learning process

5 Checkpoints to Expect In Your Learning Process

Back in March of 2011, I decided that I was going to become part of the John Maxwell Team. This was a big deal for me at the time as I felt that it was going to be a good way for me to get out of the funk of losing Mom. At this point, it had been just a couple of months and I figured “Hey, I’m not getting any younger. I better commit to growing myself as a professional so I’m not stuck where I am.”

Needless to say, getting started with JMT propelled me in the direction that would eventually lead me to a good part of the network that I have, including Brawn Lide, who was my roommate for the week long training at the end of the program.

Anyhow, I wanted to share with you guys a little bit from what I was thinking as of April 3rd of 2011 as I officially started off on this new journey. Hopefully it will do two things for you: 1.) Give you courage to spend money to invest in yourself. 2.) Don’t have expectations of being great at the beginning of any new venture or experience.


So I’m finally starting the John Maxwell Certification Program. And I gotta say, after the first week of “class”, I’m impressed. The faculty is spot on. I really feel that this is a capstone program to my OLS studies. One that will get me to the next big thing – being a certified Exec and Life coach.

However, when I first signed up for the program, I kept asking myself “why did I just spend as much as I did on something that I have plenty of info around me on?” I knew I could eventually get to where I wanted to be by just reading book upon book that were recommended to me through LTD. This has worked pretty well for me already.

Then it occurred to me. The reason that I did jump into the program because it IS a program that has it’s own curriculum. It’s not a collection of “best practices”. It’s a program where the faculty actually are with you step by step through the curriculum. There are even Q&A sessions. Even though it’s extra work that I’ll need to be doing and I’ll be grading myself based on what I get out of the program, this is basically how I worked in all my years in school. Everyone starts on the same level and ends up with the same outcome. I love that it’s a level playing field. I’m just down right excited!

Putting It Into Action

One of the things that has seemed to be a underlying generality about LTD and what this program has taught me so far is that “growth” does give you quite a bit in the end. Most of the time, however, I think that both are referring mostly to the growth we go through in the process of self discovery.

While a particular event might motivate you to do something, it’s only the process that matures you – that grows you. An event happens in a day while the process happens daily. And simply put, the person who has grown the most will attract others to him. The ones that have matured the most will have more meaningful relationships than those that haven’t, including romantic relationships and clients (if those are what you’re seeking).

So what am I talking about?

I’m just saying that if you want ANYTHING to change for you in life, it’s not going to change on it’s own. You need to put the effort and work in. You ought to keep an open mind. Learn to ask the big questions. Read the books you need to read. You need to do the reflecting. In fact, you might just see your life going in reverse if you don’t do these things.

Checkpoints in Your Learning Process

If you are wanting to improve in something, here are some key checkpoints that can apply to any learning process:

1.) “I don’t know what I don’t know.”

Yes, that sounds dumb at first glance, but it’s a nice way of saying that people are ignorant about something until they actually start realizing that an alternate path exists.

2.) “I know that I need to know.”

This point comes into play when you start realizing that you need to know more about a particular subject that might help you out. If you do search for more information, make sure that the source is credible and not some anonymous source that can easily be a Joe Schmoe that hasn’t been greatly successful in their life. A lot of people put their trust in people they’ve never even met on the net vs someone they can actually get bodily communication from. Why would you do that? Are they really an expert? Just make sure you do a good “Lit Review” of the material out there on any given subject as you’re starting out. It’s better to have a consensus of 10 anonymous people on the web, two people you’ve met, and checking out wikipedia vs only asking 2 people that might have some knowledge.

3.) “I know what I don’t know.”

This stage occurs when you start realizing that there actually are people out there that have been successful with something that you want to do or been curious about using a method that you don’t know much about. This is when you start formulating your strategy for your own growth based on what these others have talked about.

4.) “I know and grow – it starts to show.”

After determining the changes you need to make and taking the advice of others who have been successful in doing something you want to do, you have put the plan into motion and small results are starting to show. This is also known as the “action yields results yields belief which in turn yields action again stage”.

5.) “I simply go because of what I know.”

At this point, the action is second nature to you. You simply do something because you know it has a better outcome then what the alternative is because you’ve seen both sides of the coin.

The more you know… the more you grow!


Action Steps

As I’ve been going down this entrepreneurial path for sometime after writing this post (already 7 years!), I have to say that the words of this post make so much more to me now than I’m thinking it back then. I understand the words on a much deeper level.

For example, the podcast. Would I have done things a bit differently if I was to relaunch the show? Sure. Would I have named it something else? Ha. Perhaps.

But it is what it is. We can’t expect to be perfect right out of the gate. It’s not fair to us or the people that we’re going to help with our work. As we move forward in our craft, we learn that it’s not necessarily about the craft, it’s about the people.

Or as Shawn Askionsie said in his book Meaningful Work: A Quest to Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, and Feed Your Soul, “It’s not about the chocolate, it’s about the chocolate.” Meaning his business isn’t just about making chocolate, it’s about the relationships he’s built in his direct trade based business.

I’m curious, guys. What’s some things you’ve picked up during your time as you’ve been working on your meaningful work? What are some things that you wouldn’t have known before you started working on whatever it is you’re doing? How did it help you grow as a person?

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