Seven habits to learn FASTER and STUDY BETTER!

By Jernavis Draughn

Learning is the beginning to creating intrinsic value and wealth. They say the more you learn, the more you EARN. In the world today with everything changing at a rapid pace, the faster you learn, the faster you earn. All learning is state and self- dependent. Being emotionally present and focused is one of the keys to remembering what you learn. School does not teach us how to learn, which is another reason why I think people do not enjoy the process of learning. The VAK (Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic) learning system model, is a methodology that we have implemented into our year-round leadership development academy. Depending on your learning style, you will use one of these methods more often. The goal is to discover which style helps you to learn at a faster pace and more efficient. This process is called meta learning, which means learning how to learn.

In the book “Limitless, by Jim Kwik, he discusses the three-step limitless model: Mindset, “The What”, deeply held beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions we create about who we are, how the world works, what we deserve, etc. Motivation, “The Why”, the purpose someone has for taking action. Lastly, Method, “The How”, a specific process for accomplishing something especially an orderly, logical, or systematic way of instructions. One of the key takeaways from the book that provided me great value was, the seven habits to learn faster and study better.

  1. Employ Active Recall. Process which you review the material you read and then immediately check to see how much you remembered.
  2. Employ Spaced Repetition. Review in morning and night. Test yourself on what you remembered.
  3. Manage the state your in. All learning is state dependent.
  4. Use your sense of smell. Light rosemary, peppermint, or lemon while reading, studying or learning anything.
  5. Music for the mind. Try listening to Baroque music.
  6. Listen with your whole BRAIN. Be present and focus completely on the task at hand.
  7. Take note of taking notes. Be clear on the “why”, regarding the notes your taking.

Brian Herbert is coined for saying, “the capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice. We live in the information age, where the more you know in your field of work is tangible value.

Becoming a lifelong learner is the start of you taking control of your life’s destiny. We are  all prisoners to our choices. Try for one week to implement learning, reading, or watching something educational into your daily routine. Remember progress equals happiness and life is GROWTH.

Why PRACTICE = PROGRESS!

By Jernavis Draughn

Aristotle once said, “we are what we repeatedly do, excellence is not an act but a habit”. Practice is the foundation to growing in any facet of your life. If you are struggling with a subject in school, the only way to improve is to practice the subject more. If your business is failing to grow quarterly, then you need to implement new strategies and practices that will help you drive daily sales. If you are in a relationship that lacks communication, the only way to improve that area is to practice carving out time to communicate more on how you feel about each other and the relationship. It can be a sports, hobby or skill set, the only way for it to improve is by practicing. Practice makes permanent.

I’ve done research and found deliberate practice is one of the best methods for consistent growth. Coined by Anders Ericsson, deliberate practice refers to a special type of practice that is purposeful and systematic. While regular practice might include mindless repetitions, deliberate practice requires focused attention and is conducted with the specific goal of improving performance. Practicing with a purpose, while receiving feedback. We mistake movement with achievement. Our daily actions often do not lead to an outcome or result that we genuinely want. They say when you walk in purpose, you will collide with destiny.

In the book, “Practice Perfect”, by Doug Lemov, he explains forty-two rules for getting better at getting better. Here’s ten of the rules that stood out to me from the book that will help you grow in any area of your life.

  1. Encode success. Engineer practice activity so that the success rate is reliably high. Practice getting it right.
  2. Practice the 80/20 principle. Identify the 20 percent of things you could practice that will deliver 80 percent of the value.
  3. Unlock creativity with repetition. Automate skills to free others cognition to be more creative.
  4. Correct instead of critique. Feedback automatically helps people get better.
  5. Isolate the skill your trying to improve on. Focus on that one skill until you see improvement.
  6. Replace your purpose with an objective. Create measurable and manageable objectives and goals for your program daily.
  7. Make a plan. Plan with data driven objectives in mind and plan to adapt.
  8. Make each minute matter.
  9. Model and describe what to focus on.
  10. Let the mind follow the body. Learn skills to automaticity. Master your craft.

Practice equals progress. There’s a quote from the book by Dan Heath that exemplifies the value of practice. “The enemies of practice are pride, fear and self-satisfaction”. To practice requires humility. It forces us to admit that we don’t know everything. To practice isn’t to declare, ‘I’m bad.’ To practice is to declare, ‘I can be better.” When you fall in love with practicing, you have opened the door to discovering your passion, which can lead you to finding your life purpose.

