TIP 30: Don’t Update Your Skills—Ever.

The more you know, the more you’re expected to do.

Negative Ned Says…

Ned with Question Marks above HIs Head

“I got the job, so that must mean they’re happy with me as I am. What’s the point in learning anything new? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I got hired to work here because I know my stuff. So why did they stick me in this lame training class about customer service? I already know all this, so I see this as a chance to catch up on my e-mail on my iPhone and get paid for it.”

Positive Paul Says…

Positive Paul

“People who are continually updating their skills in all areas tend to be more open-minded, less judgmental, and much more successful. Remember, knowledge is power and leads to increased self-confidence.

Most successful people invest in themselves by hiring coaches, trainers and mentors, and by purchasing training materials like home study courses, DVDs and special reports.  They know that in order to truly be successful they must continually update their skills.

According to Jerold Jenkins, (www.JenkinsGroupInc.com):

  • 33 percent of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
  • 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
  • 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book in the last year.
  • 70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
  • 57 percent of new books are not read to completion.

Additionally, each day in the U.S., people spend four hours watching TV, three hours listening to the radio and 14 minutes reading magazines. (Source: Veronis, Suhler & Associates investment banker.)

Everyone runs around saying they don’t have enough time, but if you do the math, and cut back on your TV viewing consumption, you’ll have enough time to update your skills; you just need to have the motivation to loosen the grip on the remote control and use your time more wisely.

Look for ways to continually improve yourself, as well as your company’s products and services.

Lifelong Learning:

  • Keeps your mind sharp
  • Improves memory
  • Increases self-confidence
  • Offers an inexpensive way to try something new
  • Saves money as you learn to “do it yourself”
  • Gives you a feeling of accomplishment
  • Helps you meet people who share your interests
  • Builds on skills you already have
  • Offers an opportunity to learn a new skill or trade and increase your income
  • Gives you a new interest that you can share with family and friends
  • Helps you adapt to change.


A Real World Example

Although I consider myself a lifelong learner, I still get into a pattern at times: doing the same things day after day, week after week. I can tell because my energy gets low and I stop noticing the positive things in my life.  Luckily, I’ve learned to snap myself out of it by doing something new.  It might be volunteering to feed the homeless or reading a different type of novel or learning a new skill.  Whatever I choose, it always works and takes me to a new level of enthusiasm and success. It may or may not cost a dime. The point is that when you do something new you will grow beyond what you can imagine.

Moral to the story: Investing time and money in yourself does not mean you have to grow your own food and sell your TV.

Strategies to Turn This Around

Continually update your skills.

  1. Read at least one book a month.
  2. Learn a new skill.
  3. Teach someone something.


Remember: People who update their skills are more successful – in all areas of their life!

“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”

— Derek Bok

© 2012 by Barbara Khozam Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this message may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission of the publisher.

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