High Performance Hacks | Learn
In this series of High Performance Hacks, I’ll be delivering the practical actions, tactics and strategies used by the world’s best high performers across all fields to help them out-perform, out-work and out-shine their peers.
In this article we’ll talk about why effective learning is crucial if you’re committed to consistently generating better results, no matter where on the success ladder you’d put yourself right now…
There’s no problem you’ll ever face that hasn’t already been solved and written about by somebody else who’s already been there and worked out a solution.
That’s the beauty of today’s internet enabled world.
There’s enough freely available information through podcasts, articles, videos, e-books that you can become an expert in pretty much anything your heart can desire providing that you’re prepared to fully commit and invest the right amount of time.
Take Jon Jones for example who is widely regarded as the greatest of all time in the UFC.
He taught himself martial arts by watching YouTube videos.
This is a man who has reached the very pinnacle of his career and toppled several legends of the sport.
He’s perhaps not the greatest role model outside of the octagon, but that’s not what we’re here to discuss.
Even if you can’t meet them in person, you can stand on the shoulders of business titans and soak in their decades worth of trials, tribulations, experiences and successes by investing in a good biography or even watching or listening to a great interview.
95% of the high performance people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting are veracious learners and invest a large proportion of their time into reading, attending courses and continuously improving themselves.
I don’t think that it can be put just down to coincidence that the more successful people are, the more time they seem to spend developing themselves.
Perhaps it’s not a by-product of being successful.
It could be that this commitment to becoming the best version of themselves is what got them there in the first place?
As the saying goes, what got you here, won’t get you there.
High performance people know that if they want to keep taking their lives to the next level, they have to continue to learn new skills and ideas that will help take them there.
You cannot progress to the next level without first becoming the person you need to be to get there.
I hope that makes sense?
OK let me put it another way.
I recently finished a book called “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy, which is a fabulous book and I’d highly recommend it to anybody who wants to become a high performance person.
In the book he stated that most people go wrong because they’re hell bent on chasing “success”.
But you CANNOT chase success – it will allude you for your whole life.
What you have to chase is the person you need to become who can attract that success, and that’s when the good things happen.
The underlying message is that if you’re not where you want to be in life right now, or even heading in the right direction – nothing is going to change until you do first.
But most of us either never realise that, or aren’t prepared to invest the time and effort to make the necessary changes.
If you’re not already a regular reader, I can already predict what your excuse is going to be.
Let me guess….
You don’t have the time?
But you DO have the time.
You have exactly the same time as everyone else on the planet.
You just chose to allocate that time to activities that you deem more important.
Do you have time to scroll through Instagram each day?
Do you have time to watch television in the evening?
Do you have time to listen to the radio on your way in to work?
Do you have time to read the negative, mind-numbing stories in the newspaper each morning?
If the answer to any of those is “Yes”, then I can assure you that you have ample time to learn.
As we talked about earlier, the key to becoming a high performance person is making small changes to your routine and making better choices that will eventually compound over the years to bring about massive results.
I know how hard finding time to sit down and read a physical book can be.
Especially if you have a family at home – the chances of getting twenty minutes peace so you can get some reading done is just not possible.
But don’t use that as an excuse.
Nowadays, there are plenty of viable alternatives.
For example, you can listen to audiobooks or podcasts when you travel to work and are heading out to appointments.
You can commit 20 minutes a day on your lunch break to reading 10 pages.
There’s even apps now that summarise the lessons in books for you and condense a whole book in to just 15 minutes so you get the key takeaways without all the filler.
It’s never been easier.
What’s not easy is changing your habits and incorporating this into an important cornerstone of your daily routine.
If you don’t have the determination or resolve to do it, I put it to you now that you don’t have what it takes to become a high performance person and you should probably re-align your goals to a level that you know in your heart you’re prepared to commit to.
Because you can do it, everyone can.
Are you prepared to sacrifice trash TV to become a high performance person?
What does it bring to your life?
Will the “you” of 15 years time look back and be thankful that you invested hours every evening watching rubbish on the television that does nothing but dumb down your mind and fill it with negativity.
Or will the future you look back and be pleased that you separated yourself from the rest of the population and committed to becoming your best you?
Remember, habits compound and 15 years will be here before you know it.
If you’re not prepared to make those “sacrifices” (although you can hardly call not wasting time on social media, gawping at depressing news stories or watching terrible reality TV shows a “sacrifice”), that’s fine.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
It’s the routine for perhaps 90% of the population.
But remember, if you do what everybody else does, you will get what everybody else has.
So just make sure that when you’ve reached 35 or 40 or 50 and you realise you’re nowhere near where you should be, you take responsibility and hold yourself accountable for being in that situation for not having made the small necessary changes to your life, starting from today.
Just do it.
