Strategy 2. SEARCH FOR KNOWLEDGE
Chapter 5. The Road to Wisdom
Goals are like magnets.
They’ll attract the things that make them come true. ― Tony Robbins
One of the fundamental strategies
for living the good life is knowing
what information you need
to achieve your goals and how to get it.
One of the best things Mr. Shoaff did
for me in the early days was
to instill in me a sense of the value of learning.
He said, “If you want to be successful,
learn to be successful.
If you want to be happy,
learn to be happy.
If you want to make money,
learn how to get rich.
“Treating success as an option is one of the major reasons
why more people don’t create it for themselves,
and why most people don’t even get close
to living up to their full potential.” ― Grant Cardone
People achieve these things not by accident.
It is the result of learning first and practice second.”
Do you want to guess how many people consider wealth a subject?
Yes, very little.
Consider many men and women
who want to find wealth and happiness,
do you think they study those things carefully,
don’t you believe?
Why don’t they study carefully?
That is yet another point in the special classification
that I call “the mysteries of life”.
There is a verse in the Bible that says,
“Seek and you will find”.
So it’s a way to discover new knowledge to generate new ideas.
To be able to see something,
you must first search.
Need a big idea to change your life?
Rarely does that idea come out of nowhere.
But if you’re persistent in your search
for the knowledge you need,
the right ideas will come your way,
often when you least expect it.
Do what you have to do
until you can do what you want to do. ― Oprah Winfrey
Capture the treasure of knowledge
Here’s another background word you need to take care of:
Great ideas are fleeting and easy to forget,
but they can also make your life so worth living.
That’s why it’s really important
to learn to grasp these things.
First, learn to capture special moments.
Use the camera.
Take lots of photos.
Being able to capture events in less
than a second is a 20th century phenomenon.
And it’s also easy to take advantage of this phenomenon.
I will tell you a recent experience.
Every year for the past three years
I have been invited to give lectures in Taiwan.
At one of my most recent weekend seminars,
about a thousand people attended.
Now, if there are a thousand people in attendance,
how many cameras do you think
there will be in the conference room?
Yes – a thousand!
People bring cameras to capture moments,
I spent a large part of my time
there taking pictures with the attendees.
Have you ever seen pictures
from a few generations ago?
very few such photographs are still circulating.
Wouldn’t it be great
if we had enough photos to tell the
whole story of what was real life a hundred years ago?
So don’t be impatient.
Make sure you’ve got your whole story covered
with a treasure trove of photos and videos.
There is another way to capture knowledge into your personal library.
I’m not talking about the books your interior designers bought.
I mean books that are worn and heavily marked
– the ones you choose to study and focus on;
books for which you have notes in the margins;
books that help shape your philosophy about the values of life.
It is truly a treasure worth holding on to!
Today, with the concept of communication expanded,
I also include in this treasure all the modern media that are shaping
and making our lives better.
It is also a special legacy for our children and grandchildren.
In the end, you will need to grasp all the knowledge
that you gain as you live your life.
That’s why I encourage you,
a serious practitioner of prosperity and happiness,
to use a workbook
or diary as a place to collect all the ideas that come to you.
What will gradually emerge is an incredibly valuable treasure
– business ideas,
Can you imagine the value in those?
Surely this kind of treasure is a much more valuable heirloom
than your antique watch!
How to become wise
There are two ways to gather wisdom.
One way is to learn from your own life.
The second way is to learn from the lives of others.
The distance between your dreams and reality is call action. ― Ben Francia
Consider your life experiences carefully.
Learn the skill of reflection,
which is to reflect on life events
with the intention of learning from them.
I call this process “rewinding the tape”.
Events in your life are some of the best resources for information.
So don’t just pass by your days
– gain from them.
Be aware of what’s going on around you
so you can create memory lanes
of it deep in your consciousness.
Make time and place for everything.
There is a time for action
and a time for reflection
but most of us don’t make time
for a single reflection serious yoke.
With busy schedules,
we often overlook this important part of the recipe for success.
At the end of each day,
take a few minutes to review
what happened during the day
– where you went,
what you did, the things you said.
Reflect on what did and didn’t work,
what you want to repeat,
and what you want to give up.
Try to remember events as vividly as possible.
