The Lifelong Learner :: Do what you can, with what you have, where you are -Roosevelt ::

Archive for the 'Living' Category

Summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People January 16th, 2009
Being an Awesome Dad August 24th, 2007
15 Steps to Cultivate Lifelong Learning August 2nd, 2007
How to Be An Expert June 28th, 2007
Simple Rules for Better Writing June 22nd, 2007
12 Rules for Self-Leadership April 19th, 2007
Wooden’s Life Principles April 4th, 2007
Concise Writing October 30th, 2006
Speed Reading September 12th, 2006
Parenting: How To Talk so Kids Listen & Learn August 18th, 2006

Summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People

I just StumbledUpon a very good self-improvement site: Dale Carnegie’s summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People book. It’s a great refresher of the classic rules for becoming a better person. (If you have not read the book, I highly recommend it. And hundreds other people.)

Here’s just a glimpse:

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.

Reference

Summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People

Related

Summaries of Dale Carnegie’s other books

Being an Awesome Dad

Having a good connection with you son or daughter is probably the most important part in being a good father. That means being able to communicate well with your child. How do you do it? I found some really good, common sense advice on how to do it well. Read on.

Awesome Dads Top Ten Communication Intentions

An Awesome Dad in by no means perfect. But that itself is perfect, because imperfection allows us to really understand the personal evolution our children are going through with us. The definition of an Awesome Dad, then, is the father who stays in the game, shows up fully and sets powerful intentions to grow into. Here are some:

I listen with my entire being – and without judgment. I seek first to understand and appreciate what my children say. From that vantage point, I will build their trust in me and be most supportive.

I see others as equals, neither superior nor inferior to me. Every person is a unique individual, just like everyone else on the planet. (hee hee)! We each have our own journey and everyone we encounter is integral to our life’s objectives. Children are no less important and should be treated with equal respect.

I engage my curiosity completely. I truly want to understand and try to grasp all that is going on for my children. I want to see the world afresh from their perspectives and glean new insights through them. I ask questions without an agenda.

I consider all perspectives and choose consciously. In this world of infinite possibilities, I seek to understand where everyone is coming from and only then choose what resonates most. I share this process with those I love.

First, do no harm! I communicate to foster understanding and growth but never to hurt. “Sticks and stones…” I know my words can cut deeper, and the resulting wounds take longer to heal.

I tell stories that speak to the heart. When I speak from the heart, my words penetrate other’s hearts. Parables and personal stories are easy to accept and are rarely accusatory, though often funny and informative.

I articulate the nuances. I use a rich vocabulary to communicate distinctions that will help to raise awareness and expand my family’s appreciation of life.

I understand the power of my touch. From a gentle touch on the cheek, to a vigorous backrub, to wrestling on the floor, I communicate my love through the powerful medium of touch. And I know when to refrain as well.

I share what’s there. I discuss difficult issues that warrant open communication without fear. I believe open communication will lead to the greatest family unity, even though the journey may be difficult.

My actions are congruent with my values. I am keenly aware that my actions speak louder than my words. The best communication is when words and actions match perfectly. Values in action…

Copyright 2004 by CoachVille, Dovid Grossman and Ken Mossman

About The AuthorMy father was a very successful engineer. But he and I never got along, and we fought all the time. One day, when I was 17, I told him, “I always wanted a close relationship with you, but we don’t have it.” I watched as three tears squeezed out of his pained eyes. And he said, “I’ve always wanted that, too, but I just don’t know how to do it.” Since that day, we haven’t argued. I got it. I understood his love for me was really deep. A lot of fathers are in the same boat. They love their kids dearly. But they don’t know how to express this in a way that their kids understand it. Which means there’s great pain in one of the most important relationships in their lives. I offer adventure, mentoring and coaching programs for fathers to become Awesome Dads. The benefits are a lifetime of pleasure and pride with the most important people in their lives. coach@dovidgrossman.com

ReferenceAwesome Dads Top Ten Communication Intentions – Parenting Ideas

15 Steps to Cultivate Lifelong Learning

An excellent guide to follow in your Lifelong Learning quest.

1) Always have a book.It doesn’t matter if it takes you a year or a week to read a book. Always strive to have a book that you are reading through, and take it with you so you can read it when you have time. Just by shaving off a few minutes in-between activities in my day I can read about a book per week. That’s at least fifty each year.

2) Keep a “To-Learn” List

We all have to-do lists. These are the tasks we need to accomplish. Try to also have a “to-learn” list. On it you can write ideas for new areas of study. Maybe you would like to take up a new language, learn a skill or read the collective works of Shakespeare. Whatever motivates you, write it down.

3) Get More Intellectual Friends

Start spending more time with people who think. Not just people who are smart. But people who actually invest much of their time in learning new skills. Their habits will rub off on you. Even better, they will probably share some of their knowledge with you.

4) Guided Thinking

Albert Einstein once said, “Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.” Simply studying the wisdom of others isn’t enough, you have to think through ideas yourself. Spend time journaling, meditating or contemplating over ideas you have learned.

