From the day that you are born and came into this world, you began to learn. Every single thing that you came into contact with, especially in your early years, taught you something and shaped who you are as a person.
If you were able to learn a language, learn to walk, learn to swim, learn to drive and learn that a hot stove burns your hand if you touch it, why do you ever feel like something is impossible to learn?
Why do you settle for not knowing the answer to something or not being able to do something you would really like to do?
If You Don’t Know The Answer… Look it Up
There was a scene in a movie, I’m pretty sure it starred Will Smith. The scene flashes back to when he was a kid and asked his mom a question that he didn’t know the answer to. She replied with “I’m not sure honey, why don’t you look it up?”.
I suddenly thought of that scene and it gave me the inspiration to write this post.
If there is something that you don’t know…look up the answer. The internet is an amazing thing and an almost infinite resource for finding answers to any question you can imagine. Heck, it’s not even difficult to find answers, all you do is go to Google.com and type in your exact question.
You are never too young or too old to learn something new.
The more questions you have and ask, and the more answers you get and look up, the more knowledge you will have. If you adopt this habit of looking up the answer to everything that you don’t know, over time it will result in you knowing a lot more about the world, life and even very specific concepts than people who have doctor’s degrees from Harvard University.
You Don’t Need A Degree To Do Something
I don’t have a degree. All I have is a high school diploma. If I got $1 for every time someone told me I should study and get a degree it would be a fat sum of money.
You see, the world that we live in today has a tendency to base everything around degrees and diplomas. In western societies it has become the norm to go to college or university after high school to get a degree to be able to get a better job.
Of course this concept has been around for decades, except for the fact that 80 years ago a person would actually learn a craft or a trade and be able to do something after they finished their degree. While I am certainly not speaking for all degrees and diplomas, I feel that a large percentage of people who study for 3,4 and 5 years can actually do very little when they are finished with their study.
I have never studied finance or accounting, yet I have worked with accounts of multi-million dollar yearly turnover businesses.
I have never gone to a trade school, yet I can build and fix things better than most ‘professional’ handymen.
I have never studied engineering or learnt how to be an electrician, yet I’ve repaired cables and circuit breakers on 3 phase power supplies.
This is not to brag at all, it’s just to show you what is possible!
- As long as you are passionate, interested to learn and persistent, you can learn anything you want.
- You can be better at things that others have studied for years and have degrees. A degree is not a guarantee for a skill and neither is not having one an excuse to not be able to do something.
That being said, there is nothing wrong with studying or going to college, especially when it comes to specializing in things like law, accounting, medicine etc.
The point I want to stress that it is not necessary to have a degree or fancy diploma in order to be successful or even to be a multi millionaire and neither is it a guarantee that when you get your degree that you will be successful or wealthy.
So much of success and where you get to in life depends on your passion, interests in life and learning and persistence. Do what you love, set your sights on something and never give up!
Passion and Persistence Beat Lazy Talent
I have a story to share with you and it’s called:
“The Tortoise and the Hare quit the Rat Race”
“What a dull,slow,heavy creature, this Tortoise!” said the Hare.
“Not really dull,but slow and heavy, you are right,” said the Rat.
“And you Rat”, said the Hare, “Not so heavy,but just as dull. You are weaker than either of us.Nothing but an average rat. Average weight and average smarts. A thin bag of Rat-bones. No hard shell to protect you like the Tortoise has, and no racing muscles as big as mine!”
“Just because the Rat is average,” said the Tortoise, “doesn’t mean he isn’t capable of great things. It is up to him-to decide to do the things that make one great- just like someone as heavy as me.”
“I completely disagree” said the Hare.
“We’ll see,” said the Tortoise, “because I’ll run with both of you for a wager.”
“Done,” said the Hare, and they asked the Fox to be the judge.
The Tortoise, the Hare and the Rat debated so loudly that a crowd of rats gathered to see what all the fuss was about. Finally, the starting gun fired and the Hare scampered off far, far ahead.
The Rat, amazed at the speed with which the Hare hopped,simply stopped a few steps beyond the starting line. “What’s the use?” he said. “I can beat the Tortoise, but I would never catch that Hare! I have better things to do, like digging through garbage cans for an easy prize – one I can taste- a nice, leftover piece of meat or bread.”
Meanwhile, the Hare laid down midway in the course, and took a nap. “No worries,” the Hare said. “I bet I can catch up with the Tortoise when I please.” But the Tortoise kept jogging until he came nearer to the end of the course.
The Hare awoke too late to see the Tortoise inching towards the finish line. He scuttled as fast as he could but the Tortoise had already won by a scrawny neck’s length. The crowd of Rats were left scratching their heads with their hind paws. Where had the race gone so wrong?
Their own brother-Rat had barely left the starting gate, where he remained in silent hesitation. Then again, most Rats never manage to leave the starting gate of life in general.”
This story is an extract from a fantastic book on psychology and the human mind, called
The Tortoise and the Hare Quit the Rat Race by Dr Paul Dobransky.
You may have lots of raw talent and you may be very intelligent, but without drive and without using that talent to become the best in the world, the average guy who is incredibly passionate and never gives up has a very good chance of coming out ahead.
A Quick Word on Mentors
A mentor is someone who is good or great at what you want to become good at and who will personally teach and guide you. With the help and guidance from a mentor, the chances are great that you will learn and become better at something at a much faster rate. (Among the reasons are the fact that you don’t need to make all the newbie mistakes or need to discover the right ways through trial and error).
I believe that it is almost always possible to find a mentor or to find someone who is good at what you want to become good at and who would be willing to mentor you.
In fact, most people who are passionate about their art / craft / niche and who have a great love for it are willing to help a student out and mentor them. Sometimes the mentor will want monetary reward, but more often that not, he is willing to mentor you for free, provided that you put in the effort.
Personally, I am more than happy to teach people what I have learnt and I will do it for free. However, what I do not want is people wasting my time by expecting me to do any sort of work for them.
The mentor is there to guide you and it is up to you to keep all your promises, be on time every time and to do what is expected of you and even more. If you do that, you will almost always find someone good who is willing to mentor you. With the help and guidance of that mentor, you can achieve success and become great at what you want to master very quickly.
Are you struggling with something? Find yourself a mentor!
And remember…If you don’t know the answer to something…look it up!
If You Don’t Know The Answer…
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