This is a post by Lawrence Namale who is an author of ’21 Commandments to Mastermind Your Comeback’, available on Amazon Kindle. He is also an upcoming author of the books, Masterminding Your Comeback (June/July 2014), Permission for Greatness (December 2014), and Self Executive Officer (June/July 2015). Lawrence is the Country head of Top Image Ghana, a consulting firm that majors in Mobile Money Trade Development. He has lived in three countries now as a Mobile Money Consultant. Lawrence is married to Beth Mugisha, a Ugandan celebrated gospel artist. They currently live in Ghana with their two children Ethan and Serah. His passion is ‘designing legacies’, and he writes a lot about that on his blog http://ww.life-signatures.com.
When I am talking or writing about success, money, leadership or legacy, I have found out that there is a common denominator that I always go back to. This constant to all these fine topics we love is one of the biggest driving forces of life.
It is Personal Development. The degree to which I conquer myself and ultimately develop my potential is proportional to the quality and quantity of my daily intake of quality and quantity content.
My definition for success is “the continuous ability to master challenges”. In other words, if I cannot outgrow my challenges, I will not succeed. Notice that there are two ways to grow:
- By force: After a challenge comes your way
- By Choice: Daily purpose-directed living
I strongly believe that the content in our ‘inside’ determines largely who we are, what we are passionate about and ultimately what we will do in terms of our legacies.
For example, this post comes from deep within me. It is flowing from out of the abundance of my passion and belief system. It is a mixture of what I have both learnt by force and by choice.
In our day and age, with every twinkling of an eye, hoards of information are pushed to our mails and social media handles by the droves. Everyone seems to be talking about something…and then of course there are multiplied millions who are simply regurgitating what has already been said. Do you remember those days of receiving 50 or so forwarded emails in a day?
On the other hand, some of us crave for information so much that we also end up hoarding it. Your inbox is full of mails, videos, podcasts and other audio materials from January…some most of which you have never opened or gleaned from.
And so, this is the biggest paradox of our information age: Lot’s of information, little or no growth.
I am a great stickler of learning by choice, especially while you are still obscure. That is why we need to know how best we can leverage the content online for our personal growth. The following five points should help us:
1. Know What You Need:
Even in your own niche, you do not need ALL the information you can gather about it RIGHT NOW. You need to identify the stage, season or phase that you are in. This will determine your information needs for now. The biggest mistake we make is to hoard everything about everything we will need both now and in the future. Let’s exhaust (if we can) what we need for our current phase before we can gather more content.
2. Clean up Your Free Subscriptions:
I think we waste much time daily just going through our mails. There are several subscriptions that we really do not need. At the time of sign up, we thought we would gain from the content that was peddled then. Increasingly as you open your mail, you find that the content being shared is not helping you anymore and there is no indication of benefits in the future.
It is time to go through your mail and unsubscribe from all this ‘free content’. It makes sense to me that many a great thought leader would have hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of followers, yet they just follow ten people themselves.
3. Eliminate All Contents for ‘shortcuts to success’:
If you signed up to any ‘free content’ that peddles shortcuts to success, finances, acclaim and all that, just un-follow them. You will waste two things with these: Time and money. Nothing can replace the traditional W word, WORK. None of the successful people around you made it through shortcuts.
4. Pay for Content:
This, I believe is the master key to leverage on content online. We will always cherish something that cost us money. A certain peasant offered his King his land so the King could use it to set up a sacrificial altar to their God. The King’s reply was phenomenal. He said, “I will never offer anything to my God that cost me nothing!” You see, where your treasure is, there your heart will be too.
Nearly all the bloggers I know (including myself) are offering ‘free e-book downloads’ these days. I must say that I have a bone to pick with several of them. The ‘free content’ is normally of cheap quality in terms of content and presentation. I think the best free content we offer should cost us something…it should be something that we could sell in its current format.
If you pay for content online, chances are that you will purchase only the very best content. Chances are that you will also take time to read/listen/watch it since your ‘heart is there’. More self help content has become ‘shelf help’ because it’s free and cheap in quality.
5. Schedule daily PD:
Personally I have a daily schedule that includes the following: Reading other people’s blogs and commenting (within my niche), reading a featured book, updating/refining my blog content, watching something inspirational, listening to something inspirational and writing. All these things are scheduled. In our day and age, if we do something just 15 minutes a day daily, we reap a lot.
If you do not have a daily schedule for personal development, you will not leverage the very best from online content. You will find yourself having gazillions of mail to sift through daily, lots of nonsensical content from your ‘friends’ on social media and ultimately no focus at all in terms of your personal development.
We live in exciting times. Remember, to whom much is given, much will be required.
Question: What is your best practice in utilizing content for personal development?
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