5) Put it Into Practice

Skill based learning is useless if it isn’t applied. Reading a book on C++ isn’t the same thing as writing a program. Studying painting isn’t the same as picking up a brush. If your knowledge can be applied, put it into practice.

6) Teach Others

You learn what you teach. If you have an outlet of communicating ideas to others, you are more likely to solidify that learning. Start a blog, mentor someone or even discuss ideas with a friend.

7) Clean Your Input

Some forms of learning are easy to digest, but often lack substance. I make a point of regularly cleaning out my feed reader for blogs I subscribe to. Great blogs can be a powerful source of new ideas. But every few months I realize I’m collecting posts from blogs that I am simply skimming. Every few months, purify your input to save time and focus on what counts.

8 ) Learn in Groups

Lifelong learning doesn’t mean condemning yourself to a stack of dusty textbooks. Join organizations that teach skills. Workshops and group learning events can make educating yourself a fun, social experience.

9) Unlearn Assumptions

You can’t add water to a full cup. I always try to maintain a distance away from any idea. Too many convictions simply mean too few paths for new ideas. Actively seek out information that contradicts your worldview.

10) Find Jobs that Encourage Learning

Pick a career that encourages continual learning. If you are in a job that doesn’t have much intellectual freedom, consider switching to one that does. Don’t spend forty hours of your week in a job that doesn’t challenge you.

11) Start a Project

Set out to do something you don’t know how. Forced learning in this way can be fun and challenging. If you don’t know anything about computers, try building one. If you consider yourself a horrible artist, try a painting.

12) Follow Your Intuition

Lifelong learning is like wandering through the wilderness. You can’t be sure what to expect and there isn’t always an end goal in mind. Letting your intuition guide you can make self-education more enjoyable. Most of our lives have been broken down to completely logical decisions, that making choices on a whim has been stamped out.

13) The Morning Fifteen

Use the first fifteen minutes of your morning as a period for education. If you find yourself too groggy, you might want to wait a short time. Just don’t put it off later in the day where urgent activities will push it out of the way.

14) Reap the Rewards

Learn information you can use. Understanding the basics of programming allows me to handle projects that other people would require outside help. Meeting a situation that makes use of your educational efforts can be a source of pride.

15) Make it a Priority

Few external forces are going to persuade you to learn. The desire has to come from within. Once you decide you want to make lifelong learning a habit, it is up to you to make it a priority in your life.

Reference

15 Steps to Cultivate Lifelong Learning – lifehack.org – authored by Scott H. Young

How to Be An Expert

Do you consider yourself an expert in your field?

If so, you’re not an expert! I’m sorry to say. :-) Real experts don’t call themselves experts. Why? Because they still have a lot of things to learn. “The greatest experts in the world think they’re still stoopid, ” says The Trizle Team.

In this blog post, link below, they explain this in plain and simple way.

  1. Expertise takes decades.
  2. Expertise takes improving your expertise, daily.
  3. Expertise takes self-guidence.

Do you still consider yourself an expert? :-)

“Be. Sexy. Learn. Forever.”

ReferenceHow to Be An Expert, The Trizle blog

Simple Rules for Better Writing

Want some good tips for better writing? I’ve got something just for you! :-) Read on.

The Day You Became A Better Writer

I went from being a bad writer to a good writer after taking a one-day course in “business writing.” I couldn’t believe how simple it was. I’ll tell you the main tricks here so you don’t have to waste a day in class.

Business writing is about clarity and persuasion. The main technique is keeping things simple. Simple writing is persuasive. A good argument in five sentences will sway more people than a brilliant argument in a hundred sentences. Don’t fight it.

Simple means getting rid of extra words. Don’t write, “He was very happy” when you can write “He was happy.” You think the word “very” adds something. It doesn’t. Prune your sentences.

Humor writing is a lot like business writing. It needs to be simple. The main difference is in the choice of words. For humor, don’t say “drink” when you can say “swill.”

Your first sentence needs to grab the reader. Go back and read my first sentence to this post. I rewrote it a dozen times. It makes you curious. That’s the key.

Write short sentences. Avoid putting multiple thoughts in one sentence. Readers aren’t as smart as you’d think.

Learn how brains organize ideas. Readers comprehend “the boy hit the ball” quicker than “the ball was hit by the boy.” Both sentences mean the same, but it’s easier to imagine the object (the boy) before the action (the hitting). All brains work that way. (Notice I didn’t say, “That is the way all brains work”?)

That’s it. You just learned 80% of the rules of good writing. You’re welcome.

Reference

The Day You Became A Better Writer, The Dilbert Blog

12 Rules for Self-Leadership

This is the best set of rules for self-leadership I have read. These are principles that will make you a better leader, a better person, and a better learner. Priceless. Lifelong learning.

1. Set goals for your life; not just for your job. What we think of as “meaning of life” goals affect your lifestyle outside of work too, and you get whole-life context, not just work-life, each feeding off the other.

2. Practice discretion constantly, and lead with the example of how your own good behavior does get great results. Otherwise, why should anyone follow you when you lead?

3. Take initiative. Volunteer to be first. Be daring, bold, brave and fearless, willing to fall down, fail, and get up again for another round. Starting with vulnerability has this amazing way of making us stronger when all is done.

