The Art of Learning

The Art of Learning

by Jim Stovall

     Over the past few weeks, I’ve been enjoying the reoccurring process of having a new book released. www.JimStovallBooks.com. The Art of Learning and Self Development is another of my collaborations with my coauthor Dr. Raymond Hull.

     Ray is among the most accomplished academicians anywhere. His professional accomplishments would take up several chapters of the book if we listed them all. Dr. Hull has done the majority of his learning and teaching in a formal classroom setting. On the other hand, while I am proud of my university degrees, most of the learning I have done and the teaching I now enjoy doing through my books, movies, speeches, and these weekly columns comes from the real world. I like to think of it as the school of hard knocks.

      Billy Joel may have phrased it best in his song The Entertainer. “I’ve had to pay my price. The things I did not know at first I learned by doing twice.”

     Learning is among the most important elements of our human existence. Our ancestors succeeded based on what they did, but we here in the 21st century succeed based on what we know. Too many people stopped learning when they graduated high school or college. This is the time when education really begins. A graduation ceremony is known as a commencement which denotes to me it is the point in life when the real learning should commence. Regardless of the extent of your education or how many graduate degrees you may have, unless you are constantly learning, you will be totally obsolete in a few years.

      Most nonfiction books focus on what the author thinks we should learn. In The Art of Learning and Self Development, we focus on how and why you should learn. All of us learn in different ways. As a blind person myself, if I had to learn by reading words on a page or computer screen as you are reading these words now, I would have remained ignorant, but thanks to audiobooks and high-speed digital technology, I read a book virtually every day.

      The Internet has changed what we should be learning and how we should be learning. A person with access to a smart phone or other handheld device would have been the most intelligent and well-informed person on the planet a few decades ago. Today, it’s more important that we understand how to process information and apply it in our lives than it is to get access to information.

     You should not only be focused on what you are learning, but you should also understand how you are learning.

     As you go through your day today, succeed through the art of learning.

Today’s the day!

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082; by email at Jim@JimStovall.com; on Twitter at www.twitter.com/stovallauthor; or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor.

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Living Longer and Prospering

Living Longer and Prospering

by Jim Stovall

 

Among the most consistent desires of people from all walks of life around the world are to live a long life and to live well.  Living to an advanced age is only a bonus if we are living well in every way. 

 

In a recent joint study conducted by research teams at universities in the United States and Italy, there were some common emotional, psychological, and personality traits that were exhibited by people who lived long and lived well.  The researchers studied individuals between the ages of 90 and 101.  They found that people who lived well throughout the better part of a century were positive, had a strong work ethic, had a stubborn personality, felt a connection to family and the land, and had a component of faith in their lives. 

 

Ironically, these elements are basically within our control.  Too often, people assume that how long they live or how well they live is a function of luck or random selection. 

 

Even if an individual’s life is cut short due to an accident or fatal illness, the traits exhibited by successful, elderly people in the study can help us all live better.  A great life is much more a measure of quality than quantity. 

 

Being positive is simply creating the expectation for favorable outcomes.  If we expect good things in our lives, we are more likely to find them. 

 

A strong work ethic helps us to live longer and better.  This does not mean that we necessarily continue to work at our same career, but it means we stay active, busy, and relevant.  There are few things that create more of a sense of wellbeing than feeling productive and needed. 

 

The researchers found that being stubborn helps individuals live long and live well.  In this context, stubbornness does not mean disagreeable or obstinate, but instead, denotes persistence and a commitment to never quit.

 

A strong bond with family is important for wellness, but we must consider the fact that our family is not simply the people to whom we are genetically connected but extends to people with whom we share a common interest, quality time, and love. 

 

People who have a connection to land and an element of faith in their lives are more grounded and less fearful of the future.  The ability to recognize there are things in the universe bigger than us creates hope and perspective. 

 

If you want to live long and prosper, you don’t have to guess about how to do it.  You just need to follow the leaders.

 

As you go through your day today, consider both the quantity and quality of your life.

 

Today’s the day!

 

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.  He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.  He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK  74145-9082; by email at Jim@JimStovall.com; on Twitter at www.twitter.com/stovallauthor; or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor.

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Success is never final . . .

'Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.' John Wooden was arguably known as much for his wisdom off the court as he was for his ability to win championships on it.  As one of the only people inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player and a coach, Wooden’s motivation and mentorship lives on as a testament to his greatness. Find your inspiration from this “Woodenisms”:

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Have different coaches in your life!

Tip: Have different coaches in your life!

Robert RohmTip of the Week

Often when we think of a coach, we think of an athletic advisor for a sporting event. And, there have certainly been some great coaches who have helped many athletes have a better life because of their influence and direction. In more recent days, however, most of us have heard that a coach can be more than just an athletic advisor. A coach can be someone who gives you guidance in your own personal life and future.

