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Continuing Your Education

Posted by on Mar 20, 2008 in Personal Development | 0 comments

BooksI notice that a lot of people seem to pretty much stop their education once they graduate from school. I don’t blame them, the last thing you want to do when you finish school is to start studying again. However, if you start to follow the habits of successful people or read books on success you will find that continuing your education is one of the key factors. I was a good student in school, but I didn’t feel that I really started to learn until I got out of college. In fact, some of the most important skills are not really taught in most schools. I think that college is extremely important to gain the basics and lean the fundamentals about the subjects you study, but to really succeed you will need to learn a whole other skill set not taught in schools. I have listed a few of the skills that I have found very useful thus far.

  1. Speed reading- This is a skill that I am still working on, but have already seen my reading speed increase dramatically. As reading will be a very important part of any job, and also important to learning, I would recommend this as one of the first to learn. It takes time, but I think it is really worth it.
  2. Personal interaction- Basically the ability to work well with other people. This can be very difficult, but there are a lot of really great books on personal and group interactions and how to motivate co-workers.
  3. Writing skills-This is taught in college, but I would encourage you to find a good book on writing professional letters. Especially for those in sales positions.
  4. Presentation skills- taught in school, but never to a level of perfection. You will be making presentations in almost any job you are in so it’s something worth taking the time to get good at. You can find a lot of great info on presentation skills at Presentation Zen.
  5. Language skills-Speaking another language will not only give you skills other people may not have, it can also open up your options.
  6. Always be willing to learn- Take classes, read or listen to books, join associations, attend presentations and seminars, and keep up to date on your industry. It may seem like a lot at first, but once you have it down you will find that you have skills that most people don’t take the time to get.

In the following video, Sir Ken Robinson talks about the value of creativity in Education.

I think that he makes a lot of good points. As their are more and more people with degrees it will become more important to distinguish yourself with various skills. Creative thinking is an important one. Companies want to hire people who have great ideas. There are a lot of books on how to learn to be a creative thinker. I recommended one in a previous post on creativity here. Don’t be afraid to try new things or make mistakes. Being afraid to fail will hold back some of your best ideas.Like Sir Ken Robinson says in his speech, “If you aren’t prepared to be wrong, you’ll never be creative.

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Confidence In Language

Posted by on Mar 16, 2008 in Language | 1 comment

As the world becomes smaller and more connected, learning other languages has become extremely important. Understanding multiple cultures and speaking multiple languages will open a number of opportunities for someone entering the workforce. Having the ability to work in multiple languages and in different countries can also protect you from economic downturns and downsizing.

So how do we get comfortable with a language? Hard work and continuous study are important, but those alone will not get you there. To really improve at a language you need to get out there and not be afraid to make mistakes. In fact, mistakes will actually help you learn quicker. You have to get out of your comfort zone to gain the confidence that allows you to relax and feel comfortable in the language. During my study at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan I watched a lot of great students study hard, but not really raise their language ability. They understand the material, but were not willing to put themselves into circumstances that really allowed their abilities to grow.

One great way I have found to learn a language is to find something that you really love to do, where they only speak the language you are trying to learn. When you are enjoying the activity, you don’t think about learning the language, and that’s when you really learn. However, for those of you who are unable to get into those types of situations due to locations, there is a new intuitive program put out by a company called Cerego. Cerego is created my the same people who created the Princeton Review here in Japan. They are now starting a new a new online site, “iknow” that will be somewhat like a mix between a language learning program and a social interaction site like Facebook. The service is currently offered for Japanese speaking people who want to learn English, but they will soon be adding other languages as well.

英語を勉強したい日本人にはCeregoiknowがあります。iknowは英語を学ぶためのオンラインプログラ� です+mixiみたいなオンラインコミュニティ。

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What’s Really Important?

Posted by on Mar 14, 2008 in Health | 0 comments

We spend so much of our lives pursuing the the things we want: money, cars, houses, diamonds or gold, and the million other things we collect. We generally put this pursuit above all else including our own health. What’s funny is that with out your health you can’t really enjoy any of them. This point has been driven home for me as I have recently had two family members in the hospital.

I think it is really important to remember that your health must come first. Without it not only does the other stuff not matter, but you can’t achieve. Feeling good and healthy raises your energy, keeps you more motivated, relieves stress, and makes you more efficient. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to keep yourself healthy, but the reward is large. Take care of yourself and encourage your loved ones to do the same.

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Posted by on Mar 10, 2008 in Enjoying Life | 0 comments

I was recently turned on to the website TED Talks and realize that every time I watch it I come away inspired. The site is basically some of the worlds smartest and most talented people talking about the cutting edge work they are doing in their fields. From technology, education, dance, astronomy, biology, and just about anything else. So I have been thinking about what inspires me about all of these presentations. Many of the speakers aren’t really good presenters, and there are a number of topics I don’t have interest in. So why is it that they all seem to have such a presence? I believe it’s passion. They all love what they are doing and can’t think of anything more important. It drives them to be the best at whatever it is they are doing, and that is inspiring.

Watch the following video and see if you agree. There is really nothing amazing about the following presentation, but it is inspiring. Why? Because he has passion. He truly cares about what he is doing. Find your own inspiration and inspire others.

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  • Comment on Inspiration by Inspiration | mere funde – […] I came to know about this person through Dcubed’s blog. Then again through Scoble. […]
  • 64 Ultimate Design Inspiration Resources – Over the past years website design has become more and more beautiful. You can find thousands of inspirations online – Logos, Icons, Websites, Colorschemes… I have carried together the best and largest sites. So sit back, relax and let …
  • The Library in Verse – (I have written about such inspiration before.) It is, after all, one of the great buildings at the heart of one of the great institutions of the world. But what wasn’t expected was that a visitor would be inspired to set his …
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Share The Info!

Posted by on Mar 7, 2008 in Personal Development | 0 comments

Recently I have been attending speeches and reading a lot of blogs and books. Basically, I have been pretty active in pursuing knowledge. A lot of management books talk about gaining new knowledge and also about sharing the knowledge. When I first learned this I didn’t quite understand it. I viewed knowledge that I had worked hard for as giving me the edge over other co-workers. However, as I start doing it more and more I am really starting to see the benefit.

Offering the knowledge to everyone helps build trust and encourages the info to start flowing in both directions. You will find that when you share your knowledge or newly obtained skills with someone, they really appreciate it. And rather than using them against you, they work harder to try in help you. You’ll also find that the ones who you wanted to keep it from the most probably won’t really recognize the importance of it or have the motivation to pursue it. By sharing the knowledge you can create a lot of trust and gain the support of your co-workers.

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