Can We Afford Not To?

earl nightingale

When I first started listening to motivational and personal growth tapes and CD’s in the late 90’s, I heard this quote from Earl Nightingale, “If a person will spend one hour a day on the same subject for five years, that person will be an expert on that subject.” I have heard that same quote several times since then. It is one of the quotes that has guided my life.

Imagine the implications of that statement. No matter who you are or where you are, if you will simply discover what it is that stirs up your enthusiasm and simply spend at least one hour a day on that for at least five years you will become an expert on that subject. If it is something you are truly passionate about, this should not be difficult.

best projectI recently finished a class for professional speakers. It was held almost three hours from my house (which made it about a 6-hour roundtrip). At the first session, the instructors seemed concerned I had to drive such a distance to attend this class. They were afraid I would miss too many sessions to get the full value of the class. I understood their concern but I assured them my passion and enthusiasm would be enough fuel to get me to the each session.

It was a 10-session course over a 6-month period. Not only did I make all 10 sessions but I was the only one in the class to make all 10 sessions! Was it practical? Probably not. Was it worth it to me anyway? Absolutely! It was a great course and I learned even more about what I love to do; fuel people’s enthusiasm through speaking.

well rounded personI invest most of my time into learning how to better help people climb to their God-given potential. I do not have a desire to be well-rounded.  Well-rounded people have no point. I desire to be a pointed person with a specific direction and I will do all I can to learn more and be better at what I do. Even if I have to drive almost six hours 10 times over a six-month period.

I have invested (I like that word better than “spent”) more than one hour a day for the past five years in learning how to best help myself and others climb to their God-given potential. I have invested several hours a day over the past 20 years doing this. And I am more passionate about it now than I have ever been!

In 2000, I asked my brand new wife if we could afford to purchase at least one audio a month on self-improvement. We were newly married, had very little money, and I ran a ministry where I was paid completely through donations. She looked at me and said, “Can we afford not to?” I love that woman for many reasons, but one important reason is that she understands the value of learning, growing, and self-improvement.

We still listen to audios and read books to improve ourselves in our areas of passion. We now have two kids who also love to read and learn more about the things they are very passionate about. We are a family that invests in what we are passionate about and good at so we can become even better.

What are you enthusiastic and passionate enough about that you can easily invest at least an hour a day for the next five years so you will become an expert? All of us have the God-given potential to be an expert in something. I have found mine…What is yours?


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to ignite their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life-changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

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