Quote of the Day: “Deliberate practice equals progress.”

The Four Wheels of Behavior Change

By Jernavis Draughn

Change is inevitable, but progress is not. The new year is here, and most people are focusing on their new year resolutions. I believe change starts with one simple DECISION. Do I truly want to change? Is what I’m looking to change important enough for me to change my lifestyle, mindset, routine or ritual? Has my behavior caused me enough pain that I NEED to change? Am I too comfortable with my current situation that change is not a MUST? We change in a moment. Change doesn’t’ take long, it happens instantly when we make a commitment to our commitments. Here’s what I’ve learned about behavior “change”. Meaningful behavior change is very hard to do, and no one can make us change unless we truly want to CHANGE.

Our environment drives our behavior. Learn to control and create a healthy environment. Who we associate with, eat, learn from, grow into, religious and limiting beliefs are created by our environment. There’s an adage that says, show me your friends and I’ll show you your future. We become who we consistently hang out with and do daily. In the book Triggers by Marshal Goldsmith, he explains that we all have behavior triggers. He explains, it’s any stimulus that impacts our behavior. To avoid undesirable behavior, we must remove ourselves from hanging with people that live that lifestyle and then change those environments where it is most likely to occur. Goldsmith discusses we have four options in pursuing any type of behavior change.

  1. Creating. Represents the positive elements that we want to create in our future.
  2. Preserving. Represents the positive elements that we want to eliminate in our future.
  3. Eliminating. Represents the elements that we want to eliminate in the future.
  4. Accepting. Represents the negative elements that we need to accept in the future.

Asking yourself what you need to create, preserve, eliminate, and accept in your life is the first step to changing your behavior. Psychologist Carol Dweck once said, “Becoming is better than being.” Whoever you want to become, improve in or accomplished will require some type of change in your life. The questions that will start your journey of change will be, are you ready to make a real decision and are you committed to not quitting on YOURSELF.  

Word of the Day: “Changing your words, will change your WORLD.”

Why Arguments only lead to 3 things…

By Jernavis Draughn

Communication is the key to the heart. We can hurt or help someone through the words we choose to use in conversations. Words are the light to the mind. Wars, relationships, ideas, companies, careers, love, understanding, purpose, vision, emotions and growth start from the utterance of a single word. The bible says we speak life and death through our tongue. Are you aware of the power of the words you use in daily conversations with others or YOURSELF? In arguments, we tend to speak before thinking when our emotions are in the driver seat. We become blinded by our state of anger or fear and we lash out to protect ourselves. Then we blame our emotions for the reason behind our hurtful words. I’ve learned that hurt people hurt PEOPLE.

We all have been in toxic relationships that tested our character to remain calm or forgive that person. Ambrose Bierce once said, “speak when you are angry, and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” Walking away is the hardest thing to do in the state of feeling disrespected. No one is bullet proof. Words leave lasting wounds when they are not healed by the shooter. When your caught up in the rapture of love, our feelings tell us a story that the person who has consistently hurt us by their words will change. People only change for two reasons; either they learned enough that they want to change or either they hurt enough that they have too. Arguments never choose a winner; they often leave both parties feeling lost.

In the book Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patters and Joseph Grenny, explain how arguments lead to three things:

1.Win– Our goal is to win the point of view or argument. Our focus is to win the argument in any manor, even if that demands you lying to be right.

2. Punish– Our goal is to harm the other person. Our focus is to verbally assault the persons character and intentionally hurt them.

3. Keeping the Peace– Our goal is to avoid the possibility of an uncomfortable conversation. Our focus is to brush the issue under the rug to not be seen or heard. We feel uncomfortable with confrontation and hold our feelings inside.

One of the best methods to having a healthy disagreement is to practice effective communication. Where you listen first, with the intent to understand where the person is coming from. You should seek to understand then to be understood. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care about them. To take flight or flight in an argument, are both motivated by fear. When you embody fear in an argument, you tend not to express how you truly feel to that person. The fear of expressing yourself stems from the feeling of being rejected or judged. People become defensive in arguments, when they no longer feel safe. In any argument the goal is to make the person feel safe to express themselves. Practice honest and open communication in all relationships. People will respect you more and know where you always stand on any topic. Lastly, treat people how you want to be treated through your words and actions. That’s the only way we can truly value someone is by how we treat them.

