient wisdom which spans many cultures and at least 2 millennia. Again, most people do not have a detailed knowledge of 'self'. That's because they have not taken the time to regularly perform concerted & lengthy introspection. The good news is - many self-development gurus provide help at a cheap price. For example, check out Napoleon Hill's 'Think And Grow Rich'. In that classic, Hill provides a list of questions for an annual self-assessment.
- Understand your personal Values, your personal Rules, and your Habits. And, work at trying New Things which you think may, with your continued effort, become Good Habits.
- Write our Your Vision and Your Goals...and update them at least once a year. Many self-help experts and many psychologists state this is a major key to success. Rather than argue whether or not that can be proved...I suggest you just do it. Really, it does not take much time so why not take a leap of faith and accept it as a good piece of advice.
- Each morning, write out a TO DO list for the day. Make a practice of receiving the merits of The 80/20 Rule, also known as the Pareto Principle: 80% of results are due to 20% of causes. So, focus on the 20% of Actions that generate 80% of the desired results.
These 5 things will take you a long way down the path of Self-Management....and SUCCESS.
On Mar 1, 2012
Boil down your business.
That's what Robert Collier did at Volume 5 of his 1926 classic, 'The SECRET of the Ages'.
He stated, "Volumes have been written about personal efficiency, and general efficiency, and every other kind of efficiency in business."
Then he said,
"But when boiled down, it all comes to this:
- Know what you want.
- Analyze the thing you've got to do to get it.
- Plan your work ahead.
- Do one thing at a time.
- Finish that one thing and send it on its way before starting the next.
- Once started, KEEP GOING!"
I got a kick out of that straightforward, simple advice.
Points #4 and #5 are keys to developing talents involving Attention, Concentration, & Focus. They are also keys to overcoming frazzled Emotions.