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Creative people have it tough in this world. Despite having the skills and potential to make a tremendous impact, the odds are stacked against us. Unlike our business minded counterparts, the path to the success is not clearly defined.
If you are reading this article, chances are you are what I call a genius type. You don’t have to be super-intelligent, super-creative, or super-talented to be one. Genius types simply want more out of life than most. They genuinely desire to find and develop their inner passion and make a living expressing it.
Entrepreneurs, musicians, film-makers, writers, producers, directors, artists, real estate investors, photographers, inventors, and stock pickers are a few good examples. The failure rate in all these professions is very high, because there is not a system of support in place to guide people on the path to success. An individual is on their own to develop the creative talent as well as the business skills required to make it.
Because the creative path is hard, most people separate their jobs from their genius. It is a whole lot easier to make money working for someone else, than it is to create your own income. Unfortunately, most jobs aren’t interested in your genius, creativity, or passion, because some creative person before you has already set up a system to make money and they just want you to carry it out.
I paid my way through college with my own businesses. Upon graduation, I had a choice to either continue on the difficult entrepreneurial path I started or accept a well paying job in management. Unfortunately, I chose the most socially acceptable path and started a short career in corporate America.
The “Artist’s Dilemma:” In the short-run, the truer you are to your own genius, the less it pays.
A person who wants to follow his own creativity and passion, but isn’t independently wealthy faces an uphill battle. The creative path seems long, cold, and hard. On the other hand, the logical path of getting a “real job” seems warm, cozy, and acceptable.
For example, consider a painter who really gets excited about post-modern, abstract art that few people understand. He would have a hard time making a living in the short-run just by painting his masterpieces. On the opposite end of the spectrum, an advertising company would be happy to employ his visual skills to design their ad layouts, but someone else would be coming up with the content. He might decide to go half-way and design custom prints, sacrificing a little money and a little creative control.
Or, consider a person who gets excited talking about her idea for a new bakery. Opening her own bakery means that not only will she have to wait months or years before she turns a profit, but it will cost her a tremendous amount of money to get it started. It is a lot easier to hire her skills out to an existing bakery.
In the long run, a successful painter or business owner have the potential to make much more than their traditionally employed counterparts. Following your genius is extremely tough in the short run, but exponentially more lucrative in the long run.
I lasted less than a year in management. After, I took a job with an airline which allowed me a little more freedom to be myself. I was happier, but I still lacked focus and was slowly building a wall of debt. I spent the next seven years traveling around the world, learning about life, and trying to find my passion.
In my search for happiness, I read the books of successful people before me. I started to learn their secrets. I began to recognize my strengths and weaknesses as a creative person. I learned to take these three steps toward my goals:
1) Maximize Focus
2) Minimize Resistance
3) Maximize Persistence
Creative people by nature are multi-talented. They tend to be good at a lot of different things and if they are motivated they will take on many different roles. The problem with juggling a variety of different skills is that their focus becomes diluted.
If you concentrate your energy on one specific skill, or area of your life, you begin to tap into the immense power of focus. Focusing on something over a period of time produces asynergistic effect, especially if it is something you are passionate about. This means that by focusing on one thing instead of several, your rewards from the one will far outweigh the sum of the rewards from the several.
There is something extra that happens above and beyond a person’s normal capabilities when all of her energy is focused on one skill. We can see the fruits of this when we hear the music of the greats, or see the paintings of the masters. Focusing allows your brain to resonate with the subject matter, build upon what it has learned, and discover creative new ways to tap into your genius.
Just think of all the things the brain has to do before it can become good at something. It has to learn the terminology, get used to the activities, learn what works and what doesn’t work, figure out who to talk to, and memorize all of the technical details of the skill. All of this is simply groundwork before the real synergy and creativity can happen. Interrupting or watering it down disrupts the building process. If too much time goes by, things have to be re-learned and the whole process slows down.
