Learn by Design Rather than by Default

28 02 2009

Never read a book again?

I remember when I graduated High School my friends and I sat around the keg and decided we would never read a book again.

Fast forward twenty years or so. I woke up one morning to the realization that I was no farther ahead in life than the day I got out of school. All of my education up to that point was by default, by hard knocks and the consequences of stupidity. My refusal to learn by picking up another book had created a broken philosophy within me that left me without much of a future or any hope for prosperity.

A friend of mine introduced me to a book that changed my paradigm. That book opened up the possibility of a whole new world, the potential for a new future. The book is Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Reading it started me on a journey that has radically shifted the direction of my life. Since reading it, I have been on a quest to learn and grow by design rather than by default. The new ideas and knowledge I discovered from reading Kiyosaki’s book were the beginning of my desire for personal development. I have since fallen in love with with the idea of helping others achieve the freedom in their lives that so many of us desperately crave.

Today I am off to the library to check out another book. As I was writing down the title of the book and the author’s name, the thought popped up, “I will never find the time to read this.” In approximately 5 seconds there were at least another dozen excuses for not reading it running through the movie screen of my mind – none of them in my best interest.

In order for me to win the war that is constantly being waged within myself, I must continually hold the picture of the prize in my mind. The end goal, the freedom we desire but aren’t willing to fight for is the prize. I fight a daily war between mediocre efforts and outstanding efforts. The effort that wins the daily battle is the one who wins in the end. But that topic is for another post.

I was told by a mentor of mine  that most CEO’s we hear about in the news, read an average of 4 books a month. This isn’t a habit these CEO’s picked up after becoming a big wig. On the contrary, reading a book a week is a habit that gave them the knowledge and skill to become successful. This is a habit that is practiced by the majority of people who have achieved any kind of big success. This same mentor also said that successful people have large librarys and people living payday to payday have large TV’s. I recieved that message loud and clear! That was a picture of me: no library and a big screen TV.

Today I do not live payday to payday. Today I strive to learn by design not by default. I don’t want an employer telling me when to show up, and when to leave. I don’t want him to tell me how much he is going to pay me or when I can eat my lunch. I want Freedom!

If you truly want  freedom, choose to learn by design and not by default. The last three businesses I have started came by way of my desire to learn a new skill. I went to the library as well as purchased the books necessary to learn that skill or trade.

After learning specialized knowledge comes application, however, I will save that for another post as well.

Today I have committed to be a life-long learner. Another mentor of mine, Vic Johnson, says, “those students that are willing to learn before the lesson have entered into the creative plane as opposed to the competitive.”

Never read a book again? I think not!

Follow the Trail

Follow the Trail

Others have done the hard part for us by blazing the trail to freedom. There are tomes of information available to us. If we follow the trail daily, we are learning by design rather than by default. Living and learning by design requires purposeful action. The trail that is your life will be less difficult and the reward will be freedom.

I look forward to your feedback!

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