Never Stop Growing: Embrace Lifelong Learning for Success

Never Stop Growing: Embrace Lifelong Learning for Success

I remember a couple of years ago, before I got into golf, I would look at a golf club and just think, well, a golf club's just a golf club. You know, you had your drivers, your irons, your putters, but they all pretty much do the same thing. And when I first got into golf, I was just buying whatever the newest thing was. I would go about thinking, well, this has got to be the newest. This has to be the best. Or this is the most expensive. This has to be the best. And there was a period where I was always buying one more club. So I thought, well, it couldn't be my fault that I'm not good at golf. It has to be the club.

The Personalization of Tools

Understanding Individual Needs

Over the years, I started to realize how different each club is and how customizable each club is based on the person using it. I'm a taller golfer, so mine are a little bit different. A little bit faster swing based on so many different types of data points. Everything's different. It's not about the best; it's about finding what's for you. That's true in golf, and that's true in life.

Last week, a new driver came out. Anytime Tiger Woods gets something new, Baylor Barbee has to get something new, because I figure if it's good enough for Tiger, it's probably good enough for me. I was doing this driver fitting, and it's interesting because when you get fitted for a driver, they look at all sorts of things: launch angle, smash factors, side spin, back spin, swing speed, clubhead speed, ball speed. All of these factors go into how they set up your club and what type of club you need for this particular situation.

The Never-Ending Learning Process

Always Room for Growth

The more I play golf, the more I learn. And the more I learn, the more I realize there is to learn. Meaning you can always go deeper. You can always dive in a little further. There's always something to practice on and to chase and new information to obtain. We have to take that same approach to our lives. Whether it's your career, your passion, or even a hobby, have you stopped growing?

Breaking Down the Components

Continual Improvement

I spend an incredible amount of time working on the talks that I give. If you ever come to one of my talks, there's a lot of just stories being told. From the outside looking in, it might seem like, oh, those clubs are just the clubs. But what people don't realize is, underneath all that, the psychology theories that I study, the cognitive brain studies that I build the framework of the stories on top of, help move the mind forward.

Currently, I'm learning from my sister, who has a doctorate in success criteria and literacy. It's a whole new world to me in terms of training styles and instruction styles and best learning methodologies to help not only get my points across more but for people to retain the information and use it. I'm a rookie at what I'm learning from her, but I'm passionate about learning.

You have to break down the components of your craft, whether it's your job or whatever, and say, how can I break this down into steps? The more steps I can break it down into, the more I can find areas of interest to learn, so that collectively I have a bigger knowledge base and a sound understanding of what I do. Always find a way to be improving. If you're always improving, then you're never stuck.

Building a Solid Base

Expanding Knowledge

Think about it like a pyramid: the wider the base, the taller the pyramid. So many of us have these little bitty bases and say, I've mastered all the fundamentals. I don't want to be one of those people. I want my base to be wide, long, and deep. The wider the base, the higher the peak, and the higher the trajectory of who you want to be.

When you do that, you become deadly with your weapon of choice. People ask me, what's your favorite superhero and favorite weapon? Some say Thor's hammer, Captain America's shield, or Spider-Man's web sling. For me, it's a microphone. That's the energy I put into this craft, to be great at this one thing.

Lifelong Learning

Never Stop Learning

I hope that on my dying day, I learn something brand new about speaking. I hope I never figure out everything there is to know about my craft. I want to be in a state of always improving and growing. You have to adopt a mindset of "I don't know." On his deathbed, Pablo Picasso said, I'm just now starting to understand the building blocks of what it is that I do. That's someone who had a life of growth.

Avoid being in a mindset of "I've reached the top." Ask yourself, what can I do to break down the components of my craft? How can I always find a way to be improving? By doing so, you'll be able to expand horizontally, retain more information, and build all of this that goes back into your craft.

If you found these insights helpful, check out my books and apparel to keep you motivated on your journey. And don't forget to listen to the Shark Theory podcast for more life lessons and inspiration.

Let's embrace lifelong learning, build solid foundations, and achieve great heights.

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