A rich or poor person? You want to learn from the best.
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This is the task of the wise people in our lives — to serve as model and inspiration. Find a mentor and learn as much as possible.
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Make the wisest of all men your best friends and learn from them. Yes, Seneca is dead. Pythagoras, Epictetus, and Aristotle are all long gone. And there are many wise people among us. They like some young company. Think about your grandparents, teachers, professors, and neighbors. Lately, my dad taught me about some edible plants. But this would be stupid rather than impressive. You do not need to reinvent the wheel.
We owe it to these people to seek out this hard-won knowledge. They want it to live on in the next generation. Each situation provides lessons we can learn from. Good or bad. We should be willing to learn from anyone.
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It does not matter where the wisdom comes from. What matters is whether it makes your life better. People care so much about where some wisdom comes from. My favorite one is Living on Your Own Terms. So many will never give those teachings a chance just because they think he was some crazy man. Maybe he was, but this does not matter. Maybe his teachings will still light your brain bulb. And I love it. Earlier we learnt we can choose who we want to learn from.
Now reading is one way to learn from the best. The most successful people in the world have written down all their tricks, skills, and secrets in biographies or other non-fiction books. Basically, you can read in one afternoon what a wise person acquired over a lifetime.
People spend hours, days, even years to come up with the best research and proven tips and we can consume it within a few hours or days Tools of Titans, for example, is pages and each page is worth reading it… so it takes a while. This whole reading thing is insane. And you can read it in an hour or so.
And you can buy the book for 5 bucks and read it over a weekend. You could also read book summaries and save some time and effort. In the book Meditations I just mentioned, Marcus Aurelius said you do not only need to read, but also deeply understand what you read:. We can learn not only by reading, but also by listening, observing, writing or doing some physical activity like dancing. Never let your car running without an educational program playing. Or you can learn by teaching.
Then in most cases I realize that I cannot explain it very well so that I know I need to go back and read about it again. Or you can learn from others by asking questions. You can even ask the dumb questions. Personally, when I had to learn French vocabulary, I had to write the words down. That way I could remember the words much better.
When learning and when living, do not multitask. Singletasking is the superpower. Self-mastery takes a whole lot of time and effort. You cannot shortcut this process. If you keep chopping away at it, though, the tree will eventually fall, whether it wants to or not. But unlike the felling of a tree, with self-mastery you will never come to an end, even if you keep on chopping away at it.
You will get closer to the ideal but you will never arrive. This third step to self-mastery is about the long and arduous journey ahead of yourself. Let's dig in.
Most people have not much leisure time and the last thing they want to do is to study…. Do not take a day off from learning. Or, actually, it could. Holiday goes a step further:. The best lawyers spend a lot of time investing in being great lawyers. The best basketball players spend a lot of time training basketball. And the people who seem to have mastered themselves spend a lot of time working on themselves.
You will only get better if you invest the time. You need to put something into it to get something out of it. Learn from the best. Here are 20 book recommendations. The same is true for watching TV, commuting, or reading fake news. Be mindful about spending your time. Time is money! What differentiates the superheroes from us, then, is that they have trust and faith. They keep on going because they trust the process. They have this inner certainty that it will work out. They keep on digging because they have faith that there will be water.
Have faith in the process. Trust the process. Time and effort are the magic ingredients.