 

A coach is someone who looks at something with another set of eyes. They are able to give advice on the best way to approach the problems and challenges that a person may be facing in his or her life. The wonderful thing about a coach is that they usually are not emotionally invested in those situations. Because they are not emotionally involved, they are able to have a better perspective and a more “level-headed” approach in the process.

 

It is both funny and strange that the coach does not have to be an expert in the exact area in which you need help. Of course, experience is a plus, but just the very fact that he or she can look at your situation from an unbiased, unemotional perspective, is the issue that will help them give proper perspective. All I am trying to point out is that a coach can be someone who simply has a different set of eyes and may be wiser than you.

 

You may have heard the story about the eighteen-wheeler truck that got stuck under a bridge in a busy city. The Highway Department tried to figure out how they were going to get the truck “un-stuck”. They considered everything from cutting off the top of the truck to tearing down the bridge. The truck was lodged so tightly that it could not budge nor move forward or backwards. As all of the city planners and brilliant transportation experts studied the situation, a young boy rode up on his bicycle and observed what was taking place. He strolled over to the man who was in charge and said, “Sir, why don’t you just let some of the air out of the truck’s tires and let it go down a little bit?”

 

Well, as the story goes, everyone looked at each other in amazement because the solution was so simple! That is the point I am trying to make in this particular Tip. All of us need someone who can look at our circumstances and situations in a different light. They surely will be able to see one part of it that perhaps we have overlooked.

 

Although I am a big believer in gathering wisdom and counsel from someone who is older and wiser, and who has experience in a particular area, I am also open to the fact that a coach may be anyone who gives me information and direction that will help my life and circumstances to be better. Which one of us has not had a child or grandchild say something that helped us to see something that we had not previously seen? I know that I am only going to get to live my life one time so I want to gain all the wisdom I can from as many resources as possible.

 

I have a personal coach who is eleven years older than me. He is ahead of me in life and where I want to be eleven years from now. I talk to him about relationships, business, spiritual matters and other areas of life. I am grateful to have someone who gives me guidance. But, I also have coaches who are as young as four years old. They teach me how to get down on the floor and laugh and not take life so seriously.

 

I am going to learn from my coaches and I would suggest you do the same. Begin to look around at who you allow to influence your life and who you listen to for advice and counsel. Having a coach makes everything go better!

 

Tip: Have different coaches in your life!

 

Have a great week! God bless you!

 

Dr. Robert A. Rohm

 

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Robert Rohm

Top selling author and speaker, Robert Rohm Ph.D. is founder of Personality Insights Inc. and The Robert Rohm Co. As you will see, Dr. Rohm specializes in helping people better understand themselves and others.

 

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A Lasting Legacy

A Lasting Legacy

by Jim Stovall

 

All of us want the things we do today to matter, but significance is not only measured in the moment.  There are things we can do today that will make a difference tomorrow, next week, next year, or even in the next generation. 

 

There is a Vietnamese proverb that says, “If you want to have a 10-year legacy, plant a fruit tree.  If you want a 100-year legacy, plant a seed in the lives of people.” 

 

I believe there are three phases in our lives and our maturation.  We have to first find our mountain, then climb the mountain, and finally, help others reach the top and join us.  Too few people ever identify their passion or calling.  They are unable to climb their mountain because they never found it or claimed it as their own. 

 

Your personal and professional life should have a mission statement that everything can be judged against.  I understand very little of the inner workings of computers, but in simple terms, I believe all information is reduced to a one or a zero.  Once you have your mission statement, you can act like a computer and separate everything into information and facts that fit your mission and everything else in the world that doesn’t.  Much of the challenge in making good decisions is simply the process of eliminating the bad ones.  Once you have identified your mission statement and chosen your mountain, you’ve got to climb it. 

 

We live in a world that when it’s all said and done, there’s a lot more said than done.  I know people who have had the same goal or mission for decades, but they haven’t taken the first step.  Despite what many self-proclaimed success gurus would tell you, there are no shortcuts to the top of the mountain.  While there’s a lot of wisdom that can help you toward success, at some point, it involves that dreaded four-letter word:  work.  Once you have reached the summit of your mountain, you need to celebrate your success and honor the people who have made it possible for you to reach the summit.  Then dedicate yourself and your efforts to helping other people reach the top of their own mountains. 

 

For several years, I thought there was nothing more fun and gratifying than experiencing my own success until I got to enjoy the exhilaration of helping other people identify and achieve their own success. 

 

As you go through your day today, commit to find your mountain, climb it, then help others.

 

Today’s the day!

 

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.  He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.  He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK  74145-9082; by email at Jim@JimStovall.com

Keep on Hanging On

"When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn."  - Harriet Beecher Stowe -

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Why a Professional Business Portrait???

