You, opening this article, means a good start because you are interested in knowing how to be successful in life. But how should you do it? Studying hard? Working overtime? Nope. The answer lies in an activity that goes beyond working or studying hours: continuous learning.
Deliberate learning, even without further research, can be branded as one of the most effective ways to be successful. Aside from exercising the brain, continuously learning is what keeps ideas fresh and the mind sharp. It enables our analytical and critical thinking work best when needed.
This activity also builds competence that eventually leads to confidence. When we are sure of one thing, may it be a skill, hobby, or an interest, it makes it easier for us to divulge into opportunities where we know our skills and background knowledge can be used as assets.
Successful people like Oprah and Bill Gates follow this process through a five-hour rule. What they do is they take five hours from their week to “deliberately learn.”
Oprah makes it a habit to read at least an hour a day. Same goes with the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert, who reads one to two hours a day as a part of his routine.
LinkedIn’s chief executive officer, Reid Hoffman, admits he schedules two hours of his day to simply think in quiet, as this helps him come to his senses in making the right decisions.
This rule also perfectly applies if you want to master something you have been meaning to learn ever since you were four or even 12. Playing the piano, writing a novel, sewing, or learning a new language can all be learned through consistent practice and perseverance without overworking.
Simply reading before going to bed, signing up for online courses, watching TED videos, listening to informative podcasts, or reflecting on your journal an hour a day for five days will help your wires function. Start with imbibing self discipline by monitoring your achievements and mistakes along the way.
Learning does not stop after graduating from high school or finishing a degree. Our brains need to be gradually polished to make them work effectively. So if you’re either going for the master of one or the jack of all trades path, open that book, pronounce those words, and keep your feet going. You’ll eventually get there. And remember: though practice does not make all things perfect, it sure does make your progress better.