Life has a way of teaching you a lot over time. It teaches you through experience. You can have plenty of ideas of how things should work and then life will teach you whether you are wrong or right. You can have no ideas at all about a subject and life will teach you everything you need to know by experiencing it for yourself.
However, as great as a teacher life can be, you as the student must do your fair share of work to determine what you do and don’t learn. You shouldn’t rely on life to teach you all of your lessons without participating in the lesson. You should always try to participate in the lesson by creating and owning your own homework. It doesn’t matter what level of school you have graduated from, homework should always remain an integral part of your life.
Unfortunately for the first 18-26 years we are taught by default that someone else gives us our homework. Then for the next 40 years many of us decide to work for someone else who will continue to give us our homework until we retire. In each instance you are rewarded for completing that homework. In school you are rewarded with a degree, diploma or certification. In your jobs you are rewarded with a check in payment for your services. Those rewards further cement the practice and acceptance of someone else giving us our homework.
Many of you will live your entire life in this mode. Many will live what you believe to be a comfortable life. You will have enough food to eat, a roof over your head and a retirement check. That will make many of you perfectly happy and if that is your choice there is nothing wrong with that. Far be it for me to tell someone else what makes them happy. Yet, there is another group of people out there that are looking for something bigger. There are looking for something more fulfilling in their lives. They are looking for whatever they believe equates to greatness in their lives.
Some will define that greatness as having financial freedom to live comfortably without worrying about their bank account. Some will define greatness as following their passions and waking up every day excited to work on them. Some will define greatness as giving back to the community and making an impact on as many people possible during their lifetime. There is a myriad of ways people will define their definition of greatness. What I personally believe is that one universal definition of greatness is being able to achieve the goal of being better today, than you were yesterday. I’ve heard Oprah Winfrey say this many times and I have become a believer. That is why I try to do that every day of my life.
In an effort to achieve that goal life is going to give you some lessons based on your experiences. You will learn that lesson after you’ve experienced the result. Yet, what if you could create the lessons first and avoid having to learn it after the fact? If you do a great job at determining the lesson you will do a great job at getting a result that you desire. This sounds risky because if you create the wrong lessons you will end up getting results you didn’t desire.
To avoid that risk, you will have to do what teachers have done for hundreds of years. You will have to do some homework. In life you desire to have good experiences that lead to good results. So, in life you will need to create your own homework in an effort to achieve good experiences. The purpose of that homework is to try to learn the lessons first by analyzing your experiences to see if they are going to eventually give you the results you desire. The homework is essentially a take home test that counts for a grade.
By creating your own homework, you stop letting life do all the teaching and you begin to teach yourself. You begin to take control and create your own lessons. Instead of the student you start to become the teacher. You shouldn’t have to work in the education system to become a teacher. We should all strive to become the best teachers we’ve ever known. That is the best way to learn and take full control of our lives.
Examples of this theory are The Reminders. When I created them, I had no idea if they would actually work. Creating them was my way of defining my own lesson on how to get results in life I desired. Once I created them I then had to determine what homework I need to do to support the lesson. I had to put The Reminders in place and test them. Unlike homework from school some homework in life will take years of effort to get the true results. But along the way you will receive some interim grades. Think of these as pop quizzes that let you know how you are progressing. Based on those pop quizzes you may tweak your lesson and then alter the homework to represent the improved lesson.
The first homework I did was incorporating The Reminders into my life so that I saw them often. I changed my screensaver on my phone. I posted them in my bathroom so I saw them every morning. I had cards created that I kept in my wallet and passed out to tell people about The Reminders. I wrote many blogs about The Reminders. I created many photos that I posted on social media about The Reminders. I did all of this and started to not only feel better about life but I also started to get better results out of my life.
Yet, based on those results I know I needed to do more. That’s when I decided to create the journal. By creating the journal I was able to define my homework in more detail. I now had to write in this journal daily. I defined different things to write in it as well. The majority of the time I wrote 5 things I was grateful for, 2-3 things I planned on doing today and what creation I was going to work on today. I did this after reviewing in my mind The Reminders focused on my beliefs and thinking. Other times I would think of an outcome I desired and write a script on how I saw it becoming a reality. There are also plenty of pages filled with ideas that popped in my head that I needed to capture.
The results from this homework have been amazing. My confidence is higher than it has ever been in my life about all aspects of my life. I’ve been able to stay in shape for the year without going through the typical yo-yo effect. I even completed 10,000 burpees in 100 (actually 95) days. My relationship with my entire family has improved. I received the highest rating in my 3 years at my current job. My awareness is at an all-time high. I see things that I would have easily missed years ago. I have grown exponentially and I am enjoying the results.
Yet because of these results I know there is more. In order to achieve the next set of results I’m once again tweaking the homework. My new homework is to write and publish my first book. The title I have in my head right now is Better Today, Every Day Reminders for Living Your Best. I’ve written the first draft and I’m currently in the editing phase. To analyze the results of that homework I will need your help. The purpose of the book is to see if I can actually help others by Better Today. I will only know if you purchase the book and create your own set of homework based on some of the principles expressed in the book.
Hopefully you are like me and tired of letting life teach you what it wants to teach you. Often times those experiences will not be what we desired. It’s time for you teach what you want to teach yourself so the results from those lessons are exactly what you desire. Trust me in saying you will love the results you receive if you teach yourself how to be Better Today, than you were yesterday. My goal is for this book will be a great tool to help you create the homework to validate your own personal lesson to help you achieve that exact goal. I would be honored if you gave it a try. As always I wish you the best and remind you to enjoy the journey.
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