When you own or run a business, people associate your face with your business. That’s why it so important that you have a high-quality, professional business portrait. Doing it yourself may not be your best option for your “First Impression”  

Most people want know with whom they’re doing business.  When you include a business portrait on your website, your business becomes more personal, making their first impress feel warmer and more human.

 

Because your biography or “about” page usually gets the most web traffic, it’s critical that it includes a business portrait. When people log on to your bio page, they want to connect a business with a face and not just read narrative about the person running the company. Furthermore, adding a headshot to a biography gives the page more professionalism, besides makes your business seem friendlier.

 

Branding is much more than just a catchy logo or tagline. It’s also an emotional tie that you make with your clients. Your face is your company brand. Business owners use marketing collateral to talk about pertinent information, regarding their merchandise and services. Your business portrait or headshot is a significant part of your marketing collateral.  If you own your business, you are the branding

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday

by Jim Stovall

 

This week, the United States is celebrating its birthday.  While the focus of the 4th of July has become fireworks, family, friends, food, and a midsummer holiday, it is important to remember why we celebrate. 

 

The United States of America is a beacon of hope and possibility for people around the world.  As a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, we are imperfect because we are people.  We make mistakes, we disagree, and we debate, but like any other family, we have always pulled together and united whenever confronted or threatened. 

 

I realize the latest election cycle has left a lot of Americans disappointed and disillusioned.  It is important in America that we focus our feelings of discontent into positive and productive pursuits.  If you are among those who did not like the last election, the midterm campaigns are already organizing, and they will provide you with an outlet for your efforts and energy. 

 

Democracy is an exercise in compromise which inevitably means that no one gets all of what they want, but all of us get some of what we want.  Just as in our legal system, we derive our closest version of truth and justice by having a jury of citizens evaluate and decide between two opposing positions, our government functions best when the various factions work out their differences in the public forum. 

 

Democracy is never efficient, clean, nor streamlined, but it is the best chance we humans have to provide everyone with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  You can find a smooth, efficiently-running government in North Korea.  A completely new policy can be imagined in the morning, drafted during the day, and implemented by nightfall.  There will be no debate, dissent, or dispute, but I can’t imagine any of us here in America wanting to trade our turmoil for that brand of false tranquility. 

 

Even in the midst of the most turbulent political process in recent memory, this grand ideal we call America worked well.  Our greatness is symbolized and lived out when one administration relinquishes control and voluntarily turns it over to an incoming administration even though the two groups may be polar opposites and diametrically opposed to one another.  Our system is not always comfortable or attractive.  It is simply the best one the world has ever known.

 

As you go through your day today, celebrate what America is and what it can be.

 

Today’s the day!

 

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.  He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.  

All the world is a stage . . .

 

If, according to the familiar saying, “All the world’s a stage,” why do so many settle for just being a part of the audience, watching others enjoying success?  Remember, life is not a spectaror sport.  Get in the game and participate!  Follow your heart’s desires.  Make your dreams come true and create a masterpiece of your life.  -- Bruce Garrabrandt

A Perspective from the Past

A Perspective from the Past

by Jim Stovall

 

The media and the Internet bombard us with dire predictions countless times each day.  It sometimes seems everyone we encounter is preaching gloom and doom, so every once in a while, it’s good to bring a little sanity into our lives by introducing perspective from the past. 

 

In 1955, our parents or grandparents would have heard the following statements from the media or people they encountered. 

 

·       Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging 7 cents just to mail a letter?

·       If they raise the minimum wage to $1.00, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store.

·       When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 25 cents a gallon?  Guess we’d be better off leaving the car in the garage.

·       Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $50,000 a year just to play ball?  It wouldn’t surprise me if someday they’ll be making more than the president.

·       It’s too bad things are so tough nowadays.  I see where a few married women are having to work to make ends meet.

·       It won’t be long before young couples are going to have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work.

·       I’m afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign business.

·       Thank goodness I won’t live to see the day when the government takes half our income in taxes.  I sometimes wonder if we are electing the best people to government.

·       The fast food restaurant is convenient for a quick meal, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on.

·       There is no sense going on short trips any more for a weekend.  It costs nearly $2.00 a night to stay in a hotel.

·       No one can afford to be sick any more.  At $15.00 a day in the hospital, it’s too rich for my blood.

·       If they think I’ll pay 30 cents for a haircut, forget it.

 

It’s important for us to remember that the pessimists are generally wrong, and the optimists are usually right.  If you maintain a good attitude and share it with everyone around you, you will be proven right most of the time, and you will enjoy a far better life as you encounter the nay-sayers in the media or in person.

 

We can never control the things around us, but we can always control our attitude.  Ironically, whether you believe your future will be bright or you believe you are facing bad days ahead, you are inevitably right.

 

As you go through your day today, remember the past and look forward to a bright future.

 

Today’s the day!

 

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.  He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.