You see, experience can become a commodity
or even a currency.
But it can only become
so if you take the time to document this experience,
reflect on it,
and translate it into something of value.
In the end,
it’s one’s actions in the face of what happens
—not the events themselves
—that determines what one’s life shows.
And to do positive things in our lives,
we must extract valuable information from it.
Another good time to reflect is at the end
of key periods like every week,
At the end of each week,
set aside a few hours.
At the end of each month, take a day.
And at the end of each year take a week…
and reflect on each
and every thing that has happened in your life.
Sophisticated people have learned how to accumulate the past
and invest in the future.
When my father turned seventy-six I said to him,
“Father, can you imagine
what would happen if you gathered the last seventy-five years
and invested in your seventy-sixth year?”
Have you ever thought about life this way?
That’s how life becomes ever more productive and exciting.
Don’t just live another year.
Instead, gather the years you’ve spent
and invest them in the next year.
Don’t just make another conversation.
Instead, gather all your past conversations
and invest them in the next one.
So start a new discipline.
Find out, by observing your life,
things and how things work in this world.
Never be told that you have lived a life
without knowing anything about it.
You may not be able to do this with all you find,
but make sure you find all that you can.
In the end, you don’t want to live life only
to find out that you only lived a tenth of it,
that you let the other nine out of ten go to waste.
As you study your life,
make sure you learn both the negatives
as well as the positives,
failures as well as successes.
So-called failures are also very useful
as they teach us valuable lessons.
Often, the lessons from failure are more valuable
than the lessons from success.
One of the ways to do something right is
to learn from the previous mistake.
Learning from mistakes is a valuable course in life.
Now, I would advise you not
to take this course for too long.
If you’ve been doing something the wrong way
for the past ten years,
I don’t recommend going on for another ten years.
But if you can learn quickly,
there’s nothing better,
no more emotionally effective than learning
from personal experiences.
When I met Mr. Shoaff I had been working for six years.
Right after we met,
he asked me,
“Jim, how long have you been working so far?”
I answered him.
“How’s it going?” he added.
“Not quite as well,” I replied,
a little annoyed at having to admit this.
“Then I advise you not to continue doing that,”
he said. “Six years is long enough to run a plan wrong.”
Then he asked,
“How much money have you saved in the last six years?”
“Nothing,” I admitted shyly.
Raising an eyebrow, he said, ”
Who sold you that plan?”
What a wonderful question.
Where did I get this ruinous plan?
Whose plans did you trust?
Now, I must tell you that it can be painful at first
to confront your own past experiences.
This is especially true if you’ve made many of the same mistakes I made.
But think about what you get!
Think about the progress you can make in the face of these mistakes!
Ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer
to where you want to be tomorrow. ― Paulo Coelho
Learn from others
Another way for you to gain knowledge is to imitate,
through the savings of others.
And you can learn from their successes
as well as their failures.
One of the reasons the Bible is such a good teacher is
that it is a collection of human stories of both failure and success.
A list of stories is called “examples”.
The message is:
Do what these people did.
The other category of stories is called “warnings”.
The message is:
Don’t do what these idiots did.
Where are the people who don’t have goals headed?
Those 97 per cent end up working for the three percent. — Shiv Khera
What useful information!
But perhaps there is even another message.
If your story was ever included in someone’s book
make sure it’s used as a model and not as a warning…
There are three ways that one person can learn from another:
– Through published works such as books,
cassettes or videotapes.
– Listen to the wise and foolish words of others.
– Observe the winners and losers.
Let’s discuss each of the above points:
Books and tapes
All the successful people
I’ve come in contact with are good readers.
They read, read and read.
It was their curiosity that prompted them to read.
They simply have to be knowledgeable.
They are constantly looking for new ways to be better.
Here’s a good statement you have to remember:
All leaders are readers.
There was a time when publishing was almost understood as
what was printed as a book.
But now we can still learn thanks
to the magic of electronic publishing.
I mean cassettes, videotapes and other modern media.
Many of the busiest people
I know use cassettes
to study while not working.
For example, they often listen
to tapes while driving.
Listening to tapes is an easy way
to gather new ideas and skills.
