One of the keys to success is attaining the knowledge that can be applied in a given situation or in our daily lives, and to convert that knowledge into value for ourselves or the organisation in which we work. Knowledge is attained through a number of avenues, including formal education and schooling, through parents and mentors, on-the-job training, and through self-education and personal experience.
The unfortunate situation is that our schooling system, although it provides general knowledge for many topics, it fails to provide specialized knowledge for developing life skills. Specialised knowledge for developing life skills usually comes from our parents and mentors, on-the-job training and through self-education and personal experience. More importantly educational institutes do not specifically teach people how to organise and use the knowledge after it is acquired. Knowledge becomes power when it is organised and intelligently directed through practical plans of action and to a definite end. In other words, practically applying the knowledge to develop skills in a particular activity, business or profession.
To successfully run a business or undertake a specific profession you need to acquire specialized knowledge. The first step is to determine the sort of specialized knowledge you require, and the purpose for which it is needed. To a large extent your major purpose in life and the goals toward which you are working, will help determine what knowledge you need. Once you have achieved the first step, the next step will involve identifying dependable sources of specialized knowledge, including the following:
- Formal education and training e.g. universities and colleges
- On-the-job training
- Using a mentor and/or mastermind group
- Self-education courses e.g. seminars, books, DVDs/CDs, online courses
I have found that self-education courses through books, DVDs/CDs and online courses have provided me with the best specialised knowledge to develop life skills and specialized business skills. Reading books at least one hour per day in a specific topic can provide a significant source of specialized knowledge. Furthermore, I try to listen to CDs in the car when I drive to work or visit clients taking advantage of the time available. As Zig Ziglar states, “Turn your car into an automobile university of success“.
Once the specialized knowledge is attained, the final step is to put the knowledge into use through plans of action. The translation of knowledge into practical application will achieve successful outcomes (John Kapeleris). Many people make the mistake of continually sourcing and accessing knowledge but they do not apply the knowledge to their definite purpose, business or profession. It is important to develop practical action plans that have a defined objective, and to work towards the objective on a daily basis.
Dr John Kapeleris