To expand your thinking horizon, you need to be exposed to as many ideas and experiences as possible. In order to develop a more acute understanding of a topic, you need to be experienced in the subject matter. This can be achieved via reading up on the topic as well as actually practicing what you’ve read.
Let’s say you’re interested to take up cooking; you should zoom in to a segment of that area that interests and benefits you the most. For me, I have a particular affinity of steaks. I love juicy sirloin steak cooked medium. I also know based on experience that the marinating ingredients and process, as well as the taste of the sauce is what separates really good steaks from average ones.
Let’s say I’m motivated enough to actually scour the web for the perfect sirloin steak recipe. I’ve gathered probably around a dozen recipes that claim to be the absolute best ways to prepare the best sirloin steak known to mankind. However all of this information would go to waste if I don’t actually start implimenting them! I need to actually transform these recipes into an actual hot serving of sirloin steak for this information to be turned into practical experience.
The same thing can be said about every known topic; web designing, programming, home improvement, entrepreneurship, blogging… ad infinitum. It’s not enough to read up on it, you must actually implement what you’ve learned. Don’t just say you’re going to do it; just do it!
The doing bit is easily said than done though; this is because there are many traps waiting to catch you and making you fail. Identify the following traps and avoid them, and you’d be able to achieve anything you strive for.
Photo credit: Zak Greant
The perfectionist trap
Remember that before you learn how to run, you walked. Before that you crawled. In fact for many months after you’re born, you could only lay on your back and cry for attention.
Nothing happens overnight. Everything takes practice. Practice makes perfect.
Do not give up if the first fruits of your labours aren’t as sweet as your friends’ or mentors’. Believe it or not, their first products or services probably suck more than yours.
The thing is, they kept at it! They learned from their mistakes, made corrections and moved on. You should too!
The laziness/motivation trap
Sometimes we just couldn’t be bothered with what we’re supposed to do anyway. It’s called laziness or lack of motivation to get the job done. This is a severe problem when it comes to taking up a new skill.
When faced with such situations, always, always remind yourself why you’re doing this! Be reminded of the benefits of being able to do this one skill effectively; perhaps it’s money, perhaps it’s bragging rights, heck it could probably be to win the love of a sweetheart!
Remember, if it wasn’t necessary you wouldn’t be doing it in the first place.
The distraction trap
Distraction happens when your attention is diverted from what you’re supposed to be doing to another unrelated event. Sometimes the distraction is unavoidable; such as in the case of an emergency.
However, a vast majority of distractions are of the unnecessary ones. The TV, the Internet, phone gossips and the like are just interference. It causes you to be preoccupied with something that is not helping you achieve your targets.
Overcoming distractions requires strong focusing skills and planning. Yes, you need to plan your time in order to minimize distractions while developing a skill. Find the instance and location where you can have all the time and place for yourself to do what you need to do.
Once you do, just focus your mind and body on the task at hand!
The lack of resources trap
Let’s face it; everything requires investment. Time, money, energy… it’s unavoidable. The key to successful self-development is to manage resources effectively.
Sometimes a source of knowledge seems to not require resources; an example that comes to mind easily are “free eBooks”. Yes, it seems to not cost a dime financially. But more often than not, this is normally not the case. Why?
- Your internet connection costs money
- It takes time to download the eBook
- Your computer is consuming electrical energy which again, costs money and impacts the environment
There is nothing that doesn’t consume resources. The secret is in prioritizing! If you lack money but have lots of free time on your hands, then spend the time doing something that will put money in your hands. Then use that money to generate more money in less time!
I hope you enjoyed reading this writeup like I enjoy writing it. You should subscribe to my feed to be notified whenever I post something new on HTNet. What do you think of this writeup? What’s you most dreaded trap? I look forward to reading your comments!