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27.10.2008 Feature Article

Learn and be wise

In today's globally competitive economy, it is totally impossible to excel without consistently updating oneself with quality information. Money used to be the life blood of a business, today it is information. Do not deceive yourself; information has become the greatest asset that runs a business.

With information, personal lives have been transformed, sales increased, opportunities explored, fortunes made, relationships maintained and technologies advanced. Information is what disguises a wise man from a foolish man, a successful person from a failure and finally the rich from the poor. Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), British writer and prime minister said “As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.”

Information can be derived from an acronym I coined “LEARN.” LEARN stands for Listening, Experience, Association, Reading and Natural observation. Listening perhaps is the most difficult attitude for people to develop. However, it is the channel to which the mind receives processes and develops ideas. For leaders, listening causes them to identify problems and suggest solutions.

For students, listening causes them to receive information for academic performance. For successful companies, listening causes them to know costumer likes and complaints for early improvement.

Listening is a helpful tool for those who want to accumulate knowledge for excellence. Epictetus, a Greek philosopher said “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

Secondly, information is gained by experiences. An experience is a powerful tool for achieving growth in life. The experiences we have in life shape our attitudes, beliefs, and persuasions, philosophy of life, thinking and actions. Gaining information from either our own experiences or others can cause us to do better, avoid certain traps and also advice others.

An experience of failure in a test or exams causes students to work harder. Work knowledge gained from experience is what makes some prospective employees to have better chances to being employed. In the light of this, we should take our experiences very seriously as they are good learning tools for success.

Furthermore, information is gained from associations with the right people. This is the reason I make it an obligation to walk with those who are smarter than I am. Choosing the right mentors, counselors and pastors helps you get quality information for exceptional performance in life. These people help to correct your mistakes, set goals, find opportunities and identify your potential for exploits. Personally, I believe that your association determines your destination.

Reading, I believe, is the most important part in the process of accumulating information. I say this because reading is a personal and a conscious responsibility to acquire knowledge. The bible confirms this by saying in Proverbs 24:5 “A wise man is strong, Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength.” Every bit of knowledge gained is a bit of value added to oneself.

Those who read a lot are more knowledgeable, keen, creative, confident and curious. Therefore, to succeed in this age, we must consistently and enthusiastically devote ourselves to a lifetime of researching, reading and studying.

Finally, many fail to recognize that we also gain information from natural observation. This kind of observation shouldn't be very complex or confusing.

Just by observing the atmosphere, the sea waves, birds fly, leaves fall from a tree or people talk, artistes, fashion designers, building contractors and architects have got great ideas for designing, drawing and planning some of the best products in the world. What's more, entrepreneurs observe consumer behaviors to determine pricing and packaging of products.

Psychologists and therapists observe client attitudes and behaviors to recommend solutions to problems.

In conclusion, remember “LEARNING” as a powerful tool in gaining information to excel in this globally competitive economy. In addition to “LEARNING”, think hard, work hard, pray hard and never allow distractions from letting you to achieve your dreams.

MyjoyOnline, © 2008

This author has authored 338 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: myjoyonline

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