I love learning.
In fact, this is one of my favourite quotes on gaining knowledge by Albeit Einstein.
‘The day you stop learning is the day you truly start dying’.
I have embraced every form of learning that can help me become bolder, better and stronger, ready to take on life’s challenges.
There is no reason to put in the time and energy involved in learning if it cannot better your life in any way or the life of someone else.
Whether it’s through experiences, what you have been taught or your personal independent studying, you can put a demand on everything you have learnt to produce results that will put you in the direction of success.
That is how you stand out from every other person who just decides to go through the motions of life’s experiences without learning from them.
Comfort seekers VS Next level thinkers
There will come a time in your life when you have to choose one of two paths (subconsciously or consciously);
You can either become a comfort seeker or a next level thinker.
Comfort seekers would shy away from any risks or changes that would disrupt their lives (even if it is a positive disruption). They would settle for mediocrity at home, work and even with the company they keep.
Next level thinkers know how to live in the moment but keep the future in perspective.
They don’t make permanent decisions over temporary situations.
They know the long term plan and devise short term goals that are in line with the main plan. They work and live with integrity and excellence, while taking informed risks, because they keep the future in perspective.
Take a moment to reflect on your path so far as an adult and what you really want out of life.
The prime time to choose the path of a next level thinker is in your youth. Most people in their early twenties are either just postgrad or about to move away from family support to do their own thing and discover themselves.
This is the time to be active about your choices if you want to thrive successfully as you approach your thirties and forties.
That said, I am also a believer in ‘it’s never too late to begin when you finally get the right opportunity’. Age should never be a barrier. Starting early just gives you more time to reap the fruits of your efforts.
What my experiences and accomplishments taught me
As I began my third decade on earth, within the space of just over a year, I had an influx of accomplishments which thankfully, I handled well and smoothly.
- I completed my third degree with no single loan in my name – years of good financial stewardship
- Got a higher paying key job in a big city – I was the top candidate out of 150 applicants!
- Got engaged and married – everything went so smoothly and I realised that having the right friendships over the years will be most valuable during key events in your life
- Started working on writing my first book – something that had been on my goal list for some time.
Everything was happening so fast and yet so smoothly. A new season in my success journey had begun.
As I entered this new phase of my journey, I realised that these accomplishments were not by chance, but happened because I have consciously been a next level thinker from an early age. I have always believed that anything worth doing with your life is worth preparing for.
The same opportunities were open to others but my preparation over the years made me stand out and ready for them.
Being passive with success is not an option. If you are consistent with preparing and improving yourself, you will be in the right position when the right opportunity comes your way.
As author and motivational speaker Terri Savelle Foy finely puts it,
‘success occurs when opportunity meets preparation’.
My journey didn’t stop there.
New seasons tend to come with new growth and learning opportunities to help you envision your purpose in a new light. You start to see how much more you can be and do.
This clarity and vision set me up for my current season of success. A few years later and I am now training to become a doctor, have published my book, and founded a platform that provides quality and actionable content in areas that I am passionate about and have gathered years of learning and experience in – health, self-improvement, success and productivity.
So, with experiences from my journey so far, I can truly say that if you want to be a next level thinker and thrive successfully, focus on these five key things postgrad.
1. Discover your purpose and grow in that direction.
The same advice I gave to a group of students during a seminar delivery is what I would suggest here;
Make a list of what you love and another one on what skills you have acquired so far. Your niche or life purpose would most likely be within the common denominators of both lists.
Don’t believe that you must do just one thing with your life. This is what confuses a lot of people today. More than ever, we have the resources to pursue more than one interest and excel at them in our generation.
I have met doctors who DJ at night, lawyers who work in the military or police force, entrepreneurs in more than one niche business type, writers who are also software developers, and so on.
So, make your list!
If you have more than one interest and have the means and GRIT, pursue both simultaneously or focus on building one at a time. Don’t delay what you can do today for tomorrow.
Get going NOW!
2. Take time to reflect and don’t be afraid to test the waters.
As with most life journeys, most of us have gone through the phase of trying things that did not work out. Reflect on it. Take what you can learn from the experience and move on to the next thing. You would improve your self-awareness through such experiences. See it as part of your learning and prepping journey.
Be informed and then take the right kind of risks. Don’t be afraid to test the waters because this is how you cross over to the other side to see what awaits you. There is no growth without change.
Remember, nobody might see or notice you in your building or preparation season, but this is vital to your success.
The way I see it is this – the best success examples are the ones that can tell the story behind their glory. The ones with stories that give you insight into their season of preparation so you can take learning cues.
When you start gaining accomplishments, you can also share your learning journey to help others thrive.
Photo by Matt Whitacre on Unsplash
3. Network and build the right relationships.
Keep company with people that are ahead of you in growth and self-improvement. As billionaire investor Warren Buffet said,
‘it’s better to hang out with people ahead of you. Pick out associates whose behaviour is better than yours and you will drift in that direction’
This is one of the reasons I have kept close friends who are older and wiser. They keep growing and I keep learning from their growth.
It is a fact that not everyone in your life would add value to you. But, you will do well to apply wisdom by ensuring most of your time is spent with company that challenges you and adds value to you.
Whatever work environment you find yourself, try to network with the key people. This doesn’t mean you suck up, but you can make yourself invaluable by partaking in projects, going the extra mile, and taking initiative. The same applies with clients you provide a service for.
Sometimes, a word of mouth advert to the right client could be the push that takes your business to the next level of success.
4. Continuously improve yourself.
This is the foundation of all success. If you don’t increase in knowledge, your success would either stagnate or decline. Author and leadership expert John Maxwell explains this well in his book Talent is Never Enough.
You need to keep improving if you want to stay relevant and ahead in your niche.
Learning doesn’t have to be a chore or boring. Today, you can discover what works best for you and stick with it.
Maybe reading might not be your thing. Try Podcasts or audio books. Look for videos on similar topics. Resources are in so many formats now that no one should have an excuse for not learning and improving, apart from sheer mediocrity.
I can promise you this from experience, if you learn something new every day (even 5 minutes is enough), your life will change within months!
5. Upgrade your thinking from ‘what can I get’ to ‘what I can offer’.
The people that constantly achieve success in whatever they choose to do are those that have something to offer their world.
If you look up the current top 5 richest people in the world, you will find they are all billionaires, self-made and provide a service.
Look more closely and you will realise that 3 of the 5 actually provided a solution that people bought into.
Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft became wealth giants by simply discovering and providing solutions that appealed to people.
There are probably thousands of people doing the same and succeeding. It’s a no brainer. As you discover your life purpose, move your thinking from ‘how can I gain?’ to ‘what solutions can I offer?’
The most successful people will always be the ones that provide solutions.
Take home points.
As a general guide, your 20s and 30s should be the trial and building seasons of your life. But, age should never be a barrier to starting again, as long as you are starting the right way.
You should aim to stay ahead in your self-improvement and self-awareness.
So, be a next level thinker. Keep improving yourself. If you want to stay relevant and be indispensable wherever you work or in your business, you have to go the extra mile.
Learn while others are sleeping or bingeing on entertainment.
Get constructive criticism and work on it.
Aim to provide solutions, as opposed to just gaining wealth. The most successful people today are solution providers.
Build a solid foundation for your life’s direction NOW.
The sooner you get the right foundation, the earlier you can start building solid investments and focus more on enjoying the fruits of your labour.
Call to action!
Next level thinkers are high yielding people (they produce x100 outcomes with just x10 effort).
They have learnt to increase their productive capacity and channel who they are into what they do.
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