Go back and revisit all of the things that inspired you, taught you, and
motivated you. Go back and read your collection of leadership books,
self-help books, watch your DVDs, or anything else from which you felt
you received a strong message that made a difference in your development. Find your old notes from mentor sessions, or interesting technical reading about your industry, or anything that interests you. Dust off old performance appraisals and make sure you have implemented the feedback.
What you choose to go back to is not as relevant as reinvesting the
time to reinforce past teachings. I personally dedicate at least an hour a
week to reference past material and review information I may have forgotten. I’m sure we have all heard the phrase from someone who has been around the block for a while, “I’ve forgotten more than someone else
knows.” Don’t let that happen to you.
You are a constantly evolving, learning creature. Some of the revisited
material may seem brand new, while others may simply be viewed from
a new and wiser perspective. Keep the learning alive for a better professional and personal future. Most of us are surrounded with learning
materials that are right at our fingertips. Be wise and use them.
I have written many times about investing time with mentors and
supporters, and surrounding yourself with great teammates. However,
only you can take the final step to transform your professional life. I am
grateful for everyone who has provided me enough guidance to inspire
me to make the choices I have. I believe everyone has a choice to transform
their life. I know, because I have. I, the cynic, did not believe in
myself—or many others, for that matter—early in my career. The twists
and turns of my professional life put me on a path to build my self-confidence and self-awareness. I am the same person, but with a brand new
outlook and the confidence that I can make a difference in my life and the
lives of many others. I can make a difference in my professional career.
I can make my business better. I can share my experiences so others can
prosper. I have finally learned to take a step back and invest for countless
Much of what you have read in this book seems obvious. I like to be
the king of the obvious sometimes, because if it was so obvious, then why
did it take me so long to grasp hold of much of it? My years of interaction
with professionals has proven that we are creatures of habit, and need a
little tweaking to find the good habits that make us better. Keep going
back to the basics that have proven to work and you can’t go wrong. Pick
out the ones that work for you. Keep learning from the past and strengthening the future, but stick with the basics.
Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):
- Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
- Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
- Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
- The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
- From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
- The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood
MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby