With this year coming to an end multitude of articles about setting your resolutions will soon start to appear. Conceptual clichés, regurgitated for way to long, it seems as though there is nothing new to add. All the same, the significance still remains to try and set a goal, change a certain aspect of your reality. And while similar articles will try to shower you with words of wisdom worthy enough to knit into a pillow, I will not pretend and follow in the same vein.
By contrast, what I’m about to share is nothing more than common sense. What I use in my writing are mostly stuff that have been put in my mouth by people much smarter than me- and if you are not new to this site you’ve probably heard me say that over and over.
This article, simply put, only emphasizes on that concept. The New Year resolution then would be far less exalted of an idea than you might have expected. It all gravitates towards this notion of having mentors, role models, people from whom you can learn and thus upgrade.
So how does this work?
This being a long term investment, I think it goes without saying that quick fixes are not the thing to expect – it will not instantly improve your relationships, nor make you lose two inches off your butt. And the problems you have at work or with your boss will be as true in mid-February as they were the week before.
Each year we make resolutions as if though what we want in December will still be the same in June. From personal experience- and I think you will also agree- this is almost never true. In a very crude sense, what we learn along the way and what we interact with on daily basis affects us in verticals such as attitude, prioritizing – and yes you guessed it – setting goals.
Hence I want to address an elephant in the room. Why setting in-stone-written goals, when five months from now you will be a somewhat different person? Instead, why not try to direct what type of person you are going to progress into? This will sequentially affect your knowledge, values, and goals along the way.
Pick your mentors and absorb whatever you can
You can learn a lot about someone by knowing who his role models are
And much the same is increasingly true for their mentors, people who they hold in high esteem. For once you start to feed with their books, memoirs, interviews, speeches, even narrow niche-centered lectures, you start to adopt their set of values, part of their worldview.
And this can influence your attitude and perception as much as it can affect which values you hold dear and what type of person you are hoping to become.
Depending on what you want to achieve, you can chose teachers who tend to cover broader topics, or single out the ones who preach about your craft, your profession. Appropriate mixture of the two is what I personally aim for, since it provides for specific knowledge, as well as increased awareness in more verticals- thus giving you the ability to adapt and change.
As to familiarize you with the concept, I will try and share some of my personal mentors, thus showing you how to go about setting this year’s resolution. Accidentally, it is also where you learn more about me than most of my exes.
There was a time, I’ve been told, when if you wanted to part ways with how majority of people around you think, it took a while. This guy helped me to make a dramatic shift in perception. Meta learning aficionado who enjoys being in the 1%. To say that his personal philosophies inspire thinking outside of the box it would be an understatement. From all the changes I adopted when it comes to lifestyle design, majority do come from his line of thinking.
What you can also pick up from him is sheer ambition. It seems as though Tim never stops learning. Speaking 6 languages at the time of writing this, holding both a kickboxing national title and a record in tango dancing, as well as being a successful angel investor, entrepreneur and three times NYT bestselling author, he is a walking inspiration.
Personal development has been parroted around quite intensively this last decade that people understandably confuse it with snake oil. But no matter how reserved you feel about people who live off by giving advice to others on how to improve their life, this is another monster entirely.
What Tony Robins specializes at is not sheer motivation. He is great at diagnosing, and finding the why behind what we do and where we currently are.
Up to date, you can rarely find someone who will unlock your potential as this guy can. Advocating a shift in perception followed by strategically and methodologically approaching change, he can transform your life.
Now this is one of those moments where you surround yourself with lofty ideas that seemingly do nothing about changing your reality. After all, what Sir Ken Robinson does is talk about education.
The takeaway for me is his principle of non-linearity. That things not necessarily need to start here and go through a track, and if you do everything right, set you up for the rest of your life.
What he aims at – in his TED talks (here, here) and his wonderful book, The Element – is recognizing the extraordinary human capacity and, in a very crude sense, favoring the principle of non-linearity. For it is precisely through this mindset that our talents, our potential might manifest and develop.
One of the most fascinating people I ever had the chance to read and learn about. The way he went about building his empire, and the insights he gained along the way, at least for me, have left a huge and distinct impression.
Life lessons that are going to permanently change your attitude towards numerous areas in life, learned through haphazard and intuitive actions. For people who want to look for the solution on the periphery, and escape the mapped road at all costs, his autobiography, and commencement speech at Stanford are a must.
The first impression you get when you encounter Seth Godin’s work and personal philosophy, is sheer fascination with his curiosity- curiosity that has led him into exploring the economy, the market, people, their psychology, society as a whole.
Sharing the same narrative about non-linearity as Sir Ken Robinson and Alvin Toffler (another guy I really admire) he advocates the shift in society firmly believing that the industrial age is now over, and the human inside us has finally rebelled.
The perfect mentor when it comes to adopting winner attitude and someone who will tell you that it is ok to fail.
M. J. Fox
From this guy I’ve picked up tons of values. He is the perfect example of leading a well-balanced life, extraordinary work ethic, mixture of incredible family values, as well as practicing thankfulness and standing tall (no pun intended) in the face of adversity.
Reading how his daily struggle with Parkinson’s, on the verge of making him cave in and give up a decade ago, has now made him a stronger and happier person, it changes how you perceive things.
In his book Always Looking Up, along with witnessing his emotional calculus on daily basis, you will find life lessons that will change your core values permanently. Great outlooks on family life, spirituality, work-life balance, as well as persistence and determination.
Becoming obsessed with fitness over the course of these last year and a half, it makes sense mentioning this guy too. At a minimum, he is your personal coach teaching you about holistic fitness. And on the surface it is just about all that people can recognize here.
However, if you start reading his book, or listen to his interviews and chats, you will find out that there is more in there than what your average fitness junkie usually looks for. Lot of advice for leading a healthier and overall happier life.
Besides, at age 55, and still kicking some b, following him will translate into setting the bar higher for yourself.
Not much of a talker, but if becoming a superior physical version of yourself is your thing, he is the guy that will get you there.
As to provide you with a more specific example of choosing a person who can help you grow in a narrow, more specific niche, I will share with you how I refined my skill set for what I currently do – work on online projects. And here is where this guy, along with couple of others, enters into play.
While I learn from him a lot about entrepreneurship in general, as well as how to improve my work ethic, what he teaches me is inbound marketing, most specifically search marketing. And this has not only helped me generate monthly income that I never previously imagined, but opened the doors for multitude of other projects in the future.
The list is not complete, since it is not my intention to bore you to death. It is here to give you a rough picture and foretaste on how this concept works. And while there are almost zero tangible results or applicable ideas that you can pull out of this, the basic premise is simple – following into similar direction will provide you with tons of concepts that might as well change the course of the following year, by changing your perception, values, skill set, ambitions. Changing your reality starts with educating yourself. Find the people who can help you and follow them.