A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.

A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.

Mohammad Ali

All through time people have pondered the reason for our existence on this planet. For some it’s about fulfilling physical and/or metaphysical desires, for others it’s about acquiring as much “stuff” as possible. Some of us want our lives to fulfill a greater purpose or mission and some are just happy to plod along and negotiate each day as it comes. Whatever the “reason” we are here (If there is one?), one thing is for certain, if physical, mental and/or spiritual achievement is your goal in life you must live a life of constant evolution and improvement.  

Continue to Self Educate

Education is critical if you hope to advance in any of life’s pursuits. At a secondary school level you may not like what you have to learn and most of the subjects may seem irrelevant to where you see your life going, but if nothing else they will teach you how to process and interpret information and how to discipline yourself to complete tasks. Outside secondary school you have the freedom and luxury to pursue any education that you want. It can be formal as in university, tafe or a specialist college or it can be informal as in short courses, books, DVD, audio, special reports, Internet and one on one coaching.

If you continue to educate yourself you put yourself on the fast track to achievement. An interview I did with John Will (Australia’s first BJJ Black Belt) revealed the importance of setting aside part of your income for self-education. I have been doing it for over twenty years now and I would have to say that it would be the biggest contributing factor to the modest success that I have achieved over the years.

Learn From Experiences

Experiences teach us how to make correct decisions for ourselves. Both positive and negative experiences give us a roadmap for what to do next time.  Positive experiences tell us what to do and negative experiences tell us what not to do - sounds obvious doesn’t it? But how many people do we both know who make the same mistakes over and over again simply because they didn’t learn the lesson the first time. My little trick for getting the most out of negative experiences is to ask myself three questions 1. What have I done to contribute to this problem? 2. What is completely out of my control? 3. What should I do next time, if this happens? These three questions are a simple way to get clarity and make the correct decision if this problem occurs down the road. I have used this formula from everything to getting out of credit card debt to escaping side control. It’s simple and it works.

Keep Moving

There is old saying that if you don’t use it you lose it. This is loosely based on a passage from the bible and this 2000-year-old wisdom still holds true now. If you want to develop physically you have to exercise your body. I think it’s healthy to do some form of exercise everyday with at least two days per week of gentle training like walking and stretching. Keeping your body moving prevents illness, makes you feel better, is fun, reduces weight gain and helps defeat stress. Exercise is not a “should”, it’s a “must”.

The physical aspect of this is obvious to everyone but what about the mental aspect. I watched a fascinating interview on you tube a couple of months ago on how the brain works. The interview was with Dr. Norman Doidge who wrote the book "The Brain That Changes Itself". One of his many observations was that the simple act of learning changes the number of connections between nerve cells in the nervous system. Which means what? If you continually educate yourself your brain wont decline in its capacity to problem solve, think and process information.   

In short if you want to achieve something you have to get the ball rolling by being an avid learner and doer. If you bought a computer in 1985 and still had the same software on it, how well would it serve you? Learning, keeping fit and doing what you can to move you towards your goal keeps your internal software up to date and serving you.   

 

"We cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life's morning; for what in the morning was true will in evening become a lie." Carl Jung