Learn, Discern, Apply


“Don’t try to simply adopt someone else’s practices as your own. Customize then to yourself.” – John C. Maxwell

I loved watching baseball as a kid.  I bet I watched thousands of games. I used to try to mimic how the players caught pop flies, ground balls, pitch, swing the bat, wear their hats and jerseys, even how they chewed bubble gum and spit!

My favorite baseball player during this time was Hall of Famer Dave Winfield.  He could do everything on the field. He was big, fast and could catch everything hit his way.  What I loved watching Dave Winfield do was hit the ball.  He took massive swings or “cuts.”  I used to try to mimic his batting stance and swing because I thought it would help me hit the ball hard and far like did.  So, I adjusted my swing to be just like his. I tried out this new and better version of my hitting in a few games of Little League.  Guess what happened?  I stunk up the field.  The only thing I hit was my bat on the ground walking back to the dugout.  I did not get a single hit and one game I struck out all four times I came to bat!  The lesson I learned was mimicking others may be the best compliment you can give, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I will be successful. 

You may be a voracious reader of success blogs, lifehack material, best-selling self-help and business books.  You can attend all the conferences, seminars, vlogs, and webinars. You can adopt all the systems, planners, methods and tools available to improve your life, business, mindset, health and wellness and relationships produced by the best in the world most influential people in the world today or from history but…

Copying their success doesn’t guarantee your success.

How do you improve your chances at success? Don’t blindly adopt what made others successful. Take the time to learn the principles behind their success.  Study those who you consider to be successful in your area of expertise.  They didn’t become successful overnight.  Learn how they got there. Read their material looking for the principles of success.  Look for the clues they share in their resources.  Make time to meet them and ask great questions. What are the principles of their success that has stood the test of time? 

Once you gather the principles of successful people then apply to your unique situation and purpose. 

Make them yours by adapting them to you. 

Ask yourself how these principles work for you.  You are you. Your mission and vision will differ.  Blindly applying the principles from your favorite leader may not yield the results you hope for unless you take the time to make these principles applicable to you specifically.  The principle is the principle. How you apply that principle may differ.  This level of thinking requires you to use your discernment and wisdom.

Keep growing and learning.  Don’t stop enjoying the plethora of resources available to you. They are meant to help you achieve the success you desire.  Be discerning about how to apply what you learn as it is meant to be used to serve you.  

Learn, Discern, Apply


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