Personal development to many people is all about “motivation”.
It’s true motivation, which feeds action, is a huge part of the success equation. However, the tired old “motivational speaker” cliché has run its course.
Real personal development begins with education, not motivation. If you take an idiot and you motivate him, all you have is a motivated idiot!
Education, especially self-education, is absolutely key to making progress, achieving success and reaching your most daring goals.
It’s sad when people end their education after they leave school. They have effectively put a lid on their potential. With the accelerating pace of change, Jim Rohn’s classic quote has never been more true; “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”.
Formal education trains you for a specific vocation, which is important, however, you can go through years of formal education in the form of school, college etc. without ever learning even the basics needed to achieve a measure of business success.
A chiropractor can spend years in formal education learning how to whack and crack bad backs but is never taught the basics of how to use marketing to get new customers or how to systemize a business so that he is able to leverage his time and expand.
This is the first reason why self-education is so valuable – it helps you fill in the gaps in your knowledge so that you are not caught off guard.
THE ANSWERS HAVE CHANGED
The rapid rate of change is the other reason why self-education is so important. Many businesses suffer because they fail to anticipate changes in their industry. In other words, the way they currently do things is now out of date and they have not kept up with the latest trends, techniques or market forces.
It is said that Albert Einstein was once giving an exam paper to a class. It turned out that it was the exact same exam he had given them the previous year. His teaching assistant, alarmed at what he saw and thinking it to be the result of the professor’s absent-mindedness, alerted Einstein.
“Excuse me, sir,” said the shy assistant, not quite sure how to tell the great man about his blunder.
“Yes?” said Einstein.
“Um, eh, it’s about the test you just handed out.”
Einstein waited patiently.
“I’m not sure if you realize it, but this is the same test you gave out last year. In fact, it’s identical.”
Einstein paused to think for a moment, then said, “Yes, it is the same test but the answers have changed.”.
Just as the answers in physics change as new discoveries are made, so too do the answers in your business and in your industry.
If you are still doing things in your business the same way you were doing them years ago, it’s likely your business is, or will soon be, going backwards. It is vital to be constantly improving your skills and understanding the new ways to run and market your business.
WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW CAN HURT YOU
Ever heard that silly phrase “what you don’t know won’t hurt you”? Let’s correct it! The book you didn’t read could cost you a fortune. The seminar you didn’t attend could cost you your business. The advice you didn’t seek could cost you a relationship. Don’t be fooled; what you don’t know CAN hurt you.
Nothing will bring success easier and faster than continual self-education and the application of it in the form of action.
The most successful people I know are all life-long students and implementers. Self-education and action are an unbeatable formula for success.