Did you know there are thousands of books
and tapes on how to become stronger,
more effective leaders,
better love; develop the ability to influence others;
become more refined;
starting a business
– and thousands of other useful topics?
But many people do not use this treasure of knowledge.
Can you explain that?
Did you know that thousands
of successful people have put their inspirational stories to paper?
Yet people don’t want to read them.
Can you explain that?
Our “man” is busy,
But you try to work in my position and see,
by the time you drag home,
it’s already late.
He ate too much,
watched TV for a while to relax and then went to sleep.
You can’t sit there until midnight doing reading,
And here’s the guy
who always doesn’t pay his bills on time.
He is a good worker,
a hard worker,
a true worker.
Hey, you can be sincere
and work hard all your life
and then end up broken,
confused and embarrassed.
You must become better than the good worker.
You must be a good reader.
And if you don’t like reading,
you can at least listen to a good tape on the way home, right?
Now you don’t have to read books
or listen to tapes until midnight
(but if you’re broke, that’s not a bad idea).
All I ask is that you dedicate yourself,
just 30 minutes a day, to studying.
You want to do it well?
Then increase from minutes to an hour.
But it takes at least 30 minutes.
Ah yes, one more thing:
Not to be missed.
Better to skip a meal
but not 30 minutes of your study.
We can all skip a few meals,
but none of us can afford to miss out on ideas,
The Bible teaches us that man cannot live on bread alone.
The Bible teaches us that after food,
mind and soul, we must be nourished by words.
most people suffer from mental malnutrition.
I recently told my employees,
“Some people read so little that they are mentally stunted.”
Not only do you have to nourish your mind,
but you should also ensure that
you have a very balanced brain nutrition.
Don’t just feed your mind with easy things.
You can’t live on mental candy.
Think of your reading time
as “opening the door to a treasure trove of ideas.”
And if anyone has a good reason
for not opening the door to a treasure trove of ideas
for at least 30 minutes a day
or not investing a little money in the search for knowledge,
I’d love to know why.
Hey, let’s invest the money.
Buy the books and cassettes you need to train yourself.
Don’t be unfair to yourself
when it’s time to invest in your own better future.
Mr. Shoaff asked me to start with books right from the start.
He said: “You have to know how to train yourself.
Ordinary education would bring him ordinary results.
Check out the income figures of people
with a conventional education
and see if that’s what you want.
If not, if you want more than average,
you have to train yourself.”
So I started building a library.
And now I have one of the best libraries.
Mr. Shoaff suggested a few books to get me started.
One of them is a Bible that I also have available.
The Bible consists of 66 books and my parents have read them
so I’m very familiar with them,
so I imagine I’m off to a pretty good start.
But he also insisted that I have Think and Grow Rich
– The 13 Principles of Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
If you haven’t read this book,
I suggest you run out and buy one.
I have been
Read this wonderful book dozens of times.
I need to do that.
“Repetition is the mother of skill.”
And given my bank account status in the past,
I needed a lot of skills.
When I look back, the information in this book was worth tens
of thousands of dollars to me.
And I bought it for a few cents.
This taught me a powerful lesson:
Sometimes there is a huge difference between price and value.
Before I met Shoaff, I used to ask,
“How much does it cost?”
But he taught me to ask,
“What is it worth?”
When I started basing my life on value instead of price,
things started to happen.
Remember: You are what you read.
One of the first things I do
when I visit someone is look through his or her library.
I find out more by looking through someone’s collection of books
and tapes than through idle conversation.
Choosing books and tapes reveals the person’s key thoughts,
What does your library say about you?
You see, reading is not a luxury pastime;
It is essential for those who want to grow.
So don’t be like some of my friends
who think graduating from high school
or college has given them a license to never read another book.
Let’s start reading books.
And especially reading books that help you unleash your inner potential.
Are you thinking about all the books you should read right now?
Then there’s some good news:
You don’t have to read all of these books at once.
Try to read two books a week.
And if that’s still too much, pick up two pamphlets to get started.
Do this for ten years and you’ll read over a thousand books!
Do you think that acquiring knowledge
from a thousand books will affect many aspects of your life?
Of course it is.
So that means if you haven’t read two books a week
for the past ten years,
you’re a thousand behind people who do.
Have you begun to understand the unexpected underperformance
you would face in ten years
if you had to enter a market
where you lost two thousand books?
