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Dec 11, 2011

Challenge Myself to Change

I mentioned a few entries ago, about a book I'm reading called "Aspire", by Kevin Hall.  I've been tackling about a chapter a week, so I can work my way through it thoughtfully, to absorb the material and apply it in ways that I need to.

Last week's chapter was called "Humility".  It was very interesting reading, because through explaining the origins of the word, when it comes right down to it, in explaining this word, I see it in a far different way than I had ever seen it.  Kevin explained that  "The origin of "humility" is the Latin word, "humus" meaning soil, specifically rich, dark, organic soil.  When a seed is planted in fertile soil, it transforms into something far greater."  Basically, he says that, "When we have sufficient humus in our lives, we grow and develop, and foster those around us to flourish.  Humility produces growth.

If we think we know it all, we are not open to growth in essence.  We need to be open to learning and growing at all times.  He then told about when he was the head of sales and training division at Franklin (a company he'd work for before).  They wanted to find out what was it that separated the top producers, that made several hundred thousand a year, from those who made a tenth of that.  They had an outside consulting firm come in to find out.  What they found was that every one of the top producers were avid and devoted learners.  They each read at least two dozen books a year and were applying the knowledge they were learning.

This caused me to do quite a bit of reflection.  Reading has always been something I enjoyed, particularly in my early years.  However, through the years, I developed quite a TV addiction.  When I was in my 20's closed captioning came onto the scene.  I enjoyed watching some TV then.  However, through the years I struggled with depression, health problems, weight gain and etc. TV became my lifeline.  It became the one thing I could look forward to.  In the beginning also, deafness and my inability to deal well with it at that time, caused lots of isolation.  TV was my sole world, once I finished my work day.  Reading quit being something I would do.  It was escapism in to TV that helped me to survive.

Over the last few years, I have made lots of personal growth, especially during the period of times that I was losing my weight.  I worked on growth in my mind and spirit.  I did cut back a little bit on TV watching, once I moved in a household with a family, vs when I'd lived alone.  However, the truth was, I am still addicted.  First thing that happens when I come home, is turning on TV.  I  may snuggle with the little, ones, spend some time with them; always, yet always keeping an eye on the TV.

After I read about the top performers and that their success in their profession had everything to do with what they did in their free time to grow and learn.  I realized that it was time for me to take some big steps.  I needed to return to the person that loves to read, rather than the person depending on the crutch of TV.  It was tough to take this step, but I went to my DVR and cancelled the majority of the programs I had set to record for the week.  I kept the news and a bare handful of shows, not more than an hour, if that, a night.  This is in stark contrast to the fact that I always recorded 6 hours a day while I was at work, in addition to night time programs.  I know that I want to make some major growth in my life.  I want to become the person that I want to me, and make the growth that I want in my life.  If I want to become successful at this, I need to be willing to take the time required to nurture myself, to plant the seeds for growth.  While these top performers were performing professionally, I want to become a top performer personally.  That will take a commitment to learning and growing.

I survived the week much better than I would have, mostly because I had to put in some 11 and 12 hours days for work, with my Boot Camp on top of that.  So I was rarely home.  However, there were a couple of times I sat down and turned on the TV and felt at a loss, as there was nothing recorded to watch.  I still had a hard time turning my focus to reading.  I'd check FB, then want to play games since nothing was on TV.  So my work is just beginning and I have far to go to create the discipline needed to engage in the learning.

I realize that I'm just beginning.  I was re-reading the chapter this morning, thinking about what I want to do.  Continue the experiment or what?  The first thought was, sure, cancel it one more week; then let everything record again.  Why?  I'm going to be off work for two weeks.  I was truly afraid to be without all my programs when I all of a sudden have lots of personal time.  Then I realized that this was a challenge I had to take.  I needed to cancel all the series I had set to record period,  not just week by week decide if I'd cancel recordings or keep them.  I need to really challenge myself to work on my growth, learning and reading; especially during the time I have off work. I need to break the addiction and open myself up to learning opportunities and growth.   With that in mind, I went to my DVR just prior to writing this, and cancelled all my daily series recordings.  I'm ready to take the journey ahead!