What is Your Greatest Asset?

A major element of success in life is not having assets but becoming an asset. To become an asset, you have to keep learning. According to D. A. Benton, the author of How to Act Like a CEO, “Every day that you aren’t getting stronger and better, you’re getting weaker and worse”. Where you are now and what you can do are functions of your current level of knowledge and skill; if you want to do better, you have to add something extra. The tragedy of life occurs when people don’t want to give up their leisure, yet they want to be rich or great; students don’t want to study extra hard, yet they want to pass. You must be willing to give up something for your dream. John Maxwell puts it this way, “There are two paths people can take. They can either play now and pay later, or pay now and play later. Regardless of the choice, one thing is certain. Life will demand a payment”. Here are a few things you should know about learning:

  1. You can’t bring something out of nothing: as far as information is concerned, you can’t give what you don’t have. There is an African saying that what you don’t know is superior to you. That is why some people get results sooner than some others- they know what others don’t know. If you find yourself struggling at a spot and you find it impossible to make progress, you probably need to acquire more knowledge.
  2. Don’t get over confident: it is dangerous to claim to know too much too soon. When you believe you know all there is to know, then you have achieved all there is to achieve. The quest for more knowledge is what leads to progress. It is impossible to learn from a teacher you are superior to. The moment you consider yourself superior to all, the learning process in your life has ended.
  3. Have a deposit policy: you must decide to consistently feed your mind with the kind of information that can create the kind of future you want. Whatever you want to achieve, some people have gone ahead of you; why not learn from them so that you can surpass their records? It is from the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. Asleigh Brilliants states that “Learning a little every day soon puts you far behind whoever is learning a lot every day”.  What, then, is the fate of someone who does not learn at all?
  4. Protect your mind: my favourite book says that above everything you can ever guard in your life, guard your heart because from it flows the wellspring of life. Why do people guard their money, houses, jobs, etc, and they leave their hearts unprotected? Why do people read things, watch things and listen to things that corrupt, distract, depress or discourage them? Whatever seed is planted in your heart manifests in your life and around you. If you want to find out how you arrived at where you are today, evaluate what you have been feeding your mind on.
  5. Be flexible: some of my students have asked me over the years, “Why do we go to school if we don’t always end up practicing what we studied in school?” I usually tell them, “we may not teach you what you feel you need to know but we teach you how to source for information, interpret it and use it to solve problems- a skill you can apply to whatever you choose to do in life”. There is no “once-and-for-all” information in life, we must keep learning. According to Alvin Toffler, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn”.