When it comes to building knowledge in the pursuit of excellence, there’s a myriad of sources of knowledge to choose from, particular in this day and age with the growth of the internet.
The trouble with information on the internet is there’s so much of it, there’s inevitably a great deal of low quality, inaccurate dross, that you’ll have to wade through, on your search for those golden nuggets, that can be used to good effect.
Look for verifiably credible sources, with provable credentials where possible.
Be wary of coloured, biased information, which is aimed at lining the pockets of those giving you it.
“Only take advice from someone you’re willing to trade places with.”
Good sources of knowledge can come from
- Roles models and their M.A.R.S.H. (models and relationships, systems and habits)
- Mastermind team
Who is killing it, doing what you love to do? Go learn from them. Watch them. Study them. How do they add value for their customers? Read books about them, see what they are doing in the running of their business, find out as much as you can do about them.
How do they stand out from competitors?
How do they monetise?
How do they leverage resources?
What is their business model?
How did they build?
How can you replicate but make it your own?
What’s changed in your target market since they started and how have your role model adjusted to meet changing demands? Be aware that things move on and what worked yesterday may not work today. Bring your approach up to date and make it relevant in today’s market requirements.
Are they future proofing themselves?
Only take advice from someone who has provable experience achieving the same goal as you are aiming for. Check income statements if they’re provided, research them.
Understand the underlying principles behind the activities that resulted in their success and model these models, relationships, systems and habits. Separate their underlying STRATEGY, from their STYLE. Use their strategy, replace their style with your style.
Be cautious of the passing of time and it’s effect on the methods being modeled – are they still relevant in today’s world? Did they benefit from being in the right place at the right time?
Use their principles as a starting point only – test – improve, learn from your own experience moving forward. There is no better teacher than experience.
A mentor is an expert who you can personally interact with, and has be successful doing what you want to do, and who can provide expert advice and direction for you on your journey and evolution.
If you’re looking to approach a mentor, always look to provide some value for them in return. Don’t just ask them to help you, offer them some value in exchange. For instance, you could offer to work for free in exchange for them mentoring you or offer to use your existing resources to do something they will value in return for them mentoring you. Finding a win win solution is always preferable if possible. Sometimes mentors like to know there advice is appreciated.
A mastermind team is a group of like-minded individuals who get together to share ideas and help one another to perform better. They have gained in popularity over recent years, but if you can’t find an existing group to join, why not create your own?
Finding accurate information
There is a risk with taking information at face value, in that you don’t know if it is accurate or even valid. For this reason you should question everything to hear, see or read. Test it out for yourself. Use it as a starting point and build upon it.
Aim for “just in time info” rather than “just in case”, so that you don’t get overwhelmed with the shear volume of incoming data.
- WHAT to do
- HOW to do it
- WHEN to do it
- WHY do it (purpose)
Your WHY is usually fully formed by 18 years old. It is fixed, Your WHY is not changed by life events, in fact it is often brought more into focus by tragedy, when all the other BS is discarded and allowed to fall away. You job is to live your WHY.
You can either focus on…
- General knowledge is wide and shallow
- Specific knowledge is narrow and deep
consider knowledge that relates to all areas of production such as ..
- ingredients, content, inputs, raw materials
- methodology, techniques, directions, instructions, processes, adding value
- equipment, tools, weapons, hardware, assets
Jim Rohn was a big self-improvement advocate, here are a few things he advise with regard to self development..
- Learn how things work
- Have childish curiosity
- You might not be able to do all you learn but you should learn all you can do
- Don’t be a follower, be a student – become a practitioner
- Learn from your own experiences and other people – books. Successful people wrote down how they became successful, and people don’t read it, how do you explain that?
- Learn so you don’t get hurt
- Ignorance is NOT bliss
- You don’t have to like how it is but you do have to learn how it is
- Learn to get on the good side of the way things work
- Law of use – whatever you don’t use you lose (vitality/energy/enthusiasm/talent)
I particularly like Jim Rohn’s take on sewing what you reap..
- Law of sewing and reaping – whatever you sew you shall reap.
- Don’t try to beat this law. Another way to quote it is, whatever you reap is what you’ve sewn.
- Negative – if you sew bad you reap bad.
- Positive – if you sew good you reap good.
- More – you reap more than you sew both positive and negative.
- Have a good plan.
- You could lose – sometimes things don’t work out regardless of what you do. You’re just unlucky this time.
- If you don’t sew you don’t reap.
Karl Raimund Popper said…
“Every false belief we discover is actually good, because that gets us that much closer to believing only true things.”
“The only genuine test of a theory is one that’s attempting to falsify it.”
“irrefutable theories are NOT scientific.” – must be able to test hypotheses
“If theory is proven false, you must be able to LET IT GO, in the knowledge you’re closer to the truth.”
Any Scientific method must be:
You don’t try to prove beliefs/hypotheses to be right, you try to prove them to wrong.
There are two types of reasoning, these are..
- Inductive reasoning – hypothesis and ideas about things you don’t know
- Deductive reasoning – have the facts or appear to have the facts.
Accurate Thinking (also in decision making model)
In his book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill he describes the using accurate thinking as being the foundation of all successful achievements.
He advises to separate important facts from unimportant facts. An important fact is one that aids you in the achievement of your goal, if it doesn’t do this consider it unimportant.
Be wary of opinions prejudice and biases that come with them. Look for proof of hard facts. Ask “How do you know?” and stand firm until they have answered to your satisfaction.
If someone has a negative attitude about someone or something, be wary of what they say because it is sure to be negatively framed.
Free advice is usually worth what it costs
Never accept anything as fact until proven
Negative attitude = negative framing
Don’t give away what you want the answer to be when you ask a question, because people want to give people what they think they want to hear
Ask “how do you know” when you can’t identify if something is true
The INTELLECTUAL advice
“When studying anything, ask yourself what are the facts and what is the truth the facts bare out. Don’t get diverted by what you wish to believe or by what would have beneficial social effects if it were to be believed, only look at the facts”. – Bertrand Arthur William Russell
Knowledge is defined as a justifiable true belief
Try to disprove rather than prove your beliefs. Make it contingent on new data, and if you’re wrong let it go, give it up.
Being certain of something closes mind and we should always try to retain an open mind.
Be open the fact that your beliefs might be false, don’t worry about being wrong, a willingness to disprove beliefs, gets you closer to the truth. Also prevents confirmation bias and self reinforcement.
Knowledge is about..
- Probability (justified believing what’s most probable given current data) and
- Contingency (willingness to revise beliefs in the light of new evidence in other words based on the data themselves)
Science theory is prohibitive, don’t seek to prove scientific theory right, try to prove it wrong. You only get to believe what you have reasons for.
False knowledge is worse than ignorance, especially when it’s used against someone. It’s best to have all the facts and know what you are talking about before you condemn someone for something you really know nothing about. Facts are never hearsay or what someone says or what you heard from a person or thought was the case based on inferences and assumptions. Facts are unbiased truths about what actually happened, the difficulty is separating fact from perception, because perception carries with it assumptions, inferences, biases, interpretations, beliefs, values and principles.
If you want to understand the truth, you must let go of your situation, your conditioning, and all of your opinions.