(NNPA)—Education and training are critical, as they are the second component to “doing the knowledge.” What is required is root knowledge, not merely branch knowledge. You cannot master a subject by making a cursory glance of it. To obtain a comprehensive knowledge requires digging deep, even if you are ahead of the game because of a natural aptitude for a particular subject. There is no such thing as too much knowledge. However, you can have too little, and a little knowledge is usually dangerous. That’s when you’re likely to take uncalculated risks and enter a minefield ill-equipped and unprepared.
After defining your goals and vision, you need to learn what is necessary to achieve it.
Take the time to study your chosen profession. Such knowledge can be obtained either in school or in life. Mentors and teachers come in to play here. They can provide you the information you need to move forward, especially in the beginning.
Even the best of the best have coaches, teachers, and mentors. Famous singers have singing coaches. Olympic athletes have trainers and coaches. Actors have acting instructors. Bestselling authors have editors. Dancers have choreographers. Professionals like lawyers, doctors, and scientists all have mentors—those senior to them who have more experience, and can inspire new ways of thinking. We all need someone who can help us develop our raw talent. We also need people who can challenge our thinking, and get us to acknowledge a different perspective from time to time.
As observers of the success of others, typically we only see the end result rather than all of the hard work and practice. When we watch a star perform on the stage or the football field, we forget to consider everything that went into that winning moment. We don’t consider the hours upon hours of missed attempts and practice that helped that dazzling performance of talent. We are in awe of the outcome but fail to acknowledge and appreciate all the in-come leading up to it.
For example, every singer has a sound check before a performance. So will you before you go out and do whatever it is you intend to do.
For those who require greater structure and a process to handling decision-making, let me share with you my Practice Makes Perfect methodology. It can help you to mentally track your options and stay in tune with yourself:
1: Assess risks from an educated standpoint. Conduct the research necessary to learn all the potential risks involved in a pursuit. Don’t overlook any of them.
2: Hear what enters your mind. Don’t underestimate the power of gut instinct when weighing pros and cons and taking on honest look at risks.
3: Evaluate thoughts and potential solutions to problems. Take your time thinking through what you need to do in order to move forward. Think through every step and direction you decide to take. Consider other options along the way. Be open to circumstances that change your surroundings.
4: Act based on experience and self-examination. Make calculated moves. Like the game of chess, see if you can act with your third move in mind.
5: Discern between what’s working and what’s not working to continue forward. This is when you need to perhaps plan a new direction. We all hit walls once in a while. That doesn’t mean we have to stop. We turn around and find another way onward. We have to be willing to let go of ideas and pursuits that clearly aren’t working. They should be placed in the desire category instead of the known skills category. If you hit a wall, but there’s an open road to be taken elsewhere with another set of skills innate to you.
You can employ the Practice Makes Perfect method at any time. It can be used for small-scale decisions, such as what to wear on a job interview or where to enroll in a class that will help you master a skill set. It can also be used for those larger, life-changing decisions like where you choose to live, work, and start a family.
(Farrah Gray is author of “Get Real, Get Rich: Conquer the 7 Lies Blocking You from Success” and the international best-seller “Reallionaire: Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out.” He is chairman of the Farrah Gray Foundation. Dr. Gray can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or his web site at http://www.drfarrahgray.com.)