are you taking advantage of all the tools you have available to succeed?

Just when you think things can’t get any more amazing we amaze each other all over again.

Recently, Amazon announced its new tablet, the Kindle Fire, as well as its new browser system, SILK, Apple announced the iPhone 4GS and the iCloud system and not to be outdone, Facebook announced the new Timeline.

What does all this mean for us, the consumer?

More convenience, more applications, more mobility, and faster access.

At least that is the way I see it. I know a few people that may see things quite differently – more buttons, more work and more money.

Wherever you stand there is no denying that technology is continually reinventing itself and for those who utilize such tools for their personal life or business life this can only be a good thing.

Nowadays we can check our stocks from our boat…in the middle of the ocean, send pictures…from the top of a mountain, pass along vital information to business associates or family members all over the world…and never have to leave the comfort of your own home.

This is huge.

In fact, it’s bigger than that – it’s a game changer.

Back in the day knowledge came at a price thereby giving only a select few access to knowledge that today we all have access to, all with the push of a few buttons.

So fast and convenient in fact that it has made us somewhat weak.

We have come to expect answers in seconds.

During my years as a teacher, I saw more and more students go with electronic dictionaries for both their ease of use and their portability.

At times I would assign some a few pages reading for homework only to have them come back the next week with lots of vocab questions.

Now I knew that some words might not be in the dictionary, especially some of the words found in works such as Harry Potter, but when they said their couldn’t find words such as “give up” or “dragged” bells went off in my head.

I asked them to let me borrow their dictionary and I found many of the words in question almost instantly. What went wrong?

First of all, an electronic dictionary is an incredible tool, but it is just a tool, it will not tell you the answers, it merely gives you answers to the questions you give it.

Type in DRAGGE and the dictionary will simply respond by saying that no such word exists because it doesn’t. “Drag” on the other hand does.

“Give up” is simply a combination of a verb and a noun which can be found with a few extra keypad strokes.

The problem is that too many students don’t bother searching. They have grown up in a world where answers come easily.

For my generation, or my parents generation, we had to search because we didn’t have the luxury of the Internet.

I have learned over the years that despite all this great advancement in technology many people don’t use it to its fullest.

With so much knowledge and tools why would some people choose not to use them?

Here are some that I’ve come up with in my years as teacher and a coach:

  1. Can’t be bothered
  2. Don’t want to learn
  3. Aren’t willing to invest the time
  4. Don’t know how
  5. Figure it’s not that important

Why some people do and others don’t is a question that has existed for generations and will exist for many more to come.

I know firsthand how difficult it can be to convince some people to take advantage of the tools they have available to them for their business. I myself could be doing more but am doing my best to keep on top of these tools and more:

  • Facebook – wake up people, this is the single most powerful tool to interact with both friends and customers. 10 minutes a day here can be a great investment.
  • Google – I’m still amazed how many people don’t use this to answer their questions. Check facts, dates, trivia, spelling and so much more.
  • Linkedin – all about business contacts. What better place is there to meet potential business partners or highly motivated individuals?
  • Twitter – short powerful ideas to share with people. An investment of 2 minutes a day.
  • itunes – podcasts on every topic imaginable. An education on everything, everywhere.
  • Audio lectures – powerful lessons from some of the best in the business. Take advantage of your commute.
  • DVDs – study & entertainment. Fun and can be your best friend in learning.
  • Youtube – cooking, computer problems, health (yoga), share your ideas with others. Video tutorials for everything.
  • iPhone/Android – access anywhere to powerful tools. Join the 21st century.
  • iPad – the power of a notebook wherever you go.
  • Firefox – great browser with numerous add-on tools to help you do more (reminders, downloading tools, password protection, bookmark sharing). Save yourself time by learning how to use free internet tools.
  • Cameras – capture the moments of your life (on every phone, in our pockets).
  • Word – capture your ideas.
  • Voice recorder – meetings, discussions, lectures, sermons, etc.

There are plenty of tools out there just waiting to be used. They’re not the problem.

All we have to do is number one: learn how to use them. And number two: use them.

One warning: many of these tools can become incredible time wasters if we let them. Facebook for one is notorious for being a great place to play games. The iPhone and iPad have a huge selection of stunning games. Only you can determine how to best use these tools for your life.

Don’t go through life the hard way.

Take advantage of these incredible tools and turn your life or business upside down.

Adrian Shepherd

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