How to Grow: Never Stop Learning

What would you say is the greatest benefit about living in the current time period in history?  Certainly there’s a lot of choices to choose from. Would you say it is the amazing advances in technology and the Internet? How about medical care advances and science? Perhaps it’s the ability to travel most anywhere relatively inexpensively and easily. How about the simplicity of communicating with almost anyone across the globe? Maybe it’s as simple as the ability to have safe shelter, security and plenty of food.
What is clear is that the current times we live in are really remarkable compared to past times. 

I am going to suggest that the greatest benefit we have living in the current times is the ability and access to learn absolutely anything we can think of. Think about that for a while. You can learn absolutely anything you can possibly think of, relatively easy and probably for free. Never before in history has this been available. Consider what that could mean for you.

Imagine your life in 10 years from now if you started learning a new skills or new subject every six months.  How much could the quality and depth of your life have if you did this? How much more success would you have- however you choose to define success. How much more valuable of a friend, or family member, or citizen, or volunteer, or employee would you be. How much more money would you have — yes- knowledge pays! 

But, you may ask, what should I learn? The great news is that post formal education, no one is going to force feed you. Learn about what excites you and makes you curious. Take a chance. Stretch yourself. Discover new worlds. You’ll likely find that as you start learning new things again (maybe for the first time in a while), that it gets easier and more ideas start developing in your mind.

Here are a few broad categories that might spark an idea. Perhaps history, mathematics, English literature, foreign languages, computer programming, sciences, social skills. How about, family and relationship skills, public speaking, writing, the arts, music appreciation, trade skills, communication skills? What if you deepened your understanding of your faith and religion?  What if you learned new software applications and technologies like artificial intelligence? How about new hobbies- wine tasting, photography, gourmet cooking, coin collecting, firearm training, to name but a small sampling. How about a new sport or fitness pursuit- Zumba anyone? Yoga? Tai chi? Fishing? Perhaps learning a new instrument- the piano, guitar, drums? How about investing knowledge, trading skills, business management skills?  

The list is endless. It only stops where your imagination stops. But think of the person you will become if you simply take advantage of the wonderful opportunity and good fortune of living and the current Times. You most likely can find anything you want to learn available for free on the Internet.  My challenge to you is to try learning something new right now. Have fun with this. Pick something that would surprise people who know you. Be careful to not just re-learn things you already have done. The key is to step out of your comfort zone. Just imagine how great your life will be in 10 years if you do! I promise you, it will exceed all expectations in satisfaction.

  “A life well lived is a life of growing and learning”   (Quote me, it’s an original)

Here are a several established online schools offering thousands of courses:

Khanacademy
Udacity
Udemy
Coursera
Edex (Harvard)
Skillshare
Open2study
Theopenuniversity
Alison
Plralsight
Class Central Top 50 Rated free Courses
Open Culture 1250 free online from top universities
Open Education Database 10k free courses (yes 10k!)

And if you still need more suggestions take a look at this article from the USA Today “45 free online classes you can take (and finish) by the end of the year”  It’s useful and interesting!

-Iron Mike Stone
mike@imhighperformance.com

Focus on things that fascinate and motivate you

 Eliminate things that irritate you.

I have written in the past about Warren Buffet’s strategy of making a list of 25 goals and then circling the five most important goals from the list. The “Oracle” recommends you eliminate the other 20 completely. This is an excellent approach. I certainly am guilty of working on too many goals at one time. His strategy will force you to  focus on your most important goals and you will likely experience better results.  It certainly seems to have worked for him.

There is a somewhat similar strategy that I recently learned from Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach. Dan is perhaps the number one business and entrepreneur coach around. Dan has developed a program that not only helps you focus on what is important to you (as he describes it, “things that fascinate and motivate you”), but goes beyond that by helping you eliminate what irritates you the most.   

Take a moment and think about that concept. Can you imagine eliminating things that irritate you and instead focus on things that fascinate and motivate you.  Imagine the fun you’d have. Imagine the satisfaction and joy of working you’d have if you could pull that off.

I think the combination of eliminating irritating things and focusing not necessarily on 5 important goals as Warren described, but rather on things that actually fascinate and motivate could be a breakthrough concept.

Take a listen and/or read the show notes of a recent podcast by Dan Sullivan and Joe Polish from 10X Talk. It’s useful and interesting.

Daily. As in Every Single Day!

This is from John Maxwell regarding daily routines- thought it was exceptional.

The first step in determining your daily routine is figuring out what really matters to you. You can’t prioritize if you don’t know your priorities. If you’re not certain of yours, you can look at these below and use them as a starting point:

1. Attitude: I will display the right outlook daily.
2. Priorities: I will act on the things most important to me daily.
3. Health: I will follow healthy guidelines daily.
4. Family: I will communicate with and care for my loved ones daily.
5. Thinking: I will practice good thoughts daily.
6. Commitment: I will make and keep proper promises daily.
7. Finances: I will properly manage dollars daily.
8. Faith: I will deepen and live out my faith daily.
9. Relationships: I will initiate and invest in solid relationships daily.
10. Generosity: I will model kindness daily.
11. Values: I will embrace good standards daily.
12. Growth: I will seek improvements daily.

For more check out this article. It’s useful and interesting.