Turning learning into improvement and growth
The results that you get to enjoy in your life are the best barometer of how well you are learning from the books you read, the cd’s you listen to and the DVD’s you watch. I am sure that I am not alone when I say that I have read a book, attended a seminar or listened to an audio book and after completing either or all of them, have made a promise to change my life and nothing happened. The reason so few people actually get to make the changes they want and need to make, is not because the material does not work, it is because they do not work the material.
The secret to get the maximum from all the material you gather is not found in the learning, it is found in how willing and able you are to take the new knowledge and to apply it in your life. Success is a doing activity, it is an action sport. Taking action and utilising any new knowledge is the next and only logical step after finding any new knowledge and the only way any new knowledge can ever serve you. Possessing all the knowledge in the world, knowing in the finest detail what you need to do, is absolutely pointless, unless you get off your butt and actually do something with the knowledge.
We are creatures of habit and unless we have a system to use that will allow us to use the knowledge we gather effectively, we will continue to blunder through each year, learning much, but using very little. The first thing to do is to decide exactly what area of your life you want to improve. It is of very little value to move from one subject to another, randomly reading and consuming material on every possible subject. This unfocused approach, keeps you trapped in the mire of too much knowledge and very little or no improvement.
Choose an area of your life that you want to improve.
Break your year back into four 90 day segments. Now choose one area of your life you want to improve and gather specific knowledge on that area only for the entire 90 day period. The secret that makes this approach so effective is that you focus all your energy on only one thing and you do not dilute your efforts, moving from one unrelated area to another. Add your commitment to apply all the knowledge you gather in your life and you will see remarkable growth and improvement every 90 days. For example, my last quarter was invested into improving my presentation and speaking skills. I invested all my learning efforts into reviewing material on improving in this area only.
I research this one area online and ask everyone in my network that can make a positive contribution, to advise me on the best possible resources they know of that will help me improve in that specific area. I then invest into buying five audio programs, three books and I try to sign up to attend at least one seminar that is aligned with that specific are during that 90 day period.
How to do it
You should listen to the audio programs in your car, over and over again for the entire 90 days period. Each time you listen to the recording, note one specific skill or idea, you can apply in your life and take action on introducing that skill into your life that day. Repeat this every day for the entire period, until you have applied all the new knowledge into your life.
Don’t just speed read through the three books; completely consume them over the ninety day period. Underline, circle, highlight and reread each page of the three books, until you have absorbed and introduced all the knowledge into your life. Pick an idea from the book each week and introduce it into your life. As you go through the 90 day period, refine the book and choose three ideas that really resonate with you, introduce these new ideas and tolls into your life, persisting with introducing the new ideas until they become new ingrained habits in your life.
Getting the most from the Seminar you attend
Listen to all the great ideas that will flow from the informative motivational speaker presenting the seminar, but also pay attention to all the ideas that flow to you from deep inside yourself. Take careful notes of all these ideas as sit in an environment of likeminded people that are energised and driven to succeed. This combined accumulative energy is incredibly powerful and most certainly gets the creative juices flowing. The new ideas that flow to you may be the best benefit that flows to you. Whilst at the seminar, search for the three best ideas and create a plan to introduce these into your life as soon as possible after the seminar.
I have found this system to be very effective. I add the additional concept of actually teaching all the new concepts or processes to my clients or friends. The process of teaching seems to cement the new concepts in my life and makes the whole process more effective.