What have you mastered in life?
If you want to achieve greater wealth you must have a commodity you have mastered to offer for sale. If you do not have one yet, that is okay.
Everyone, at any point in life can choose to begin to master any topic. Colonel Harland Sanders found himself in need of a new career when at the age of 65 he began to collect a measly $100 social security check; because of that we now have Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Michelangelo did not want to paint the Sistine Chapel, he said he was a sculptor, not a painter. The Pope got what he wanted from middle aged Michelangelo in the end, and we learnt that sometimes genius thinks it is amateur. So, trust me when I say you are not too old or too amateur to try.
What are you passionate about? This is a great starting point for brainstorming what you could learn with excellence. What have you already learned along life's bumpy road? That is a big arrow pointing at what can you share.
What knowledge do you possess of value? Socrates said the ultimate and only secure lifelong career is to be a thought leader. How can you lead? Where would you like to be a thought leader, in what field?!
Are you good at customer service? Would you like to own your own business? Whatever topic you have in mind of your own, you can do it with a little guidance. Let's break down how to start.
First, you must be willing to commit to never stop learning. Be willing to say "I don't know, but I can learn." This should be the only 'but' in your vocabulary. This is the biggest way to guarantee success in life. You must be a student, for life. A grade 12 education does not build a dream life of opulent wealth, let's get real.
You can not say no before you start! You have to be willing to learn; and that alone is what distinguishes people who succeed from people who live a boring routine day to day life.
How do you learn? You try! Your focus needs to be learning the skills you need. No one- even and maybe especially those with great talent- ever did something once and poof: mastered. It just doesn't work like that. Heck I have already edited this 7 times!
So how do you become great? Through mastery. You need to be dedicated, to have focus, and to be able to push through the hard times. No one wakes up a professional. No one wakes up a professor. You know what they say, "Rome was not built in a day." It is a saying that has lasted millennia because it is true.
Rome was however built by people who had apprenticed and worked hard, learning, trying, copying mentors, listening to experts, working until they too finally ascended to greatness: mastery of their topic, be it the brick builder or the engineer of the first roads or of water aqueducts which fed the foundations -which still work to this day- a thousand years later. Seriously. Hand to God- I have drank fresh spring water from them!
A true master never stops learning. We are not born with skills, we develop skills. We can be born with predispositions and natural talent, but that just puts us at an advantageous starting point than the beginner with zero inborn talent. His road is longer, but both must follow the same road to get to mastery. You need to develop your skills and that means you need to work towards them and focus on your goals.
Everyone can learn so everyone can develop skills. Let's take a look at how you can develop skills to master any subject.
First you need to know what skills you want to learn and who can teach you. This will require a little bit of brainstorming and research on your part.
Go ahead, take a step towards the direction of your dreams. Give yourself permission to not know and to try. This can result in an immediate improvement in your happiness and therefor life because following your heart and working towards your goals and dreams, instead of someone else's, feels great!
Once you know what you need to learn and what skills you want to develop, you need to look for where you can learn them. Who is already an expert? Where can you learn this? A trade school? Professors? Can you do some local research? Sit and brainstorm everything you know that you will need to do in this career. If you do not know, research it.
Even once you have completed this you may find additional requirements as you move down the path. That is okay. It is one step at a time, not one city at a time. Be patient. Give it time. Give yourself time to grow. You do not need to know all of the steps. You only need to know *the next* step. You may want to write that last line down. It prevents panic attacks. (Your welcome!)
Nowadays we have the luxury of being able to research or even learn almost anything online. Google has changed everything. You can take online classes, go to your community college, or find a mentor willing to let you shadow them. Look for who is already a professional in the area of your interest as you want to pick the brain of someone who has already accomplished the goal.
They can give you insight into exactly what you need to invest, the challenges, and what they would do different. Experience is your most valuable asset as you embark on your journey. Remember you don't know what you don't know... perhaps jot that on a sticky note somewhere to! Seriously, do it now. I constantly remind myself that.
You can not just dream though. You have to take action. What actions can you take to get closer to your goal? Small daily actions consistently are better than one large inspired fire that burns out quickly and ends. This is all to common. People love the passion but are not as crazy about the work. Funny that.
Now you will need to make this a part of your routine, and fit it in your day. Begin research, then take baby steps. Buy a day timer or a schedule system that works for you. Personally I use CEO of Me (link below) but any system you like that you will use is best for you. Set aside time to do something that takes you 1 step closer to your goal today, and everyday. No matter how small!
Small steps add up over time. Big gestures fad over time, leaving nothing but what feels like failure behind. You want a consistent stream of success behind you, it will propel you to where you need to go. It will motivate you. It will feed the passion that gives you purpose and keeps you focused and pushing forward to your goal.
What do you desire? What do you need to fix? What could use some improvement? These are all clues for where you can start. Take a moment and brainstorm for 10 minutes right now. Jot down everything that comes to mind and do not worry about spelling or order, just flow. Do not worry about perfection.
Sometimes life is full of irony. I absolutely love to write. However, I hated English in University so much I put it off until my third year to take ENG101. I hate grammar. I can't spell. I hate to use capitals when I type emails. Are you surprised?!
But, I wanted to write and share my thoughts. So I had to learn. I remember my professor telling me you can never start a sentence with 'but,'however where I had on my essay was perfect grammatically so he had to mark it correct. He said he had never in his career seen 'but' used to start a sentence properly. I was proud. I learnt in that class. It was hard and I hated almost every minute but I came out a better, stronger writer. Thank you professor Jason Simmond. I still have flaws and I still work towards excellence but I am one step closer is this article right here.
Now, show me your dreams. What are your passions? What do you want to learn? Every time you hear yourself say '...but,' please do not let fear prevent you from starting. You can do it, one small advancement at a time.
Do you have a Dream Board? Cut out and collage images that speak to you and give you a visual reminder of your goals daily. Hang it where you can see it everyday. Do something every day to advance you towards this dream, even if some days it is just to acknowledge and dream of it.
Fun fact: My first piece of art was from IKEA, a print of The Creation of David (pictured). I had no idea of the significance of the art, that the art was famous, or anything more than I liked it, a lot. It spoke to me, it moved me. I was 13 years old. My family had never traveled overseas and for me to ever dream that I would see this art in person sixteen years later in Rome, Italy was unimaginable! But I did. Dare to dream, because they say you only regret the chances you didn't take.
Start planning for your success now.
Check out the Success Planner I use here: