The Greatest Lesson I Ever Learned
Of all the lessons that I’ve ever learned in my life, one particular schooling stands out in my mind as the greatest. There are lessons that we learn that play important roles in our development, and then there are lessons learned that change the course of our lives altogether. This was one of those lessons.
It was my 20th birthday. I was a music student studying jazz trumpet and voice in Brisbane, Australia, and I was excited about going to school on my birthday. My best friend Lachlan, an incredible drummer, told me that as my birthday gift he was going to take me to a seminar in the town hall. The speaker was Eric Thomas, an evangelical styled motivator/leader. At first, I was like most people. “I don’t need motivation!” I thought. I found myself more against the idea than for it, but I eventually came around and became more intrigued. By the time I was sitting in the hall I was actually quite excited!
As we sat listening to “ET”, as his fans called him, both Lachlan and I were radiating with excitement. The mood in the room was no less than ecstatic and inspiring. Both Lachlan and I knew that this day would stand out to both of us as a separating day in our lives. It was like a new birth, and that is no overstatement. I felt new! My life was now divided into two sections: before Eric Thomas, and after Eric Thomas.
Every time I think of that speech there is one lesson that stands out to me above the rest. This lesson really changed my life, and I hope it will also change yours. It’s simple, easy to remember, and very important;
“Information changes situations.”
Before I had attended the seminar I had probably read one whole book in my entire life. I hated reading. It seemed like a chore. Sure, I did well in school and I was a great student, but I paid no attention to study. But now I knew that I would have to adjust my philosophies, and see if this lesson was really true. If it was, then no problem or issue in my life would ever be unsolvable, because if I would just search for the right information I would be able to change my situation. Within a week I had purchased my first books. A few about music, and a few personal development books. Over the next year I would go on to read 80 books and build a library of around 250. I started watching speeches and seminars, and I listened to as many podcasts as I could. These were not huge achievements, but compared to my life before the seminar, it was substantial. I think I felt as if I needed to overcompensate for the books that I missed out on reading as I grew up. I fell in love with information, learning, and growing my mind, and as a result, I made some decisions that are still affecting my life in incredible ways.
Many, if not all, of my greatest achievements and realized goals since that seminar can be attributed to that lesson that information changes situations. This goes hand in hand with the classic Jim Rohn maxim; if you will change, everything else can change. I learned as much as I could and as a result I saw more changes in myself over the year following that seminar than at any other period of my life. Since the seminar I've had many achievements and many setbacks, but I still have that drive to become more every day. Before I went to the seminar I was the wrong person for many things I wanted to achieve, but through a process of learning new and empowering information and working on myself I know that I am able to become the right person. That is really what information and implementation allows us to do; to become the person we want to be.
If there is one takeaway that I want you to get from this short writing it is this: fall in love with learning. Begin cultivating your appetite for information, and experience the joy and fulfillment that comes along with constantly filling your mind with empowering lessons and information. “Once the lights went on for me,” wrote Jim Rohn, “they have never gone out. I’ve had a few disappointments, but I’ve never lost that drive to do something unique with my life.” I feel the same way. I’m not perfect, and I never will be, but I am a completely different person to the one I was before I fell in love with information and learning. There's a distinct pride and excitement that comes with the knowledge that every day you are doing or learning something that is making you a better person. I know you probably experience this regularly, but if you haven't then I beg you to develop a relationship with learning immediately. As you do I can guarantee that you’ll experience more love, life, excitement, joy, and fulfillment every day.