In a way the brain is a lot like a muscle. When a person decides to work out, but only two or three times a week, he doesn’t experience much progress. Even at three or four times per week, the muscles have too much time to heal and then go back to the way they were. But, something seems to start happening at five and six times per week. The muscles seem to “get it” and start developing rapidly. Significant progress is finally made.
A creative person’s energy might be spent on her job, her art, her softball team, her paper route, and her model airplane hobby. To narrow her focus, she might choose to work on just her job, picking up extra hours until she has paid off enough debt to shift the focus on her art. Once she is able to focus on her art, she will soon see the effects of synergy. She might experience bursts of creativity and leaps in the mastery of her skill. This type of exponential growth in her art would not have been possible if her attention was being split between her art and her job.
It may seem counter-intuitive to move away from her art, but think about it this way: Is it better to take a year off, giving herself the rest of her life to perfect her art using synergy, or continue the rest of her life only giving half of her attention to her art and never experiencing leaps in her skill or success level.
An entrepreneur who hopes to develop several different sources of online income might choose to focus on one source at a time until that source has synergized and basically runs itself. Mostentrepreneurial projects require a significant amount of learning and mastering of a certain skill before profits are made. If he is spreading his focus between several different projects, he is not allowing himself to benefit from synergy. He focuses on one project at a time, until that project becomes second nature, and he can shift his focus to the next.
At one time or another I have been known as an artist, a musician, a graphic designer, a web-designer, an athlete, a manager, an entrepreneur, a writer, a poet, a film-maker, or a philosopher. I never knew that I had a problem with focus until I realized that I was what some call aa “jack of all trades but a master of none.” I didn’t start making significant progress until I started to focus.
Most people have unknowingly created so much resistance in their lives that following their passion is almost out of the question. The most common form of resistance people experience is debt, but resistance can also come in the form of emotional baggage, social pressure, or lack of confidence. You have to use the power of focus to get rid of these obstacles to your goal before you can start to move toward it.
Creative people tend to rely more on their emotions when making decisions. This is great for creating art or a new marketing plan but sometimes also translates into making decisions without thinking about the long-term effects. One such decision might be buying something on credit without any real plan to pay for it.
Debt applies resistance to your time-freedom. The more debt you have, the less control you have over your time, and the less you can focus on your passion. Avoiding debt is extremely difficult, but much easier than getting out of it.
To avoid debt is to master the value of delayed gratification. Valuing delayed gratification means you are willing to live below your means to give your genius a chance to develop. Knowing the “artist’s dilemma,” you might choose to be true to your inner genius and work for peanuts. In order to do this, you must scale back your lifestyle to the bare minimum.
Scaling back your lifestyle is hard. Your friends won’t understand, and people will look at you differently. You may not get the same respect you did when you were driving a brand new car. But, you are setting yourself up for long-term success. By focusing on your talent, your chances for success will be much higher.
While debt increases resistance to time freedom, online income decreases it. The more online income you have, the more you can focus on your passion. I firmly believe that the best way for a person to live their passion is to eliminate debt, build online income, and set up a situation where they are free to pursue their genius no matter what they are getting paid for it. Reducing the resistance to your time freedom as well as looking at the social and psychological resistance you have in your life can greatly increase your chances for success.
After I was focused on reducing my debt, it took three years to rid myself of it. If I would have understood the value of delayed gratification three years before, I could have saved those years of my life. I’m just glad I wised up when I did. If I still didn’t understand delayed gratification today, I might not ever be able to claim my life back. I realize that life is a journey, and I don’t have any regrets. I only tell this story to illustrate the power of reducing or avoiding resistance.
Creative people have a natural talent for coming up with great ideas. The problem is that they tend to have a short attention span and will move on to their next reat idea as soon as their first one has lost its luster. By doing this, they lose the power of exponential growth.
