Saturday, March 17, 2012

On Personal Development by Terry Minion

One of my favorite quotes from James Allen cuts to the core when he says, "men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound." As a sales manager for almost 40 years, I have seen a lot of that. So many wanted more sales but were unwilling to study sales in earnest, or they wanted more income and could not be bothered to read books that could help them. I'm sure if you've looked around, you probably see a lot of that yourself. People want more but are not willing to change in order to get what they say they want.

Of my many mentors in life, Jim Rohn is at the top and I love how he says to "pity the man who inherits a million dollars and who isn't a millionaire. Here's what would be pitiful: If your income grew and you didn't."

Often I've seen people who are asking what they are going to get prior to explaining what they have to give. Jim Rohn again lays it out perfectly: "The most important question to ask on the job is not "What am I getting?" The most important question to ask on the job is "What am I becoming?" Indeed, the first question you might ask others, but the second more important of the two you can only ask yourself--and it is ourselves that we need to focus on in order to be valuable enough for a substantial return.

Information and books that can help us develop ourselves are so plentiful and easy to find in today's world and yet it is still just a very small single digit percentage that do the reading and study. We get a job and do what we have to and then just keep repeating it. But, I certainly don't want my doctor to be that way, or my lawyer, or any other professional I need to count on. I want them sharp and smart and constantly learning and being up to date.

I've now been in sales and sales management for 40 years and I still study those subjects even today. There is so much to learn in each. Since I left school at about 20, reading so little up to that time, I've read many hundreds of books since and I find some nugget out of every one of them, and some I've got highlights, notes and markers helping me return to multiple nuggets. As an example, I only discovered Jeffrey Gitomer in the last five or six years and he is without a doubt a master in both of these fields. I'm sure I have every one of his books and have given away many more.

If you're not a reader, I encourage you to open some great books and get back on the learning track. Or, an easy way is to read by listening to audiobooks. Though I have an extensive library, I now use my Kindle more than anything. I can download a new book in about a minute and be reading right away, and I take it with me most of the time.

I hope you will find the joy that I have found in learning as a life-long practice, and I think you will find as I have that it is among the most beneficial of all endeavors to the personal development of me.

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