You are the greatest project you will ever have. As a human being, you are the most complicated machine on Earth. Which means there is no limit to the amount of self-improvement you are capable of.
Your improvements can be highly specific. They can be physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, psychological, philosophical, or professional. But even these broad categories that all end in -al barely scratch the surface.
You can get better at signing your name, walking, selling, replacing an organ, or serving a tennis ball. You can get better at eating hot dogs. Just ask Joey Chestnut. You can get better at streaking. Just ask the dude who invited himself onto the field at Super Bowl LV. Heck, you can get better at eating hot dogs while streaking. And if you do you can probably get a sponsorship deal.
The 2 Ingredients
Regardless of what you want to do better, there are 2 key drivers of self-improvement: the things you learn and the things you do. Because you improve through a combination of knowing better and doing better.
1. The things you learn.
This is all about gaining new information. This can come in many ways.
Reading books, magazines, articles, and reports.
Watching instructional videos
Taking classes and courses.
Learning from others through discussions, conversations, observation, and spying.
Working with a coach or mentor
2. The things you do.
All the knowledge in the world does no good without action. Your actions drive results. Those actions include:
Learn all you can. Then put that new knowledge to work through your deliberate actions. By doing so you will end each day better than you began. You are the greatest project you will ever have. And you are nowhere near finished.
*If you know someone who could benefit from this idea, please share it with them.
I am always looking for ways to get smarter. I could use all the help I can get. So I read as much as I can. In fact, I consider myself a book collector. Mostly because I like to collect knowledge. I listen to audiobooks when I drive. I listen to podcasts when I mow the lawn. And I occasionally read directions.
I have long been fascinated with online learning. The idea of taking classes online lowers the bar to continuing education in a significant way, eliminating the geographical barriers to access. Which is exciting for anyone who lives in BFE, or what more civilized people call the middle of nowhere.
I love to read books by or about people who are at the highest level of performance and achievement. So when I heard about MasterClass I was intrigued. In a nutshell, MasterClass offers a wide variety of classes taught by people who are masters of their craft. Each class consists of a series of short, easy-to-watch videos. The instructors teach lessons on a variety of nuanced topics within their specialty. But their lessons can be applied to a wide range of disciplines.
There are also instruction books that come as downloadable pdfs, which allow you to follow the lessons in written form. There are no tests. So it won’t induce that recurring dream about the college exam you forgot to study for, and then showed up to naked. (Did I just overshare?) MasterClass simply provides lessons and ideas to absorb and incorporate into your own life.
So Far So Good.
Like The Carpenters, I have only just begun my MasterClass experience. But I am intrigued and impressed with the nuggets and reminders I am picking up. I think of the MasterClass videos like college lectures.
However, to make the most of MasterClass I would like to create a discussion group. I think of this like the discussion portion of a college class. Or a book club, only without the books, drinking and gossip. The point is to absorb the materials, think about what you are learning, and then consider the applications and implications with a group of other intelligent people to enhance the impact power of the lessons.
My MasterClass Club
My expectation for my MasterClass club is that we will decide on a class or two to take each month. Then we will meet for an hour or two to discuss what we have learned. We will explore key takeaways, and how we plan to apply what we have learned to our lives and careers.
My group will be run via Zoom, both because of covid (had you forgotten about that?) and because I don’t want to limit those who can participate due to geographical access. Which is what is great about online education.
When I signed up the cost was $15 per month, or $180 a year. Which is a small price to pay for insights, education and inspiration. However, when I signed up they also offered a buy-one-get-one-free membership. I just checked, and they are running that promotion now. So you should get BoGoing before the offer is BoGone.
A Scholarship Opportunity
I have a membership to give away too, like a scholarship. I have been thinking of people who I know that would really appreciate this. It turns out one of the people I was thinking of gifting my bonus membership to, my rockstar friend Nicole Hallada, already has a membership. Which doesn’t surprise me at all. If you sign up now, consider gifting your bonus membership to begin or grow your own club.
Your 2021 Improvement Plan
If continuing your education and self-improvement are a priority to you, consider joining MasterClass as part of your 2021 plan. If you do, or you are already a member, and you are a fun and interesting thinker who likes to discuss ideas with others, consider creating or joining a MasterClass Club.
There are valuable lessons to be learned from those who are at the top of their craft. Seek them out. Study their ways. Discover their keys to success. Incorporate their approach into your own. And surround yourself with others who are doing the same thing so you can learn from each other.
If you are interested in learning more about the MasterClass discussion group I am creating please let me know. Respond to this post, or send a note to email@example.com.
*If you know someone who would benefit from this idea, please share it with them.
Since Labor Day my 3 kids have been in school full time. By this I mean they are in a real brick-and-mortar-and-spitball schools, where they see their classmates sitting near-ish them, not in squares on a computer screen.
Every morning as they leave for Homestead High School, Steffen Middle School and Wilson Elementary I send them off with the same instruction: Come Back Smarter.
The very purpose of attending school is to increase your intelligence. (And to get a return on all the tax dollars your parents pay.) Day by day, and week by week, if you take advantage of the opportunity, you get smarter and smarter. The way a snowball becomes larger and larger as you roll it. #WinterIsComing
This means that when you send your child off to school (or into their virtual schooling pod), they come back (or out) as a better, more intelligent, more capable version of themself. How much better, and how much smarter is largely up to them and how much they are willing to soak up. And how much they are willing to reconfigure their thought processes as a result.
But the opportunity for daily self-improvement doesn’t end at graduation. You have abundant opportunities for daily growth your entire life. It should be your daily imperative that you end the day smarter than you began.
You don’t need to be enrolled in school to increase your intelligence daily. Simply do these 7.5 things as a matter of habit:
(And maybe Google)
Keep your mind open. You will be amazed by how much enters in.
When you get out of bed each morning commit to hitting the pillow that night with a smarter, not harder head. Keep your mind open and keep improving it. By upgrading your personal operating system daily you will maximize your personal potential, your earning potential, and lifetime impact on the world.
*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them. And maybe tell them that you didn’t send it to them because you thought they were dumb.