The short version: it’s not going away. Like a website that needs to be updated from time to time, it’s in maintenance mode.
This past year has been an educational experience for me in podcasting. I have learned much about the medium and about myself as a podcaster. I want to continue to grow in this space.
And so because of that, it was only natural for me to research how. But even before that. I had to take a hard stop.
I needed to first get alone with my thoughts and analyze my current life situation (I do this a lot). If you have been following along with this blog for any length of time, you definitely know how important I believe this practice is.
After thinking long and hard about my current situation and my goals in life (both long-term and short-term), I made a couple of important decisions. One of them was to put a lot more effort into podcasting. Specifically, treat podcasting as though it were one of my more important personal goals.
Meaning, putting it up there with becoming a full-time game developer.
I won’t get into the details right now, because I’m currently putting things together.
Anyway, let’s get back to the topic…
Over time we all change because of the experiences we go through and the knowledge we gain. For some of us, this change ends up becoming the catalyst we need to make even more progress towards our desired goals.
If you think about the knowledge and experience we gain from our early jobs… there’s so much we know today that we couldn’t even imagine when we first started out.
Some of us are even thinking of branching out into business for ourselves now that we have seen what’s “behind the curtain” in our industry because of the places we worked.
We have dealt with the prospect first hand. We have created and executed marketing plans. We have coordinated different people to work on accomplishing a specific business task… and so on.
Which is all great, right?
Now, let me ask you this. How much control and conscious effort did you put in learning what you know now and in gaining the experience that you have today?
If you have worked for someone before, then I want your answer to be based on the time period you were under their employment. Think about the skills you have today. What you do today. And think about the days before you started working.
Again, how much control and conscious effort did you put into becoming who you are now?
Did you just work because it was a job you needed to do? Were you only keeping up with what was expected of you because you were scared to get fired or demoted? Were you just following orders because that’s what model employees do?
Did you go through the new challenges you came across with some form of excitement? Did you look at a completely new task your employer gave you and thought to yourself, “Wow! I have never done anything like this before. This might be useful to me. I might end up using it to build my own business later.”
I could be wrong, but I don’t think most people think like that when they get into their first job. Many of us, focus on only getting paid, promoted, and not being overworked… among other things.
Regardless of what was going through your mind before you gained the new skills, experiences, and knowledge, I’m sure you are glad, at least to some extent, that you gained something.
And not just any something. Something that could potentially help you grow in life.
Whether or not we are conscious about it, we are always going through experiences that have the potential to build us up even further. We go through experiences that help us build technical skills, people skills, skills that allow us to have more emotional control over ourselves… and so on.
When we embrace these gains, we are continuing to improve on the person we are.
We are choosing to go through a continuous cycle of improvement.
All people of great achievement, are known to INTENTIONALLY put themselves through this cycle of improvement for the rest of their lives.
A significant number of people who end up defeated, including the ones that once made it but who later fell… tend to ignore this concept of self-improvement over time for a lifetime. They probably go through it once or not at all. Which tends to have negative consequences when it comes to productivity.
In today’s tech-oriented world, things change fast. Business people are forced to re-think marketing strategies that once worked in the early 90s because a lot of people’s attention has shifted from TVs to smartphones.
They cannot use marketing strategies today that don’t include social media or the internet in general.
How do you justify spending a huge amount of cash on a TV ad targeting the youth when clearly many are spending their time on Instagram and YouTube?
I always think of this example when trying to illustrate the problem with not keeping yourself on a constant self-development cycle. One day, you will still be the same, but the world… and quite possibly your goal… will not.
It’s easier for things around you to get harder and more complicated when you stop working on getting better.
We owe it to our goals, to keep getting better at understanding what we need to become in order to attain them.
Because, when we are born, we begin not being “qualified” to attain them. The proof is in the fact that we don’t start with our goals attained.
If we did, there would be no need to go searching for a formula on how to accomplish them.
Therefore, it is a critical part of our growing process, to always include a system of getting better and better at the things that bring us closer and closer to our goals.
We have the ability to consciously force ourselves to want to improve. To want to get better. To want to develop ourselves more. And to begin doing just that.
Even without the pressure of an employer, we can learn a lot of skills and gain a ton of knowledge related to what we want most to accomplish.
You aren’t going to excel or move closer to any important goal without an “improvement-over-time” plan. You have to focus on the development process just as much as you fantasize about the outcome you want to attain.
When you ignore the process, you limit your capability. When you continuously refine the process, you enhance productivity.
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