variety truly is the spice of life

Focus, focus, focus…

That’s what Sohail Khan, the JV expert, calls the best advice he’s ever received.

I am fond of saying, “If you’re going to do something, give it all you’ve got.”

Look at me, I started Karate at the age of 38. I’m one of the oldest guys in my dojo and I’m definitely the only non-Japanese person at all the competitions. My goal: A black belt. Just how long will it take me? Who knows? What I do know is that each week I attend our lesson, I’m one step closer to that goal.

But that’s not the only thing I’m focusing on.

We’ve all heard the expression, “Variety is the spice of life.” I have found that studying a variety of things helps expand our minds.

I have studied Karate, photography, marketing, success, economics, rock climbing, basketball, yoga, magic and Japanese and all of these have helped me develop an appreciation for different things as well as how similar and different things are in life.

At present I’m focusing on economics and marketing, but manage to squeeze in yoga, Karate, success and photography.

If they ever built a rock climbing gym in my area I’d be sure to do that in the mornings, and I have no doubt that I’ll be spending more than a few nights to relearn some tricks I learnt a while back all so that I’ll be able to amaze my son and his friends. For now, though, they’ll have to wait.

The benefits of learning so many things is that over time you begin to see patterns as well as new perspectives on life.

Here is a list of the things I learnt:

  • Basketball taught me about teamwork.
  • Magic taught me about presentation and human psychology.
  • Rock climbing taught me about planning and body movement.
  • Karate taught me about body movement, power, speed and relaxation.
  • Photography taught me about perspective, beauty & color.
  • Marketing taught me again about human psychology.
  • Yoga taught me about the human body & that flexibility is simply about effort, not talent.

One of the things people seem to feel as they age is just how fast time passes us by. As a child a year feels like forever. Looking at my son’s pictures the other day, I could hardly believe that five years have passed since I first held him in my arms. He needed me to do everything for him. Now, he’s just learnt how to tell time and a few weeks ago swam the whole length of the pool (25m).

Maybe some of you can relate. So the older I get, the more I put stress on studying things that have most value in our lives.

So here’s why I study what I do:

  • Photography helps you capture the moments and the memories of life. It’s also great way for getting a girlfriend. You might even have a career taking pictures of beautiful women or as a wedding photographer.
  • Karate helps you have an incredible body and stay in shape, but has the added bonus of learning how to protect yourself.
  • Marketing helps you expand your business which hurts.
  • Success helps you understand the tools that allow you to succeed in any arena.
  • Economics teaches you how to invest your money to help it grow and hopefully one day retire very wealthy.
  • Yoga taught patience & relaxation helps give both my body & mind a better base from which to work with.
  • With magic you can be the center of attention and amaze people at parties or bars. It’s a great way to break the ice & make friends and simply be different than everyone else. Very few people have ever studied magic, so most people find it incredible, even when you do a simple trick. It allows you to amaze people the world over.

What’s most amazing though, is just how studying one subject matter can help us succeed in another arena. Take my studies of magic. It established my routine of study, it laid the foundation for my financial seminar as well as showing me just how easy it was to trick the human mind.

I suppose that’s why one of my mentors’ (Charles Hirst) secrets of success was to “travel.”

I lucked out there having lived in six countries before the age of 24 and traveling to many more. And while I took those experiences for granted, I see now that the true benefit of traveling and talking to different people is how you begin to see the world differently.

No matter how old we are, the fact is that today is the youngest we’ll ever be. We might not be able to change what happened, but we certainly do get a say in what will happen from here on out.

I have made my decision.

What’s yours?

Adrian Shepherd


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