Learning to be Heroes

You can define a society by the heroes it keeps. You can also define a person by the heroes he or she keeps. Who are your heroes? Who are you modeling yourself after?  -Jeff Olson The Slight Edge

As individuals strive to be what we are created to be there are different avenues to pursue. Specifically there are three pathways of learning: #1 Learning by study, #2 Learning by Doing and #3 Learning from a Mentor.

#1 Learning by Study (Book Smarts).

This is the kind of learning that we commonly think of. Books, CD’s, Seminars, all things that I am passionate about because of the power of learning that they have! As we invest our time listening to a positive audio, perhaps even while doing something else, our brain can process that learning. Also, like we talked about in a previous post, the small actions add up to big results. This principle works in all areas, Reading 10 pages a day and listening to 15-30 minutes of audio for information is a simple thing to do. It’s unfortunately easy not to do as well. But the results are tremendous over time! 10 pages a day turns into a book a Month. 1 hour of audio a day on a certain subject after a year means you are in the top 5% of the world educated on that subject. Simply because there is no better way to take in information than our eyes and ears, this method of Learning has been championed. Seminars bring in, hopefully, the third type of learning so we will move on to pathway #2.

#2 Learning by Doing (Street Smarts).

If you’ve ever started a new job you understand this process. Our minds function in such a way that after a time of learning by study, we have a pressure to apply what we learned. Try listening to an audio of a leader talking about the benefits of a good attitude and then you’ll be able to, as Cassie Birtles says “Catch a grump off guard with kindness.” This is a FUN way of learning too! It feels good to put into practice the values that one has in their heart. There comes a time when book learning reaches a tip-over point and that knowledge has to be put into practice.

As a valuable aside here, putting a new discipline or concept into practice means that you will fail. Yes. I said it, you will fail. And this is good! the opposite of success is not failure, the opposite of success is quitting. Failure offers an invaluable opportunity for learning.

If you want to succeed, double your failure rate.  -Thomas J. Watson

If you still don’t believe me on this one, think on this quote by Wayne Gretzky:

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

At my current job in a restaurant, we mention certain promotions to each customer. I’ve found that only be doubling my failure rate (by talking to more customers) can I get a higher rate of results.

#3 Learning from a Mentor

There is a lot I could say about learning from a mentor, but Jeff Olson goes into this topic pretty heavily in The Slight Edge and is very concise.

Take a look at who your heroes are- write down a list and examine it. Ask yourself, “Can I become like them? Are these people doing the kinds of things that I aspire to do and living the kinds of lives that I aspire to live? Can they really help me become who I want to become? pg 151 in The Slight Edge

You are who you associate with most. Be very aware of the philosophy, values, income, and accomplishments of those that you hang out with the most.

You can read more about The Friends Effect on Clarity.fm

Success has a lot to do with the learning that takes place before the action actually happens.

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. -Abe Lincoln

The Three types of Learning are all necessary to become what you aspire to accomplish. Book smarts and Street smarts are great, but they are catalyzed and accelerated by finding mentors and friends that spur you on.

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A Sincere Smile

They're Free

I’ve been reading the classic book, How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie recently. The second way to make other people like you according to this book is to simply smile. Out of the six ways to make others like you, this is the easiest one to start with. You don’t need any special training, you don’t even need any background or experience.

Now think for a few seconds about a smile. The Merriam-Webster Dicionary defines a smile as:

to show or express (something, such as approval, encouragement, etc.) by a smile

 

The thing about smiling is that it’s universal. The enthusiasm that is generated by a sincere smile is contagious. When you know someone who is constantly smiling, you have a hard time being down about seeing that person.

Imagine coming home after a long day. You’re tired, you’re a little sore, the sky is overcast, and you slip a little bit on the front porch giving you that mini heart attack thinking you’re going to fall. Feeling down yet? You think about going inside and all the things you still have to finish up today, and that the house will probably be cold, and that you have to deal with the rest of the family too… You open the door and step inside. And one thing changes, you see a big yellow lab come barreling around the corner, tail wagging, tongue lolling, that doggy smile on her face. Suddenly your day doesn’t seem so overwhelming anymore.

That’s why a loyal dog is so appealing! They are genuinely excited to see you, and you can just imagine the smile that would light up their face if they had all our human characteristics.

the-dog-from-up

 

Do you understand now why Proverbs 17:22 says

“A joyful heart is good medicine”

So head on out today and give good medicine.

I’d like to leave you with a quick philosophy of a Smile from the book: How to Win Friends and Influence People

The Value of a Smile at Christmas

It costs nothing, but creates much.
It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give.
It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.
None are so rich they can get a long without it, and none are so poor but are richer for its benefits.
It creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in a business, and is the countersign of friends.
It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and Nature’s best antidote for trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anybody till it is given away.
And if in the last-minute rush of Christmas buying some of our salespeople should be too tired to give you a smile, may we ask you to leave one of yours?
For nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give!

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