“I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday” ~ Abraham Lincoln
My message this week is about gaining knowledge. We were put on this earth to become our best self. The only way we will ever become our best self is to never stop learning. Unfortunately, once they complete their formal education, too many people believe their learning days are over, but in reality, all your formal education has done is prepare you for how to continue your own self-education. For too many people, obtaining their High School diploma, or even their College Degree, means they never have to read another book or seek other forms of self-education of any sort. So how do we go about becoming wiser today than we were yesterday? Of course we must learn from our mistakes, but we must also learn from what others have already discovered so we can minimize our mistakes before they occur.
I learned out a great deal in Seminary, but it was after, when I began delving into the works of Tischindorf, Weymoth, Lachman & Tregellis or Arndt & Gingrich and countless hours of study under the tutelage of R.B. Thieme, Jr. did my spiritual knowledge and maturity begin to blossom and take real shape. Only then did it all start to come together for me. The same is true of any endeavor or of any subject matter. If you’re not expanding your knowledge base, you’re losing ground. Stephen Covey aptly calls it, “sharpening the saw”.
Here’s the real kicker to it; no one else can do it for you, you have to do the work yourself to gain the benefit. But by reading the works of others; by hearing their spoken words, even by watching their documentaries or presentations, you are learning from their hard work. It just comes down to making the right choices in how we choose to spend our time.
As an avid reader who always tries to encourage others to read more, I constantly hear, “I don’t have time to read.” To that I would say, if your goal is to become your best self, you don’t have time NOT to read. I put in 60 – 70 hours per week and still manage to find at least an hour a day to devote to “sharpening my saw”. It simply has to become a matter of putting your priorities in order. But even if you are adamantly opposed to reading, with today’s technology, there are countless other ways to sharpen your saw. There are books on tape that you can listen to while driving or that can be downloaded to your Ipod. There are Youtube videos that cover an unending range of subject matter. There are hundreds of television channels and although many, if not most, are filled with mind-numbing content, not all of them are a collection of sit-coms and reality shows.
Never in history have the sources of gaining knowledge been more available than they are today. Samuel Clemons gave us one of my all time favorite quotes, “The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read.” Today, this quote can be rearranged today to include listening to books on tape or watching inspiring videos or absorbing the content of a good documentary. If you’re looking for an advantage in life, learn more!
I would also include to this mix, our selection of friends. It has been said that we become a combination of the 5 people we spend the most time with. That’s kind of scary when you think about it. Choose your friends wisely. Choose friends who have the ability to help make you wiser today than you were yesterday.
What are some ways you have found to help you become wiser today than you were yesterday?
Monty Rainey is a District Manager with over 14 years in the self storage industry currently overseeing 21 stores in the Austin & San Antonio, TX area. He is also a leadership coach and public speaker. For a free consultation, please contact Monty at 830-743-2139 or visit his website at http://www.montyrainey.com .