It’s hard to believe, but persistence is a better indicator of success than talent. A person’s talent means nothing if he gives up at the first sign of resistance. This is bad news for unfocused creative types, but great news for those who believe in self-determinism.
A rocket expends the majority of its energy just trying to break free from the initial pull of the earth’s gravity. Once it has made it beyond a certain level, the rest of the way is almost effortless. Humans experience the same gravity on the way to their goals. In the beginning, it is extremely difficult to achieve the first dose of success, but once a little success is achieved, it gets easier and easier.
Most people quit just before it starts to get easy. They get into a cycle of starting over and over and never experiencing the taste of success.
Be persistent. Keep working through the hard part until you begin to get the hang of it. Then work some more until it starts to become easy.
I am still on my journey to success, like most of you. I appreciate the chance to tell my story and I hope that you can take something from it. I sincerely believe that anyone can succeed if they find their inner genius and learn how to use it.
Mastery is not some vaulted, lofty place that only the elite few ever land. The pursuit of any aim, goal or dream – personal, professional, spiritual, in any area – is a slight edge journey of continuous improvement, learning and refinement. But mastery is not an exalted state that lies at the end of the path; it is a state of mind that lies at the very beginning. Mastery is the act of setting your foot on the path.
There were four people: Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. An important job had to be done. Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.
Fear has tied me up in knots. And I’m not alone. So many of us watch the talk shows about gloom and imminent doom, and we read all the minutiae of the latest banking and failures. But how did we ever stop buying into thinking that cycles stop cycling? Natures supplies have always varied from season to season. Lean years were always a part of the deal. It’s all much bigger than me, my family, and my employer. The safety i’m longing to find is not in a house, or a job. And it’s certainly not in the numbers wall street grinds out 24/7.
Rather than fear the next catastrophic economic event, find someplace away from it all: a walk on the beach, a spot in the park, a waterfall. These places remind you that life will continue, with or without your anxiety and worries.
Connect with your breath. Feel how all can be well for a moment. Take that moment and add one more and one again. Pretty soon, you’ve strung together a few easy moments. All is well, and you notice your mind is trying to seduce you back into the game to go faster, to try harder, to reach and grasp. When you see it, observe your mind as if it were someone else’s. Notice how crazy that persons thoughts begin to seem. From this place, perhaps, you can see new possibilities emerge once again. Now you can start to turn the fear of failure into a plan of action. Separate your needs from your wants, and focus on the essentials. Find the joy in disciplining your thoughts and desires. Maybe this is your time to be tested at last, the time to shine your very own incredibly bright light, the time to get off the couch and get yourself going. Experience the pride of being different and successful when all others are behaving like lemmings. The word discipline comes from the word disciple. Are you ready to be a disciple of your own purpose? The great philosopher Nietzsche said “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” Deep down you know you will make it, and you’ll emerge that much stronger.
Facebook friends, colleagues and friends of friends – I know this is a tough time for everyone, and the holidays are near, so here is my one Christmas wish: I Wish to get to LA. Due to a series of unfortunate events I’m having to move to LA and am VERY low on funds. I am taking a leap of faith and hoping I can rely on the generosity of my friends and their friends to help fund my trip down to LA. This is time sensitive, and THIS IS NOT A SCAM OR A JOKE. Please if you go to the link provided you can deposit any amount from $1 to $1,000,000 straight to my moving fund in PayPal by using my email address email@example.com. Please help in any way you can. I will be sure to post the details as they come in. My sincerest thanks for all your help!
They work on projects that pay dividends for 25+ years, not just a single paycheck. (Focus only on projects that result in collecting income for long periods of time after the work is completed).Redeploy the revenues into new ventures, acquisitions or investments such as stocks, bonds, or real estate.
They diversify income sources as well as assets: The riskiest place you can be is depending on an employer for a paycheck.
The capitalist class prefers passive income* over active income. The more money you earn from passive income sources, the more time you have to find new opportunities, study new ventures, acquire more knowledge and skills, find great employees, and spend time with family.