Quote of the Day: “If you don’t want to be in an argument with someone, it is probably best to try to solve the problem, rather than lying around hoping the other person will do it for you.”-E. Lockhart

4 methods to better DECISION MAKING!!!

By Jernavis Draughn

Our decisions dictate our destiny. The value of making the RIGHT decisions will determine the direction our life will take. We are influenced by our environment and our friends. Mathew Kelly states, “the people we surround ourselves with either raise or lower our standards”. They either help us to become the best version of ourselves or encourage us to become lesser versions of ourselves.” What was the last decision you made that turned out to be either a bad decision or a good decision? Take time to ponder or write down the decision you made and why that outcome came to life. Most of our decisions are made on autopilot. Our brain produces habitual behaviors that have been created over the course of our lives that drive our behavior. These programmed decisions create a sense of safety and comfortability that keep us from growing in most areas of life.

Looking at the “why” factor behind the DECISIONS we make, helps us discern the meaning behind them. I often ask, how will this decision I’m making affect my life in a positive or negative way. Then I weigh the pros and cons of me not making the decision to see if I’ll regret not doing it in the future. It is believed that good questions inform, and great questions transform. Consistent success is birthed in being able to make the right decisions. As you grow in your area of gifting, relationships, career, business and life, decision making should become easier to make. We should be students of life, where we are learning from the wrong decisions we made in our past.

In the book Crucial Conversations by Al Switzler, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Patterson, Grenny, they discuss four of the best methods to making a decision in business, life and relationships.  

  1. Command Decisions. It’s not our job to decide what to do. It’s our job to decide how to make it work.
  2. Consulting Decision. A process whereby decision makers invite others to influence before they make a choice.
  3. Vote Decision. An agreed upon percentage swings to making the decision. 
  4. Consensus. Means you talk until everyone honestly agrees to one decision.

Our beliefs direct our direction in life, which plays an important role on why we make the decisions we do. If we can’t see a better future for ourselves, then we will be doomed to repeating the past. Self-confidence is directly connected to what we believe is possible in our life. Learn how to implement these styles of decision making into all aspects of your life. Remember, success is the result of decisions!

Quote of Day: “You can only have two things in life, reasons or results.”

5 things I wish I’ve learned before becoming an ENTREPRENEUR!!

By: Jernavis Draughn

I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 12 years now and I feel I’m finally starting to figure this thing all out. The best teacher is EXPERIENCE. Today most people are attracted to the title of being an “ENTREPRENEUR”, because it’s the cool thing to do. This topic is being echoed across the masses on whether anyone can become a business owner? Do you have the mindset or even mentally fit to endure the consistent adversities that come along with being an entrepreneur. I’ve seen many try, stop, take a break, and fail throughout the journey. Some experts say, entrepreneurs are born with the DNA. Some psychologist believe it takes will power, ambition and drive to survive the storms. Some successful entrepreneurs believe it takes maniacal focus on a problem or mission that compels you to solving. There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. It’s simple, if your built to be an ENTREPRENEUR, you will be.

Here’s 5 things I wish I’ve learned before becoming an entrepreneur:

  1. Master LEADERSHIP. Everything in your business rises and falls on leadership. You can’t build or sustain a great company without committing to becoming a great leader.
  2. Communication is key. Learn how to lead with great questions. That’s where growth is birthed. When you take time to hear your clients and employee’s needs. We live in a world our questions create!
  3. Commit to lifelong LEARNING and Personal Growth. The moment I committed to learning everything I could in business, my life changed as an entrepreneur. Make growth your number one goal. Remember we will GROW into our next position, opportunity and destiny. It’s too late to prepare when the opportunity is HERE.
  4. Master SALES. I never knew the value of sales and how the best entrepreneurs make it an art. Meaning, I believe in my product or service so much that I will create a specific picture for you in the sales process that will solve your PROBLEM. I learned this from reading books and late in my entrepreneurship journey. Remember, everyone is sailing something. Hopefully, it’s positive, helping to move the world, yourself and family forward.
  5. Building SELF-CONFIDENCE. Our beliefs drive our direction in life. You don’t become an entrepreneur without self-confidence. Identity drives behavior. “Confidence is the cornerstone of leadership.”-John Maxwell

In conclusion, I hope this provides context to what you need to think about before making the decision to become an entrepreneur. Information is useless if you can’t use it. Whatever endeavor you decide to pursue, commit to it fully, and make sure it moves you on all levels intrinsically. The life of an entrepreneur is lonely and selfishly steals your time to ensure progress is intentional. People tend to think when you become an entrepreneur, you gain more freedom, but it’s totally opposite. You have to become strategic on where your time, energy and effort is going. Make sure whatever road you decide to take, the destination pulls you to reaching it no matter the road blocks you will face on your journey.

