It is no secret that successful leaders view learning as a lifelong pursuit. When asked how to get smarter, Warren Buffet held up a pile of reading material and said, “Read 500 pages like this every week. That’s how knowledge builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”
While reading is not the only way to develop yourself, the time invested by successful leaders is universal and gives credence to the importance of continually learning and bettering yourself.
Many find this idea to be daunting because they perceive themselves to be too busy, they believe investing in self-development is too boring or too hard, they have never established the habit, or simply because they would rather watch Money Heist.
There is nothing wrong with watching Money Heist; everyone must take time to completely relax. However, it is important to be mindful of how you spend your time.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average, the employed man spends 15.91 hours, and the employed woman 13.27 hours, watching television each week. The total leisure hours per week for employed men is 30.94 and for employed women is 26.88. Depending on your perspective, this either sounds like a lot of time, or very little.
To adopt a healthy perspective on time, it is helpful to view the idea of investing in self-development through the lens of financially investing in your retirement account.
Food, housing, transportation, clothes, utilities, and child care all demand a sizable percentage of your limited paycheck. Then, with what remains of your income, you pay yourself.
Do you apply your remaining discretionary funds to the newest gadget, entertainment, philanthropic cause, fashion, travel, eating out, or do you invest in some form of a savings account?
You must pay your bills, and you should pay yourself, but be wise with your discretionary income. Making small ‘sacrifices’ with your money now enables you to take advantage of the benefits of compounding interest later.
Most people who are honest with themselves already know they need to invest in their own self-development but may not know where to begin. There are countless methods; they are not all time consuming and you can accomplish many while engaging in other activities.
Remember, it is never too late to start developing yourself.
“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers“Harry Truman
Below are a few simple recommendations and principles;
1. Schedule time to invest in your own self-development.
If you are not intentional with your time, someone else will be, or you will lose yourself in Season Four of Game of Thrones and wonder what happened to your weekend.
2. Habits are powerful.
Remaining consistent in your pursuit of self-development makes it easier to continue and allows you to consolidate your gains.
“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”Colin Powell
3. Vary the content you consume.
To be a well-rounded leader, and to maintain your interest, it is essential that you read different topics from diverse sources.
4. Be realistic.
Some days I am too tired to read Delbruck’s History of the Art of War Within the Framework of Political History, but I can muster the motivation to read a few five-minute articles from one of the professional development blogs below.
5. Set goals.
When you think about retirement, you have goals for the quality of life you intend to live. If you go to the gym, you set goals for your gains. When you take command, you create goals a develop a deliberate plan to achieve them. Why should it be any different for self-development? This is the one area in life that can be called upon at any time because you are always present.
6. Talk about what you learn.
It is natural to want to discuss what you are learning. Connect with a network of like-minded people to engage in professional development discussions. This will help maintain excitement about what you learn and help you remember it better and make greater application of what may otherwise remain theoretical knowledge.
For this and much more Information relating to employability skills, employment opportunities, career advancement and entrepreneurship development; Join our Telegram and WhatsApp groups, and also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.