I Read to Grow

I have set reading goals for 3 years now. The past two years, my goal was to read 12 books in a year. I did that two years ago. Last year I read 18 books. This year my goal is 24. I’m on my 8th currently.

I read about leadership, marketing, habits, biographies, and self-development. This is the book I just started last evening. I’ve read Dr. Helmstetter’s book What Do You Say When You Talk to Yourself. In fact, I’ve read and re-read it.

This new book is proving to be great as well.

“Your brain is changed by the thoughts you think. You can rewire your brain.”

I’m 59 years old. This thought brings me great hope! I can learn more. I can become more. You can, too!

I encourage you to live a life of learning. It’s not too late to start. For me, I learn most through reading. But there are seminars, continuing education, blogs, podcasts, mastermind groups…the list goes on. We have more resources available to us than ever before. Pick one and dig in.

You and I can become better. Go for it!

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A Life-Long Learner by Jim Johnson

This is an excerpt from my workbook, The Path to Promotion.  (previously titled “Right On”). This section is from the “be the right person” chapter…

Think about your current job responsibilities.  Have you mastered them?  Does the quality of your work reveal this?  Too often individuals believe they should be promoted but yet they have not mastered their current responsibilities.  How shallow and blind!

You need to develop a life of learning to prepare for future opportunities.  It begins with where you are today.  If there are areas of your job that you are not completely proficient in (proficient not perfection), then make it a priority to learn what you need to learn.

Proficiency brings so many benefits to you.  You will gain confidence.  A can-do attitude is hard to ignore and is “infectious”.  Job mastery demonstrates your competence.  You can control to some degree what others think of you.  Competency is always a favorable attribute.  And proficiency provides job security.  In today’s economy, you definitely want to be thought of as indispensable as possible.

A life of learning does not only take place on the job.  Are you learning outside of your daily shift?  One of the best ways to develop a life of learning is to read.  Your local public library is full of current magazines, journals and books that can aid in your personal development.  Read about current trends that affect your company, your department, and your daily duties.  You will be preparing yourself with useful knowledge for future projects and even for future interviews.

Area colleges and universities offer courses and degrees designed with the working professional in mind.  Degrees can be earned through in-class and online offerings.

Bottom line:  always learn.  Grow.  Develop yourself.

Being the right person means that you are committed to learning more               about yourself, your job, and your company.

Seek Clarity

In his new book, High Performance Habits, Brendon Burchard speaks about seeking clarity in Habit 1.  I shared this exercise with my Emerging Leader group yesterday.  I thought you might like to read this as well:

  1.  Describe (write it down) how you’ve perceived yourself in the following situations over the past several months – with your significant other, at work, with the kids or your team, in social situations with strangers.
  2. Now ask, “Is that who I really see myself being in the future?”  How would my future self look, feel, and behave differently in those situations? (note: think about how your future self would want to interact in ways that you would be proud of)
  3. If you could describe yourself in just 3 aspirational words – words that would sum up who you are at your best in the future – what would those words be?  Why are those words meaningful to you?  Once you find your words, put them in your phone as an alarm label that goes off several times per day.

I worked through this exercise myself.  I jotted down several things and finally landed on my 3 aspirational words.  I created a calendar event that displays these 3 words at 5:45 am, 1:00 pm and 9:00 pm every day.

Already, there are many times when I see those words and I am reminded to be my best and do my best to act out on these words.  It works.  What a great reminder.

Try it. In fact, order the book and start working your own high performance habits (link to the book is provided above). Begin working on becoming better.  You will not regret it.

high performance habit quote

Read, Leader!

Do you read regularly? Are you intimidated by a book? Do you take a book off the shelf at the bookstore and think “I should probably read this” but then think “I’m never going to make it through 200-300 pages”?

You’re never going to read an entire book in a sitting. So don’t set yourself up for failure – at least in your mind. Try this instead.

Read 10 pages a day. That’s it. Just 10 pages a day. If you were like most adults, you can read 10 pages in 10 to 15 minutes. Perhaps faster.

If you can do this, and I believe everybody has at least 10 – 15 minutes a day to do that, you will finish a 200 – 300 page book in a month or less.

So grab that business book you’ve been putting off reading. Head to the bookstore. Go to your library. Get a book that’s going to motivate, inspire, educate, and change you. Start reading. 10 pages a day. 10 to 15 minutes a day. 

You can do this. Read, Leader!

Book #3

As I shared earlier, one of my  goals this year is to read 12 books. I am actually on book #3 now. This book, Gritty, is co-written by a friend of mine, Ron Lewis. 

Take the time to find out more about these brothers and their passion the following link. Order the book. By their book and give it to a first year college student. They will thank you for it.

http://www.lewflu.com