4. Be humble and give away the credit. Going before others is only part of leading; you have to go with them too. Therefore, they’ve got to want you around!

5. Learn to love ideas and experiments. Turn them into pilot programs that preface impulsive decisions. Everything was impossible until the first person did it.

6. Live in wonder. Wonder why, and prize “Why not?” as your favorite question. Be insatiably curious, and question everything.

7. There are some things you don’t take liberty with no matter how innovative you are when you lead. For instance, to have integrity means to tell the truth. To be ethical is to do the right thing. These are not fuzzy concepts.

8. Believe that beauty exists in everything and in everyone, and then go about finding it. You’ll be amazed how little you have to invent and much is waiting to be displayed.

9. Actively reject pessimism and be an optimist. Say you have zero tolerance for negativity and self-fulfilling prophecies of doubt, and mean it.

10. Champion change. As the saying goes, those who do what they’ve always done, will get what they’ve always gotten. The only things they do get more of are apathy, complacency, and boredom.

11. Be a lifelong learner, and be a fanatic about it. Surround yourself with mentors and people smarter than you. Seek to be continually inspired by something, learning what your triggers are.

12. Care for and about people. Compassion and empathy become you, and keep you ever-connected to your humanity. People will choose you to lead them.

Reference12 Rules for Self-Leadership – lifehack.org

Wooden’s Life Principles

I just finished listening to They Call Me Coach. Right at the beginning of the book, the coach spelled out the principles he followed, which were given to him by his father. I think those are lifelong principles that are good to follow. Never aging.

Good Principles To Live By

1. Be true to yourself.

2. Make each day your masterpiece.

3. Help others.

4. Drink deeply from good books, especially the bible.

5. Make friendship a fine art.

6. Build a shelter against a rainy day.

7. Pray for guidance, and give thanks for your blessing everyday.

ReferenceThey Call Me Coach, John Wooden

Concise Writing

The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr.”); ?>

Speed Reading

I read a lot. I love to read. Every chance I get, I try to read. I acquire a lot of knowledge through reading. It’s more a habit now than a hobby. I would probably not be able to live without it. :-) So why not learn how to speed-read?

I am still a skeptical about speed reading. But lately, I think it might work.

I read this article, Speed-Reading Techniques, some time ago. Basically, the guy convinced me that speed reading might actually work. For everyone. I’m not sure if it works for all material types, but it works overall.

The author points out an interesting analogy: speed reading is like speed driving. Everyone can do it, but you need to be fully concentrated and follow some basic reading techniques, like using your finger, getting rid of all distractions, and having a purpose of why you’re reading. Also, the author says, you cannot speed read all the time, and you don’t have to — again the analogy to speed driving (do you always do it?).

I got convinced to at least try it. I’m trying to use a finger when I read. I know I read a lot of faster now but I’m not retaining a lot. :-( I have to do some more research, re-read this excellent article, buy a book, and see if it helps me.

If I can speed read, if I can double my reading speed, then I’m going to benefit greatly.

ResourcesSpeed-Reading Techniques, by Keith Drury

Breakthrough Rapid Reading, book I bought by Peter Kump

Parenting: How To Talk so Kids Listen & Learn

I learned a lot by listening to these two books. They both contain similar information, but I think they compliment each other.

What did I learn? I used to think that punishment is a good way to discipline kids. I don’t mean hitting, but punishing for the wrong things. I see now that my thinking was wrong.

Punishing does not work! The result of punishment is that kids are just more careful and try not to get caught. There are better ways of making sure that the message gets across.

The most important thing is (I knew this was the key): pay attention to your kid’s feelings. Listen to your kid. Even if he is complaining. Listening is probably the most important thing that you can do to help your kid. Put yourself into his mind, think what he is going/went through, ask him to tell you more. Pay attention. By listening first, you have a chance that your kid will listen to you as well.

If however, you have a kid that misbehaves, there are ways to attack that. You hope you only have to take the first few steps. First, tell him to stop. Second, tell him how you feel and what you expect. Third, give him a choice (“you can either sit in the cart or walk and not run”). Fourth, and this is instead of punishment, take action, make him pay (I guess this is a form of a punishment): if you go to a store, and your kid insists on going, ask him why you’re going alone; offer to take him next time but not this time. Do not give in (this is important to teach him a lesson).

Don’t label your kid. Don’t call him names. Always concentrate on what he did wrong, not on him. Remember that your kid wants to be loved, and if you call him “you’re stupid,” “you’re slow,” etc, he will feel rejected. You don’t want that. Instead. tell him that you’re not happy with his action, and tell him your expectations.

Another good solution to your kids behavioral problem (when you’re running out of options) is to sit down with him and brainstorm for possible solutions. Tell him that you can both try to solve the problem. Ask him what he can do. Brainstorm for ideas. Write it down. You offer solutions as well. Write them down without discussing. After you come up with some solutions, you pick the ones that can work for both of you. The kid feels in charge this way.

Overall, good information contained in these books. I learned some new techniques, confirmed some of the ones that I had. All of the methods discussed in these books are good ones.

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