Quote of the Day: “It’s not what the vision is, it’s what the VISION does.”

Five Factors shown to IMPROVE your well-being

By Jernavis Draughn

What does well being mean? The dictionary defines it this way, “it’s the state of being happy, healthy, or prosperous”. When do you feel the happiest or healthiest or prosperous in your life? What actions are you doing daily that creates a positive feeling in any of these areas? What we do daily determines our worth. When we live our core values we attract more things that gives our lives meaning. In the book “Think Small”, by Owain Service and Rory Gallager, they discuss 5 actions that will help improve your life’s well-being.

  1. Strengthening your social relationships. We become the people and things that we associate with most. We are the sum total of the 5 closet people we spend our time with. When we choose wisely the company we keep, our personal growth is expedited. Listen to only voices of value!

2. Getting healthier and active. Our body is our temple. We must feed our mind and body healthy fuel in order for it to perform at a high level.To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”-Buddha

3. Learning something new. Commit to lifelong learning. Becoming a person of value requires you to never stop growing. “Try Not To Become a Man of Success But Rather Try To Become a Man of Value.”-Albert Einstein

4. Being more curious. What types of things sparks your interest? What inspires and motivates you? What is another stream of revenue that you could focus on building? What can you do today that will help you reach that goal faster? The quality of your thinking determines the quality of your life.

5. Giving to others. The secret to living is giving. We reap what we sow. In order to move forward we have to give back. The law of reciprocity means, when someone does something nice for you, you will have a deep-rooted psychological urge to do something nice in return. “We rise by lifting others.”-Robert Ingersoll

What we do today will either empower or restrict us tomorrow. We are creatures of habit and our well-being is connected to what we do daily. What we eat, the amount of work we accomplish, how often we exercise, and the people we connect with socially, emotional and spiritually. All of us have the same amount of time daily to produce the results we want in our lives. Take time out today to look at these five areas of your life to ensure they are meeting your standards on all levels. Remember, our time is our most precious gift, and all of us MUST be selfish with it.

Quote of the day: “Act as a master of your life by putting your health, well-being, and happiness FIRST.”-Marianna Olszewski

Why your Brand is your CULTURE…?

Today we are consumed with numerous social media platforms that sell us there brand and we buy in on their culture of services they provide. Facebook is a brand that creates a culture of CONNECTING us with our friends and family. Snap chat is a brand that allows us to post and send personal visual messages to our friends connected to our culture. Instagram is a brand that allows us to create a visual story using pictures to display our current moments and memories for people that connect with our culture. Linked-in is a brand that provides a platform to advertise and market our skill-sets to people we want to connect within our culture. Everyone today has a personal brand that defines who they believe they are or wants to become. Look at peoples Facebook, Snap chat, and Instagram pages. You will see their personal dreams, aspirations, values, perception, beliefs and purpose. We yearn for instant gratification, from likes, shares and comments from people we know and don’t.

Everyone today is a business. Employers will review your social media platform to gain clarity on how you represent yourself. Our personal brand is bigger and helps our business thrive in many ways. CEO’s that have a strong following and presence in the social media world have some of the most successful companies. The reason why your social media brand is so powerful with building your business is directly connected to the culture you’re creating. People buy stories. People want to know how you started the company, but more importantly “WHY”. It’s easier for a consumer or a fan to connect with you, when selling your story instead of a product or service. People want to experience your BRAND.

Why is Chick-Fil-A, Trader Joe’s, Aldi, Amazon and Lexus all in the top ten companies list for best customer service ranked by (ACSI) American Customer Satisfaction Index. The reason is directly connected to the culture they’ve created within their company. The consistent employee training, hiring processes, benefits and leadership. People don’t leave companies, they leave PEOPLE. Leadership starts from the top. These companies have employees that buy in on the culture, mission, connect emotionally to the purpose and find enjoyment in their position. “PEC”, they have personal emotional connection, which has transformed them into passionate disciples that live the company’s core values.