*Two categories of Passive income are: 1. Passive income sources that require capital to start, maintain and grow. 2. Passive income sources that do not require capital to start, maintain and grow. Some examples are:
- Rent from real estate properties
- Patent royalties from an invention
- Trademark licensing fees for characters or brands you have created
- Royalties from books, songs, publications r other original works
- Profits from businesses in which you owe no day-to-day role or responsibility
- Earnings from internet advertising on a blog or website you own
- Dividends from stocks, equity mutual funds, or other equity securities
- Interest from owning bonds, certificates of deposit, other cash and cash equilivents
- Residual income for a slaes person from accounts that are typically renewed automatically
The capitalist class understands tha nature of money – Money can grow with the power of compounding. The longer the capital can be left to grow, the larger the ultimate fortune will be. Also rate of return is extremely important.
The capitalsit class makes it’s own luck. The capitalist class is constantly working, studying and creating opportunities. They are constantly researching investments, building shopping centers, finding investors, launching new products, or going after big clients every single day. When only one of these activities pays off big, it’s enough to be set for life.
The capitalist class doesn’t care what the market does.
The capitalist class understands taxes. A basic understanding of tax regulations can make building wealth much easier.
The capitalost class thinks of business as a game. This approach to business, and life, makes it easier to take risks. It removes a lot fo the fear because you know that if you lose money (which of course we avoid at all costs), you’re only one idea away from rebuilding the asset.
The capitalist class realizes money is a tangible commodity. When raising money to start or open a business, members of the capitalist class don’t care where the money comes from, only the terms and cost of the funds. The capitalist class doesn’t compartmentalize money like the middle class. They see every dollar as a dollar and put it towards it’s greatest use.
- Change the way youthink about money – Make it work for you
- Develop and understanding of the power of small amounts
- With each dollar you save you are buying yourself freedom
- You are responsible for where you are in life
- Instead of buying the product, buy the STOCK
- Study and admire success and those who have it, then emulate it.
- Realize that more money is not the answer. Money is a magnifying glass; it will accellerate and bring to light your true habits
- Unless your parents were wealthy, don’t do what they did.
Once you have made the choice and firm commitment to take control back of your life by building up your net worth, don’t give a second thought to the “what ifs”. Every moment that goes by you are growing closer and closer to your ultimate goal – control and freedom. Every dollar that passes through your hands is a seed to your financial future. Rest assured, if you are dilligent and responsible, financial prosperity is inevitable.
- Stop spending time with the wrong people
- Stop running from your problems
- Stop lying to yourself. Read “The road less traveled”
- Stop putting your own needs on the back burner
- Stop trying to be someone you’re not
- Stop trying to hold onto the past
- Stop being scared to make a mistake
- Stop berating yourself for old mistakes
- Stop trying to buy happiness
- Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness
- Stop being idle
- Stop thinking you’re not ready
- Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons
- Stop rejecting relationships because old ones didn’t work
- Stop trying to compete with everyone else
- Stop being jealous of others
- Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself
- Stop holding grudges
- Stop letting others bring you down to their level
- Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others
- Stop doing the same thing over and over without taking a break
- Stop Trying to make things perfect
- Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments
- Stop following the path of least resistance
- Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t
- Stop blaming others for your troubles
- Stop trying to be everything to everyone
- Stop worrying so much
- Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen
- Stop being ungrateful
- Exercise daily
- Get serious about gratitude
- See you work as a craft
- Expect the best and prepare for the worst
- Keep a journal
- Read the “Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin”
- Plan a schedule for your week
- Know the 5 highest priorities of your life
- Say no to distractions
- Drink a lot of water
- Improve your work every single day
- Get a mentor
- Hire a coach
- Get up at 5am every day (yeah right)