Why, because in some more complex confrontations you will act as cannon fodder.
They will shoot you down.
But that’s still not all.
You will also miss out on some great opportunities due
to lack of knowledge.
And your philosophy is too faint
to protect you against the rigors of life.
Lack of skills, lack of knowledge,
lack of insight,
lack of values,
lack of lifestyle are all consequences of not reading.
Remember, an unread book is a book that can’t help you.
The number of books you can read is never too much,
but it will most likely be too few.
Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening
when you’d have preferred to talk. ― Doug Larson
Listening is a great way to learn.
Let me offer you a shocking idea:
Pick a really successful person
and invite him or her to dinner.
A poor person
(we are all poor compared to someone,
no matter how well we work)
should invest in eating with a rich person.
Then do what?
Try it out. Spend 50, 60, 80, even 100 dollars.
Let’s do nine such courses.
Start with appetizers and ask questions.
Eat a salad (usually about 15 minutes)
and keep the conversation going.
It will usually take you 45 minutes
to finish the main course
– always ask questions.
See how long you can extend the meal.
Aim for at least two hours,
you can learn enough strategies
and attitudes to multiply your income
and change your life.
But of course you’re right.
The poor do not invite the rich to eat out.
That may be the reason they are poor.
Our “man” says,
“If he’s rich, let him buy your damn dinner!
I don’t waste money.
And besides, if you’re in my position,
it’ll be late by the time you get home.
He ate too much,
watched TV for a while to relax
and then went to sleep.
You can’t spend all that time trying
to find a rich person to feed them.”
And this guy is always in debt.
Debt! He is a good worker,
a hard worker,
a true worker.
But you can work hard and honestly all your life
and then end up broken and unhappy.
You must become better than the good worker.
You must be a good listener.
The most important thing in communication
is hearing what isn’t said. ― Peter Drucker
The third way to learn from others is to observe.
Look at what successful people do.
Why? Because success leaves traces.
See how a successful man shakes hands with others.
See how a successful woman asks questions.
These people all have habits for success.
They create patterns of winning behavior just
as laggards create patterns of losing behaviour.
You want to get promoted?
Observe your manager.
Want to make a lot of money?
Observe how he manages his money and his lifestyle.
One of the reasons you should attend seminars of successful people is
because you can observe them.
No book or cassette, no matter how good,
can convey the power of non-verbal communication.
This is why video is such a wonderful tool
for holistic communication.
So be a good observer.
Don’t miss any signs that can help you change
and make your life better.
Don’t complain about someone not treating you right.
If you know you deserve better,
why are you with them? ― Cherry Nguyen
Invest for the future
The search for knowledge is one of the strategies
for prosperity and happiness.
The thought of spending time on a consistent,
and purposeful quest for knowledge
is indeed a powerful thought.
But like anything of value,
it has a price to pay.
And this, unfortunately,
makes some people suddenly give up.
Seek knowledge related to investing.
In fact, three types of investments are required
for you to successfully begin this difficult journey:
First, it requires an investment of money.
It’s money to buy books,
and attend seminars.
That’s why I recommend setting aside your own education fund.
set aside some of your income
and invest it in your own knowledge search.
Spend money to nurture the giant sleeping inside of you.
This amount will be very small compared
to what you can get back.
More important than money is the next expense:
Time. Time is the main cost.
I understand that.
Asking someone to spend money is one thing,
but asking him to spend time is quite another.
God, there’s no shortcut.
Until a machine can attach and pour knowledge into your brain,
it takes time – precious time.
Fortunately, life has a unique way of rewarding big investments with big results.
The investment of your time now can be the catalyst
for your future successes.
In the end,
you will have to invest the effort.
Serious learning requires more effort than normal learning.
In everything you do, whether observing yourself,
reading or observing others,
the intensity of your effort will have a profound effect on
the amount of knowledge you gain.
A focused mind is like a mental shot hitting the target of ideas.
And to get that focus you need
to put in a lot more effort to pay attention.
But it is precisely this effort
that opens the floodgates
to where big ideas can work their magic
to bring you closer to prosperity and happiness.
“Approach every situation with a whatever-it-takes-mindset.” – Grant Cardone