I believe in you, I know you’ve got it within you.
We all have.
Some just want it more badly than others.
Others talk a good game, but don’t back it up with action.
Don’t be a talker.
Make it happen.
Your mind is a sponge and what it produces is a reflection of what it absorbs.
You know the old saying GIGO – “Good in good out”?
Well it’s no different here.
If you spend most of your day listening to the depressing stories on the new, reading people’s gossip on Facebook, scrolling through hate comments from trolls on Instagram and soaking up a huge bucket of negativity, guess what your mind is going to be focused on?
You’ve cocooned it in a bed of depressing, negative influences.
Guess what type of people you’ll be attracting into your life?
Guess what will happen to your attitude and outlook on life?
Guess how people will feel around you?
That’s right – negative, negative, negative.
And guess who WON’T want to be around you…
Yep, other high performance people.
Despite what general consensus suggests, there’s absolutely no reason for anyone to watch the news other than for entertainment purposes, feeling that it’s what their peers would expect and falling for the perception that it makes you appear more “educated” by staying abreast of current events.
If “general consensus” worked, we’d all be millionaires living the life of our dreams.
99.9% of the stories you’re subjected too will have absolutely no impact on you or the people around you whatsoever….ever.
I went cold turkey over seven months ago now and I’ve never looked back.
I’d recommend that you do the same too.
Remember, what comes in, goes out.
And if family, friends or colleagues ask you if you’ve seen the latest news story about whatever is stealing the headlines at the time, just tell them that you have more important things to do.
Perhaps ask of them what they learned today that will help them to lead a happier, more successful and fulfilled life.
When you replace that barrage of negative influence with positive, thought provoking and motivational content, you’ll see the world through a different lens.
You’ll become more creative as you digest the ideas from the thousands of successful people that have shared their stories and best practices.
Your vocabulary will improve and you’ll be able to have far more intellectual conversations with people that generate positive outcomes.
Where you once only saw problems and moaned about it, you’ll now see solutions and be excited to put your new found knowledge and attitude into action.
And perhaps most important of all, when you get around people who are more successful than you, you’ll be able to talk to them in their language.
I can tell you this from my own personal experience.
Whilst I may be a long way off the business experience of some of the brilliant guests that come on the show, I can still hold a great conversation that we both get a lot of value out of.
And I can categorically say that if it were not for my past learning and investing in my own self-development, I wouldn’t have a clue where to start.
So, when it comes to reading and listening, I have a couple of tips that I’d like to pass on to you.
I’ve met many people that boast about the amount of books they’ve read or audiobooks they’ve listened to like some sort of badge of honour.
More often “read” is actually defined as purchased off Amazon and is still sat on the coffee table having never actually been started.
Try to take just one action from each book that you can implement into your life to make a positive difference.
If you try to do too much, you’ll end up implementing nothing and knowledge without actions is equal to not having the knowledge om the first place.
And in my own personal opinion, listening to an audiobook at 3X the speed is just as useful as not listening to it.
It’s a total waste of a credit.
Would you watch a movie at 3X and still get the same experience?
I fail to see how you can actually understand the lessons and insights contained within the reading, let alone process them and apply them to your own situation.
The one thing I will say about “listening” whilst driving is that it takes a bit of practice to listen “effectively”.
To begin with, you may find yourself subconsciously zoning out and then all of a sudden snapping back, having to rewind the last couple of minutes.
That’s fine though – it will come with practice.
And a final couple of pointers with regards to the material that you choose.
It’ll serve you well to remember the phrase “just in time, not just in case”.
Consume material that’s relevant to where you are now and will play to your advantage.
If you’re at the very beginning of building a business, don’t choose books about “how to scale your business from £15,000,000 to £20,000,000” because you’ll have absolutely no use for it.
If you really want to enhance your marketing this month, choose a book about marketing.
If you’d like to up your people management skills, choose a book about effective management or leadership.
Make the content “just in time”, not “just in case” because just in case might never happen.
My final piece of advice would be that if you don’t enjoy it or feel that you’re getting anything out of it – move on.
Don’t try and force yourself (as I have done many times) to complete an audiobook that is boring the pants off you.
Put it down to a bad choice and move onto something new that you can enjoy and actually get excited about coming back to.
It makes the whole experience SO much better and you will start to enjoy this new learning habit that you are developing.
So, high performance hack number six is to start investing in yourself, investing in your future and commit to your own self-development.
Don’t go all in on day one.
Be a tortoise, not the rabbit.
Commit to reading just 1 page of a good book tomorrow.
Just one measly page – can you do that?
Or 10 minutes of an audiobook.
And then build it up day by day.
Your future self will thank you.
And if you’d like any recommendations, message me and I’ll be happy to send you a list of books that I’ve really enjoyed whilst also learning a great deal from.
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