The one thing I’ve really noticed over the last 10-15 years is just how much more noisy the world has gotten since technology has kicked up so much with the internet, access to information, smart phones, the “attention economy”, sales funnels, etc.
There is so much information and ways to communicate out there that we are constantly getting bombarded with. Every place around our screens are being hit with some form of advertising. From my gmail inbox, social media accounts like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, the websites I surf on, the snail mail I receive, the signage on buildings, it really is getting out of control.
It was actually refreshing to go on a family trip to Arizona and see the effects of their city bylaws around signage. All the wording on the buildings were all very uniform and it seemed to be less than 3 feet in height. In a city like Sedona, AZ there are bylaws around the colour of the signage that is used. The Golden Arches aren’t so golden in Sedona – they are actually desert earth tone colours! Anyways, I digress.
The more I see and hear the Edward O. Wilson quote – “We are drowning in Information, while starving for Wisdom.” The more it becomes a universal truth in my books and those who associate with our family.
How can we acquire this wisdom? Well, we could reach for books. If you are, go for the classics first, and on a regular basis for review. Success leaves clues, and they aren’t coming up with new fundamentals every year. Don’t just read these classic books once. Read / review them on an annual basis. It’s like having a date with an old friend. Look them up once in awhile and go and spend some time with them.
You could go attend courses, but then which course would make sense for you? Lots of time you might not know if the course was a good one until it was over, fees paid and time spent. Make sure you only go to great events. Referrals to great trainings are usually worth their weight in gold.
You could look on YouTube, which is okay to get started, but again, it’s an open playground out there. So many people posting and so many different opinions. Subscribe to the A-players who are tops in their industry and let them share some wisdom with you. I too spend time on YouTube, but I am selective with what I watch due to the sheer volume of content.
Or you could find wisdom in people who simply have more experience than you. They may be older than you, and or have put more time into their craft, most certainly they have a unique talent that they possess. Isn’t everyone to some extent looking for that wise sage who can help them short cut to their desired result? Someone who is at that 10,000 hour level or even beyond? Someone who can take one listen to your issue, or take one look at what you are dealing with and then see the end zone as if almost by reflex.
I don’t want to keep beating an old drum here, but yes, mentors, guides, trainers, coaches and wise sages in our lives are very important, but what is the difference between them all? Usually a mentor or guide is a person who will give general advice when it is convenient for them and the fee is close to zero. A coach or trainer is typically a person who is paid for their services. The more talented the coach is on getting results in the student, the better their track record and systems, usually the higher their fee.
As an example, I have had all of the above sages in life and they all helped in various ways to get different levels of results in certain areas of my life. I am grateful for those experiences and results.
I’ve seen the value for paying to get bigger results, better results and faster results. This ultimately means I will pay for access to wisdom. With wisdom that is implemented, I can achieve a better profit margin, or yield to be able to better afford things in life like better service, better quality products and more exceptional experiences for myself and those around me (family, friends and tribe). Another way of saying I pay for wisdom so I can live life on my terms. Other people have been able to do it, so I’ll follow suit and pay for the privilege.
In the meantime while you might be saving your dollars to afford the best Wisdom out there, I have some tips for you so you aren’t drowning in information on a daily basis. Turn off some of those information hoses in your life so you can be more focused on a daily basis. With better focus you’ll be more productive and have a better quality of life. Here are some tips for you that I have implemented in the past and on a regular basis:
- Use Inbox filters for email. There are apps and programs out there that will filter the subscription emails you receive and deliver them once per day, or put them into folders for you to review at your leisure.
- Turn off notifications for some or all of your apps especially social media apps.
- Turn your phone on silent mode or airplane mode while doing deep work.
- Use a Pomodoro type productivity app to time your focused work sessions. Much like the army, work for a block of time, take a short break, rinse and repeat. 45-50 min of work and 10-15min of break time will give you a sustainable pace to keep for long periods of time.
- Plan and schedule productive work into your calendar before the weeks starts and then do your best to block and tackle the distractions which are bidding for your time.
- Learn to say NO more often. Say no to the good opportunities so you can say yes to the great opportunities.
- Cut and simplify things in your life. Maybe it is a person that doesn’t belong on your team anymore, a toxic relationship, clothes that need to be donated, closing up a division of your business that is distracting you from doing what you and your team does best. Cut, Cut, Cut…simplify…create space to do more of what you do best!
So give these a try. You have probably already tried them at times. My request for you is for you to practice more of them more often throughout your waking hours. Sometimes it isn’t the new shiny strategy that we are seeking; it’s the classic strategies that work.
Looking forward to seeing you more focused on your quest for true wisdom and knowledge that gets implemented this year!