As you know I am a huge advocate of continuous learning in the form of reading books, listening to interviews, podcast and audio books, attending conferences and courses and asking questions of people who are way smarter than I am. In last week’s post I talked about how I am Still Striving to be a Mr. T. The questions people are often thinking, and occasionally ask me are, “Do you practice what you preach?” and “What are you doing to continually learn?” Good questions.
The answer to the first question is, “Not always.” Like everyone else I struggle at times in certain areas of my life at time and am not always the husband, father, grandfather, trainer, mentor or friend I need to be. I am not always as mindful as I should be, struggle with time management and at times struggle with emotional intelligence.
Two areas of my life where I am pretty consistent are my health and my learning. I eat healthy, work out every day and have an infrared sauna every day I am at home after my workout. When I am at home I get in one or two walks outside every day and use a standup desk. I recently incorporated time restricted feeding and intermittent fasting into my food rituals. I do a 30 minute meditation in the sauna at home and strive to do at least 10 minutes a day when I am on the road. I am also consistent with my reading, listening and learning.
Below are some of the things I do to continue to learn and grow:
- Interview smart people. To date I have conducted 200 interviews for the Excellence in Training Academy and approximately 60 ILEETA Learning Lab interviews. Moving forward I will continue to average close to 100, 60 minute interviews a year between the two.
- Attend conferences. I have the honor of speaking at a number of conferences each year. I endeavour to spend some extra time at the conference and attend other sessions if my schedule allows. This includes ILEETA (I am there the full week), NTOA, TTPOA and this spring the Wisconsin Training Officer Association conference.
- There is a now defunct trainers association whose motto was, “Those who teach; learn.” I could not agree more. I teach on a very regular basis and learn from every course, workshop and seminar I teach. I learn from discussions with the participants during class and on the breaks, from the evaluations, from my personal debrief of my performance regarding the content, structure, sequencing and delivery of the course material.
- I listen to podcasts. My main go to podcasts are Finding Mastery, The Art of Manliness, Smart People Podcast and The Empowering Neurologist. There are also a number of others I listen to depending on their guests and whether the interviewers style works for me.
- I watch interviews by Tom Bilyeu on Impact Theory and Health Theory. Between the two I have probably watched 40 to 50 so far this year. For a while I was watching one a day, now I usually watch at least one a week.
- I watch TED and TEDx talks as well as interviews or talks by people who are experts in topics I am interested learning more about.
- I subscribe to a number of blogs including Seth Godin, Dr. Peter Attia, James Clear, Austin Kleon, Max Lugavere, Ryan Holiday’s The Daily Stoic and a few others.
- I have a membership to Brian Johnson’s Optimize.me site and read his daily +1 posts and his Philosopher’s Notes on books he has read and reviewed and I watch some of his training videos.
- I write two blog posts every week. This one, Excellence in Training, and W.I.N. Wednesday. As a result I am always looking for ideas, quotes and concepts that I can expand on and that will hopefully be of interest to readers like yourself.
In addition to the above list I also read every day. Below is the list of books I have read to date in 2019. The ones I have highlighted are the ones I highly recommend for trainers. You will notice three of those books are on the topic of sleep. If you are only going to read one, read Why We Sleep. Why am I so focused on sleep? Because after all the reading I have done, the interviews I have listened to and the research I have seen if there was one thing I would fix in our profession that would have the biggest impact it would be sleep. I believe if we could fix sleep issues it would have a domino effect in so many other areas including health, wellness, decision making, stress management, weight management, disease prevention, learning and performance. The long held, and flawed mentality that sleep is over rated, is killing us.
Non Fiction Books
- Can’t Hurt Me
- The Spartan Way
- Spartan Up
- Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For
- Own The Day, Own Your Life
- On Imagination
- Stop Talking, Start Communicating
- Turning the Flywheel
- Now That’s a Great Question
- Breaking the Code of Silence
- Mindful Responder
- The Mindful Athlete
- Hyper Performance
- Tribes (audio)
- Why We Sleep
- Victory Favors The Fearless
- Never Stop Learning
- Change Your Schedule – Change Your Life
- Genius Foods
- Barking Up the Wrong Tree
- So Good They Can’t Ignore You
- The Courageous Police Leader
- Sleep Smarter
- Keep Going
- Doing the Impossible
- Belly Fat Effect
- The Obesity Code
- The Salt Fix
- The Longevity Solution
Fiction Books Read
- Run Away
I always have more books stacked up in my Kindle ‘library’ than I will ever be able to read so I always have something to go to when I finish a book or burn out on a book or a topic. I usually have multiple books on the go at any time. The three I am currently in the process of reading are Principles, The Sports Gene and The Killer Collective.
Let me know if there are books you think I need to add to my reading pile.
Do I always practice what I preach? No. Am I striving to do better? Yes. Do I have a long way to go? yes.
Note: If you are committed to your professional growth and development, are willing to invest $1.00 a day in your learning and are not yet a member of the Excellence in Training Academy community then I encourage you to go to www.excellenceintrainingacademy.com and click on the link to Join Now. Use the code eitblog to get the first month’s membership free. This applies to both the Individual and Training Unit memberships.
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