the 5-step solution to finding the clues left behind by success

“Success leaves clues…”

That’s what my mentor, Jim Rohn, used to say and I’ve found that to be true.

Sadly most of us choose to do everything the hard way, aka “on our own”, rather than learning from others that have been there and done that.

Why is that?

I suppose you could just chalk it up to one of the great mysteries of life and leave it at that.

But I’m the kind of person that wants to know.

And over the years, having taught thousands of students, business executives, doctors, and teachers (to name just a few) that when you boil it all down, our failure to listen to others can be attributed to one of the following three reasons:

  • Ignorance
  • Arrogance
  • Stupidity

The first group is simply unaware that a better way exists.

For most of my life I think I fell into this category because I bought into the idea of go to school, get good grades, get into college, get a job, work hard and you’ll be aok.

After all, at school that’s what we’re all taught.

That our grades have some almighty power, but they don’t. True, they are a reflection of our ability to handle the material that was taught to us by our teacher but once you get out into the real world no one seems to care whether you got an A or a C…all that matters is you passed.

It wasn’t until I got into my 30s and really starting thinking about my future and the path it would take that I realized I needed a better way.

The second group believe that they have all the answers.

No matter what evidence you present them with they ignore it because they “knew it” or think is a waste of time.

This group loves to use the “my-situation-is-different” as a sort of get-out-of-jail-free card to avoid studying.

They love to show off just how smart they are (which most people see though) and are unbudging in their ideas.

They’re probably the toughest group to deal with because they have talent, but just aren’t willing to put it to use and as a result often fail come up short.

The third group is just inexcusable.

In spite of all the books, the computers, the information that is available to us today, so many people seem to be impervious to true learning.

It’s like the person who believes that because he’s fluent in a language that’s all you’ll ever need.

Let me tell you, there is a whole range of fluent.

I know a whole lot of people who may be native speakers of English but they sure don’t sound like it. Being fluent is just one part of communication, you have tonality, vocabulary, variation, presentation, creativity, humor and so much more. But try telling that to this group. It’s like talking to a wall.

How sad.

Having been an educator myself now for going on 22 years I am often amazed how many people choose to ignore good, sometimes life-changing advice, and instead stick to their guns doing the same old thing.

There’s only one problem with that…doing what they’ve been doing will only get them what they already have.

In our search for success, happiness and achievement we must accept one simple truth – our actions haven’t gotten us what we wanted otherwise we would already have it.

Therefore, change is in order.

Here’s my 5 step solution:

  1. Accept that you don’t have all the answers
  2. Start reading
  3. Invest some money into educational programs
  4. Invest at least 30 minutes a day to improving your mind
  5. Take notes on what you learn

That’s it. Ignorance is NOT bliss.

Nor is arrogance or stupidity.

All three will be costly. And the solution is simple.

One warning: don’t expect change overnight.

It took years to get where you are today, it’ll take some time to get you back on course.

People sometimes ask me if I’m a millionaire and my answer is always the same, “Not yet, but I’m on the right path.”

For years I worked hard believing that was the secret, today I know it’s not.

Hard work is just one part of the equation.

We need to become more than just hard workers. We need to be good thinkers. We need to be good readers.

Adrian Shepherd

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