There is lots of great stuff in this article, “19 of the ‘top highlighted’ ideas from millions of readers,” but the following resonated deeply:
Work on yourself, not on your job
“Work hard at your job and you can make a living. Work hard on yourself and you can make a fortune.” — Jim Rohn
Your work is a reflection of you. If you’re not getting the results you’re looking for, stop looking for better strategies.
Instead, look inside.
Are you currently the person who would attract the level of success you seek? Your outer conditions are a reflection of your inner reality. As James Allen has said, Your circumstances reveal you to yourself.
Where you are right now: that’s you.
If you want something different: improve you.
Most people focus on their craft or their “job.” That’s all well and good. However, you’ll get far more bang-for-your-buck by focusing on yourself.
The above image hit me hard.
I have changed a lot about my thinking on the word “balance” lately. For me, it used to be that balance was what people said if they didn’t want to work hard, but I am starting to see the term as one that helps improve things while still having my personal and professional goals in mind.
For example, I spend a lot of time now OFF of social media. I spend more time reading books, watching movies, going to the gym, and am now finding I have more energy and passion for my work than what I used to do.
This makes sense to me when I think about regarding trying to build muscle. If you do not give your body time to rest and rebuild, it can actually do more harm than good.
In my workshops, I have been encouraging participants to not spend more time on the ideas that I am sharing, but thinking differently about how they use their time. It is essential that if we are helping our students not only grow as learners but as people, we model the importance of having personal interests ourselves. I know this is easier said than done, but time away from work can actually make the time spent at work more useful.
This article reminds me that is not about how much time we spend on something that makes us better, but it is how we do things with the time we have:
A few years ago, Malcolm Gladwell made a lot of news with the “10,000 Hour Rule.” Based on research by Anders Ericsson on promising violin students, Gladwell claimed that anyone could achieve mastery of anything with 10,000 hours of practice. Soon after, Gladwell’s 10,000 Hour Rule was debunked by Ericsson himself, who claimed that Gladwell got a lot of significant details wrong, and that in any case the violin students had not achieved mastery so much as very great promise.
More important, Ericsson said, was how the students practiced, and that’s the important lesson here. There’s just doing something for 10,000 hours. And then there’s actively working to improve, breaking down the skill you want into building blocks that you can master, pushing yourself beyond your current abilities, and getting feedback on what you’re doing well and what you could do better.
I have written about “teacher guilt” over the summer. But in reality, that time is not to ignore your job, but for many, it is to get better. That time to rest and rejuvenate allows many people to come back even better than they were before.
I end with this quote on the importance of “sharpening the saw” to become a better version of ourselves:
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