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Hi dear, what would you think about a physician who stops learning, researching, and sharpening his skills once he graduates from the medical school?  His attitude been, “Hey, I paid good money for my education.  I will just practice what I learned to the best of my ability.  I don't need more learning.”

Hi dear, what would you think about a physician who stops learning, researching, and sharpening his skills once he graduates from the medical school?  His attitude been, “Hey, I paid good money for my education.  I will just practice what I learned to the best of my ability.  I don't need more learning.”


He, sure would not be your doctor.  You want a doctor who is up-to-date on the latest diseases, procedures, and medicines; who attends conferences, reads the latest medical journals, and upgrades his practice by implementing what he learns.

Why?  Because he has maximized his prospect of correctly diagnosing and successfully treating your physical problems.  He is better equipped to succeed.

Your life vision may not involve saving lives, but your calling to influence those around you is no less important.  You have integrated your purpose and passions with your unique abilities, and a life vision has come into focus.

You have set a course and begun to navigate in the direction of the true personal wealth that result from living out that vision.  But you are not yet fully equipped for all the experiences you will face.

In fact, you will always need to further sharpen your abilities and deepen your passion.  To be the best you can be as you journey the path of influence, you must equip yourself continually for success.  I see four specific ways this can be accomplished.

Firstly, always keep learning about yourself, your abilities, and your particular areas of expertise and service to others.

Secondly, continually tap into your experience portfolio to help you interpret and resolve new experiences.

Thirdly, enlist and rely upon a team of helpful and supportive individuals.

Fourthly, work to balance how you allocate your time in relation to your priorities.  Let's consider these four strategies for being a wise steward of your abilities and passions.

An excellent way to make the most of your opportunities to influence others is to learn all you can about what you are doing in order to continually improve at it.  I am not talking about grandiose or mysterious activities here, but about everyday stuff anyone can do.  Simply apply these skills to your area of passion and activity.

For example, read books, magazines, journals, and trade publications.  Research topics and join news groups on the internet.  Enroll in classes, seminars, conferences, and workshops.  Interview experts in your field of interest.  Seek insights and advice from others who do what you are doing.

Part of my ongoing learning takes place at the local bookstore.  I spend half a day perusing books and taking notes.  You can do the same kind of thing in the public library.  I browse through the self-help section for new resources on the topics of life purpose, influence, personal enrichment, and so on.

Your approach to learning in your area of investment in others will be unique to your personality, learning style, and available time.  No two people are alike, so no two people learn the same way. 

The point is to resist the temptation to settle for the status quo and discipline yourself to be an ongoing learner.  It will enrich your life and equip you for success as you influence others.

Your experience portfolio is one of your most valuable resources for a life of influence.  All life experiences, positive and negative, can be useful in helping others navigate through their challenges and difficulties. 

Our past successes and failures contribute to our internal database for processing future experiences and making decisions.  Each succeeding experience adds to that database.

Your successes increase your confidence.  Each success is like a single brick in a wall.  As you  add bricks to the wall with each new victory, it becomes more formidable in size and strength. Even your failures can raise your confidence level as well.

Every time you survive a failure, you gain confidence to try again, and your fear of failure diminishes.  On the positive side, your failures become the testing ground for what works and does not work.  These experiences may help you decide which activities you should delegate to others or eliminate from your life altogether.

You can do one thing in life to virtually guarantee your failure - Try as much as you can to make it on your own only.  King Solomon said, “As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend.”  He pictures a metal tool or weapon that has become dull and worn with use.  The only way that implement will remain useful and effective is when it is regularly sharpened on another piece of metal just as hard or harder.

Similarly, if you are not continually sharpened by people who care for you and are committed to your success, you will become as useless as a dull knife.

There are two areas in which we all need skilled, knowledgeable, helpful people on our side.  These two areas certainly overlap, but I want to mention them separately here as I am about to round off this write-up.  

One is the broad area of your pursuit of true personal wealth.  The other is the more specific area of your commitment to live out your life vision.

True personal wealth results as we invest wisely in all dimensions of life wealth capital.  Therefore your support team must include the expertise of a number of individuals in each dimension.

Also, each of us needs a team of people to help us stay on track and encouraged as we live out our vision.  The more people you have around you to sharpen you, the more effective you will be.  I am not talking about merely an audience, people who watch and applaud your efforts from a distance;  I am talking about specific people you enlist to help you be the best you can be. And not about people who simply rubber-stamp your efforts, but individuals you can count on for affirmation as well as direction and occasional correction.

See you at the top of success.

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