Another key habit of thinking and acting practiced by top people is growth orientation. It is the high road to excellent performance and essential to developing the habit of optimism. This method of thinking and living is the foundation of excellence orientation and is essential for you to develop if you want to move into the top 10% of your field.
3 Steps onto the Fast Track
There are three parts of the continuous learning process. By practicing these activities daily, weekly and monthly, you will increase your productivity, performance and output by 1/10th of 1% per day compounded. You will eventually become one of the highest paid and most successful people in your field.
1. Read each day
Arise each morning and read 30-60 minutes in your field. Underline and take notes. Think of how you can apply what you are learning to your day-to-day work. Throughout the day, think of how you can use what you read to be more effective. At the end of each day, review the day based on your new knowledge and skills and evaluate your results and progress. This is called the “Hawthorne effect.”
When you read in your field for 30-60 minutes each day and think throughout the day how you could apply what you have learned, you will tend to become better and better at what you do, both consciously and unconsciously. The improved results you get will accumulate and compound over time. You will become better and better at what you do almost without being aware of it.
If you read 30-60 minutes each day, you should complete about one book per week. The average American reads less than one book per year. If you read one book per week, you should finish at least 50 books each year. If you continued reading at this level, 50 books per year, you would read 500 books in the next 10 years. If you were to read 500 books in your field, in a world where the average person reads less than one book per year, do you think you might gain an edge?
The fact is, you would become one of the best-read, most knowledgeable, most expert, and highest paid practitioners in your field if you were to simply develop the habit of reading in your field each morning for 30-60 minutes. The author mentioned that he has never met anyone, who has not transformed their lives and careers by the habit of daily reading.
2. Learn from the experts
The second habit you need for continuous learning is the habit of attending every seminar and course you possibly can. Do not make the mistake of waiting for courses and seminars to come to you or waiting for your company to organize and pay for additional training. You are completely responsible for your own life, which includes your own personal and professional development. No one cares as much about your future and your career as you do.
Make it a habit to seek out and attend at least four seminar programs per year in your field. Eagerly seek out and sit in on the most important talks and lectures at each of these workshops or annual meetings. Sometimes, one good idea from an expert in your field can transform your entire career.
3. Attend University on Wheels
The third habit you need for continuous learning is the habit of listening to audio programs in your car and as you walk or exercise. If you are continually learning and upgrading your skills, somewhere, someone else is. And when you meet that person, you will lose.
An average person who develops the habit of lifelong learning will eventually run circles around a genius who goes home and watches television each night. There is perhaps no habit that will guarantee your success in life than the habit of continuous personal and professional improvement. You will become more positive and optimistic. You will have more energy, be more creative and be a happier person as you continue to grow and grow towards the realization of your full potential.