- Eat less food
- Find more heroes
- Be a hero to someone
- Smile at strangers
- Be the most ethical person you know
- Don’t settle for anything less than excellence
- Savor lifes simple pleasures
- Save 10% of your income every month (or more if you can)
- Spend time at art galleries
- Walk in the woods
- Write thank you letters to those who’ve helped you out
- Forgive those who’ve wronged you
- Remember that leadership is about influence and impact, not title and accolades
- Create unforgettable moments with those you love
- Have 5 great friends
- Become stunningly polite
- Unplug your TV
- Read daily
- Sell your TV
- Avoid the news
- Be content with what you have
- Pursue your dreams
- Be authentic
- Be passionate
- Say sorry when you know you should
- Never miss a moment to celebrate another
- Have a vision for your life
- Know your strengths
- Focus your mind on the good versus lack
- Be patient
- Don’t give up
- Clean up your messes
- Use impeccable words
- Travel more
- Read “As you think”
- Honor your parents
- Tip taxi drivers/bartenders well
- Be a great teammate
- Give no energy to critics
- Spend time in the mountains
- Know your top 5 values
- Shift from being busy to acheiving results
- Innovate and iterate
- Speak less. Listen more
- Be the best person you know
- Make you life matter. Live on purpose
I need to preface this by saying this is a re-post from an article I read written by Rahul Bhambhani from take-20.com. I read it and it instantly caught my attention. I hope some of you can apply this to your lives.
My greatest talent is my ability to quickly conquer challenges, no matter how difficult they may be, and obtain the results I desire while doing so every time.
I’ve used this formula to ace countless exams while in college, become an expert in the field of women and dating, become a solid poker player in a short amount of time, and advance leaps and bounds in my spiritual development.
No matter the specifics of your particular challenge (acquiring a new skill, squeezing out an incredible performance in a short amount of time, gaining control over a chaotic area of your life, etc.) apply this formula and I’m confident you’ll achieve the results you desire every single time.
Without further ado, here’s the formula.
1. Cultivate a Burning Desire for Success
This is the first and most important step of the formula. Without a burning desire for success, you won’t have the fuel necessary to stick to your guns when the going gets tough, and will give up way too easily. You won’t want it bad enough.
With a burning desire for success, however, your drive will become even stronger when facing potential obstacles. Rather than stopping you, these obstacles will serve as additional fuel for your burning desire once you’ve overcome them. There’s no better way to boost your self-confidence than to prevail in spite of all the obstacles that stand in your way.
I absolutely love to cultivate a burning desire for success by deliberately putting myself in tremendously tough situations. When I was still in college, I would purposely never go to class, and would wait until a few days before an exam to start studying for it. I thrive under pressure, and there’s nothing I love more than facing a seemingly impossible challenge. I knew that by intentionally putting myself in the tough situation described above, I would cultivate the burning desire for success necessary to ace any exam thrown my way.
Over the past few years, channeling my frustration has been another great method I’ve used to stoke my burning desire for success. Three years ago, I was extremely frustrated with my dating situation. I felt like I had no control over my dating life, and had no selection when it came to women. If I was lucky, a girl may have looked my way once or twice. I hated that I had to rely on chance to land the girl of my dreams.
As this frustration built up, I became more and more motivated to change my bleak dating situation. Finally my frustration reached its flash point, and a raging wildfire suddenly ignited within. I decided I was going to become a master with women and dating, and nothing was going to stop me.
While these two methods of cultivating my burning desire for success have worked for me, they may not work for you. Different methods work for different people, and the key is to identify the method that works best for you.
Ask yourself, what does it take for you to really start wanting something? Look to your past and identify those times when you wanted something really bad, and figure out how this desire started in the first place.
Did you want to prove to yourself that you were capable of achieving something great?
Did you want to prove to others that you were capable of doing something incredible?
Were you highly unsatisfied with the quality of an area of your life?
Did having your back against the wall in a pressure situation motivate you?
