Old Dogs And New Tricks

Can You Teach An Old Dog A New Trick?

We’ve all heard the phrase, You Can’t Teach an Old Dog a New Trick, right? Well, why get old in the first place? At least in that respect.  The saying basically refers to a dog that has gotten past its prime, given up on staying sharp and learning new things.  We as people do that too. 

Once we reach a certain stage, it’s easy to sit back and get complacent whether it’s in our personal lives, business ventures or our regular day jobs.  We feel like we’ve learned it all, we can’t learn more, we are just too old or out of shape or we are just in CRUISE MODE.

How many have teenage kids at home that just automatically assume you don’t know anything and they have all the answers? Our 14 year old daughter certainly thinks she has all the answers to any question there is and usually accompanies her “wisdom” with the obligatory eye roll. I have to admit, there are plenty of times she is called upon to help with a computer question, smart phone issue or many other “tech” problems I have and she does indeed have the answer.

So, do they have all the answers and are we just lost in all of it? NO! We are typically past our learning stages in life while our children are learning new things every day, some good things and some bad.  Our kids are in school, adapting to new technology and taking everything in like sponges.  The older we get, we stop taking classes, we focus on the things we have already learned and tend to stop developing new skills.  Sort of like an old dog.

I enjoy golfing, mostly, but if I take my son or daughter golfing and then one day stop while they continue to learn the game they will get better while I stay the same.  I can give them advice while I am actively playing but once I stop playing, my advice is not that relevant any longer.  They will eventually view my advice as outdated and no longer respect any advice I provide.

Sharpen Your Axe

Using an axe to chop wood is very effective but if you never sharpen it, the task at hand only gets harder.  Our minds and skills are the same.  You have to continually learn, adapt and improve to stay effective.  This is true no matter what you’re doing.

Since I began this process of building my online business it has been one learning step after another.  I’ve been learning things I never thought I would and I continue to learn from Dean Holland on a daily basis.  There are days in which I just want to kick back and relax but I know if I want to continue to get better I have to keep learning.

As a business owner, I must learn and adapt to new things constantly.  As a spouse and a parent I have to do the very same thing in order to be a supportive and engaged member of our family.  Once we get comfortable with what we have done and where we are, we tend to get complacent.  We shut off the learning process and get stale, we get dull like the axe that hasn’t been sharpened and simply aren’t as effective as an employee, a business owner or a spouse or parent.

Never Stop Learning

My advice is simple, NEVER STOP LEARNING! Our kids are in the learning process, our competitors are in the learning process so we must continue to learn too.  The dog that stops learning and developing new skills just becomes the old version of itself.  When we stop doing those things we too, just become the old version of ourselves and we don’t thrive in an ever evolving world whether it is in our personal or professional lives.  

Remember, to be effective in whatever you are doing you must learn, adapt, and implement the necessary skills to achieve your end goals.  Work hard, but don’t forget to SHARPEN YOUR AXE!




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