Loyalty with your employees creates loyalty with your consumers. Tony Hsieh, one of the founders of Zappos once said, “Where culture thrives, passion follows.” Your company culture should drive your brand. No brand stands still, your either moving up or down. This goes for personal or company brands. Think before you post that next selfie, blog post, meme or message on any social media platform. That post will either empower you today or restrict you TOMORROW.

Quote of the Day: “What you build today will either empower or restrict you tomorrow.”

Confidence vs. Competence..?

Competence opens the door to confidence. The feeling of confidence comes after you’ve reached a certain level of clarity, mastery and competence in a particular area. That takes intentional purposeful practice. Let’s look at the dictionary definition of both words to gain more understanding. “Confidence is the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.” Competence is the ability to do something successfully or efficiently.” We tend to skip steps on the road to mastery or simply improving. Some research say it takes 10,000 hours to master anything. Some say you can master or improve any area of your life if you commit to doing it daily.

Confidence is birth from the belief of your competence. Think about when you discover a new passion or hobby and the frustration you feel from the beginning learning phases. That thought is stemming from not feeling competent and confidence in doing it. Most people can’t overcome failure, which leads them to giving up to soon. The reason why practice makes better and repetition is the mother of LEARNING. We must invest time into building trust and belief within ourselves that we have the ability to produce better results. I’ve learned confidence and competence are both needed to reach your full potential in playing a sport, moving up in your career, public speaking, growing a business, learning an instrument or new language.

Here’s 5 ways to increase your confidence and competence:

1. Commit to learning, doing and improving that particular area of your life daily. What you do daily determines your WORTH.

2. Ask for feedback. Whatever you’re working on gaining more confidence or competence in, you will need to receive feedback on your progress and growth in that area. That’s the only way you can discern if you’re improving.

3. Mirror someone who’s better than you. To become great in anything, you have to see and know what it takes to become great. You might not have Steve Jobs, Kobe Bryant, Serena Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Al Pacino personally mentoring you. We do have their biographies, interviews and books which they have given the blueprint to their successes.

4. Speak LIFE to yourself and others. We become what we think and say to ourselves. The game of life is: You vs You. Make sure you’re giving yourself the best opportunity to WIN.

5. Study, Do, Study and DO. It’s very simple, the best people in sports, entertainment, politics or business are studying and doing their craft on a consistent basis. They immerse themselves into that field where their unconsciously growing from the amount of time they are investing in it.

WE can never improve anything in life if we don’t make the decision to doing it daily. Growth comes from consistency. Consistency builds confidence and failure teaches competence. Failure is only feedback. We only grow from failure, which is the reason why “doing” is the only way to create confidence and gain competence in anything we want to improve in.

Quote of the Day: “Self-confidence is the memory of success.” – David Storey

 

4 Keys to CONSISTENT Success in ANYTHING!!

Is there a proven formula to achieving lasting success in any area of your life? I’ve read a great book by, Jim Collins called “Good to Great”. He states, “only a few people attain great lives”, because it’s so easy to settle for a good life. Some people believe that being successful is a choice. The decision to be successful is made when we raise our personal standards. What we do daily determines our worth. We need to have targets and goals that we are striving to reach, which intrinsically inspire us to grow. Money won’t make you or keep you fulfilled, and happiness leads to success. The feeling of purpose will be your fuel to keep your fire consistently burning. How can we ensure that we are intentionally reaching our daily, weekly, monthly and yearly potential? Listed below are four ways that I’ve learned from reading and researching what the most successful people do to achieve consistent success.

1. Out-Work. Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work HARD. Simply put, just out work everyone else. If people are not complimenting your work ethic, then you’re not fully committed to reaching your full potential.

2. Out-Last. The titan warriors live by this mantra, “Sweat more in training so you bleed less in WAR.” People only quit jobs, sports, positions, people, and things that they are not committed too. Pain is temporary, but if you quit, it will last forever. You have to endure the process in order to progress in any area of your life.

3. Out-Improve. Growth has to be your number one GOAL. Constant and never ending improvement is the only way your marriage, relationships, career, your company, your spirituality, financially, physically, and emotionally you will be able to reach your full potential. 

4. Out-Strategize. What you tolerate, your never change. We live in the world that our questions create. So the key is to continually think about how you can make your service, product, career, marriage, and relationships better. Make your better its best by taking time to strategize how you can intentionally create more value in those areas. “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”-Michael Porter

If you intentionally focus on growing in these four areas, 2018-2019 will be an amazing year!

Quote of the Day: “GOALS are not promises, they are COMMITMENTS!”