2. Decide You’ll Do Whatever it Takes to Get the Results You Desire
By deciding to do whatever it takes to obtain the results you desire, you’re almost guaranteeing your success before you even get started. Understand you can only fail when you throw in the towel, and that whatever obstacles you experience along your path to success will yield to stern resolve. Therefore, failure is not an option.
I’ll admit, it’s challenging to adopt this mindset under normal circumstances. But these are not normal circumstances, my friend. Your burning desire for success will be RAGING so uncontrollably that you’ll have no problem believing that your success is inevitable.
Here’s an awesome quote to illustrate the mindset you need to have:
“Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.”
– Leonardo Da Vinci
I’m pretty sure we can agree that Da Vinci was a wise man. You’d be just as wise to acknowledge that no matter how challenging the path to success may seem, your unshakable commitment to success will always triumph any challenge thrown your wayno matter what.
3. Apply Overwhelming Force
Don’t just skim the top of the water with your feet. Dive in head first! Tackle this challenge with your full arsenal of weaponry. Attack it from every angle, and don’t ease off the trigger until it’s been completely annihilated.
When I finally decided I was going to earn a living as a professional poker player, I knew that to succeed I would have to learn how to play the incredibly complex game optimally. I also knew that easing into things wasn’t going to help me conquer this challenge, and that I’d have to hit the ground running right away if I was to have any shot at success.
I immediately applied overwhelming force to my learning efforts.
I started reading poker strategy forums tirelessly, tore through tons of books insatiably, played in nearly a thousand online tournaments, studied and analyzed my hand histories endlessly, discussed tough hands with friends that were better than me into the wee hours of the night, and subscribed to a coaching website and watched hundreds of hours of strategy videos created by top professional poker players.
Can you say overkill?
I estimate I spent 10-12 hours a day, 5 days a week for 2 months learning the game. I ate, slept, and breathed poker. As crazy as this regimen might sound, at the end of the 2 month period I had learned the ins and outs of the game more thoroughly than most people would over the course of 2 years. By applying overwhelming force, I significantly shortened my learning curve, and became a strong poker player in a ridiculously short amount of time. The crazy regimen was well worth the reward.
Don’t dawdle around and spend years conquering a challenge. Your burning desire will most likely fizzle out over such an extended period of time. Instead, decide to apply overwhelming force to the rest of the steps listed below, and conquer that challenge as soon as possible!
4. Learn from the Experts
Actively seek out knowledge from experts who have already conquered your challenge. By doing so, your learning curve will shorten significantly, and you’ll absorb the best knowledge simultaneously.
I can’t stress to you enough how important this step is. Every single time I’ve conquered a challenge, a major factor in my success was the knowledge I acquired from experts.
When learning about women and dating, I got hold of all of David DeAngelo’s “Double Your Dating” programs, and gobbled up his knowledge on the subject. I then studied the Mystery Method, and completed Zan Perrion’s Enlightened Seduction program.
While pursuing my spiritual growth, I’ve read many books written by different masters explaining various spiritual pathways. I’ve attended a Vipassana Meditation course. I’ve corresponded regularly with a highly evolved spiritual mentor for over a year.
Whenever I was faced with a challenging exam on a subject I knew little about, I always studied with a friend who already had a great understanding of the material. I didn’t waste my time in study groups with people who only had a cursory understanding of the material at hand. Instead, I aligned myself with the brightest students in the class (the experts), and quickly mastered the material by picking their brain.
Who are the experts that have already conquered the challenge you’re facing now? Buy their books, attend their seminars, follow their instruction, and absorb as much of their knowledge as you possibly can. This will clear your pathway to success.
5. Seek a Thorough Theoretical Understanding
Any challenge you face will have a theoretical component, as well as an application component. Theory is the studying part, while application requires you to put what you’ve learned to the test in the real world. Most people tend to neglect theory, and focus their efforts solely on the application component of the challenge instead. These people think theory and studying are worthless, and that real results are only obtained through constant practice and application.
At face value their belief seems to make sense, but in reality it’s only partially accurate. When you examine it a bit closer you’ll come to realize these people are doing themselves a HUGE disservice by choosing to conquer their challenges with this mindset.
An advanced theoretical understanding will lay the foundation necessary to interpret the valuable lessons you’ll learn while tackling the application component of your challenge. Without the theoretical understanding in place, you won’t be able to extract the valuable lessons yielded by your real world application.
Also, a solid theoretical understanding will enrich the overall experience of conquering your challenge because you’ll understand exactly why you’re getting certain results. By understanding the mechanics at work behind the scenes, you’ll have a much deeper experience than someone else who chooses to neglect the theoretical component of the challenge.
During the Vipassana Meditation course I attended in July, there was an extensive theoretical component, as well as an application component of the practice. Every evening there was a discourse that provided all of the theoretical information we students would need to understand what we were learning.
While most students blew off this aspect of the course and only paid attention to the application component of the meditation, I made it a point to thoroughly understand all of the information the teacher was giving us. I used the time allocated for teacher interviews to ask my teacher as many questions as possible to clear up any confusion I had. As a result I was able to reach a deeper stage of meditation than any of the other new students at the course, and the experience was that much more powerful for me.
6. Apply Your Understanding
While theoretical understanding is crucial to your success in any endeavor, it’s only 50% of the equation. The other 50% of the equation is the application of your theoretical understanding.
Reading books and absorbing the wisdom of experts will only get you so far. At some point you’ll have to apply what you’ve learned, and what you’ll usually find is that while understanding is one thing, application is an entirely different animal.
You may have the best theoretical understanding of a subject in the world, but as soon as you try to apply what you’ve learned you’ll crash and burn just like everybody else. Don’t get discouraged! This is a natural part of the learning process, and has to happen. Invite and appreciate failure because it’s your greatest ally on your pathway to success. Success can only be reached after you’ve failed many, many times.
After crashing and burning a few times, you’ll soon find that your thorough theoretical understanding gives you a distinct advantage in the learning process. You’ll learn from your mistakes much faster, because you’ll understand why they’re happening, and will be able to solve the problems causing them at their roots.
When learning how to play poker, I mistakenly believed that by reading tons of books and watching a lot of strategy videos I would get better in no time without any practice. I figured I would be an expert as soon as I hit the virtual felt because of my conceptual understanding of the game.
Boy was I wrong.
Only once I had played in hundreds of tournaments, made thousands of mistakes, and reviewed countless hand histories did I notice a significant improvement in my poker game. I realized that if I was to succeed in conquering the challenge of earning a living playing poker, I was going to have to spend time studying AND practicing.
Balance your theoretical understanding by applying what you’ve learned, and you’ll find that the learning process is much more efficient than it once was when you lacked this balance.
7. Teach Others What You Have Learned
This is the icing on the cake, the final step in the process of conquering any challenge you choose to face.
Teaching others what you’ve learned is the best way to solidify your understanding of what you’ve learned. Find people who are interested in conquering the same challenge you’re interested in, but who don’t yet have the theoretical understanding necessary to do so. You’ll find that in order to teach these people what you’ve learned you’ll need a much higher level of understanding.
The reason for this is because your “students” will ask you many questions you hadn’t considered while learning the material. Their questions will come from all sorts of angles, and your understanding will really be tested. You probably won’t be able to answer all of their questions, and that’s okay! This process is awesome because it’ll expose concepts you previously overlooked, and will give you a chance to further deepen your understanding of these concepts.
When they ask you questions you already know the answer to, that’s great too! This will drill concepts that you already know further into your head, and your understanding of these concepts will become even better than it was before.
After you’ve spent enough time teaching others what you’ve learned, you’ll find that your level of understanding has skyrocketed to previously unknown levels. Also, the application portion of your challenge will be significantly easier because your excellent theoretical understanding will serve as application’s rock-solid foundation.