Being a Lifelong Learner

This week, we have been learning about the benefits of becoming a lifelong learner.  As we have read and watched different articles and videos, and I have come to understand the importance of education in each of our lives.

As I look back at the last 28 years of being a dental technician, I think that the one thing that has contributed to any success I have had, is the desire to learn more.  Starting out, doing deliveries, I always strived to learn more about the profession I was a part of.  This has enabled me to be able to learn many different things, and to progress in my chosen profession.

Now, as I continue along the path to earning a college degree, I am realizing that we should all be striving for as much education as we can get.  Doing so, will help to give us additional opportunities, and will help us to become better people.  We must constantly be striving to learn more, and to be better.

As we strive to achieve more education and knowledge, we should also be applying this desire to our spiritual lives.  As we strive to become better people, we should also be striving to become better disciples of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Doing this will not only help ourselves, but will be a blessing to those around us, as we put ourselves in a position to be able to help them.  We must always remember that all we do, should be for Him, and to help build His kingdom upon this earth.

Becoming a Changemaker

This week, we had the opportunity to finish off a great book, and watch a great video.  The book we finished, is titled “A Field Guide for the Hero’s Journey” by Jeff Sandefer and Rev. Robert A. Sirico.  This book is great, and gives great insight as to what we should do, as we endeavor to become successful in business, and in life.

Although I really enjoyed this book, I want to talk this week about the video we watched.  This was a video of a talk given by Elder Robert C. Gay, where he speaks about “Entrepreneurship and Consecration.”

This video taught me so many lesson this week, that I have a hard time putting them all into words.  I truly enjoyed this video, and plan on watching it more, to learn more from it.

This video helped me to realize that I have a responsibility in this world to do all that I can to help further the kingdom of God.  It was very humbling to me, as I watched this video, to hear that if all we are looking to gain while building our businesses and our careers is money and success, that we will not be where our Father in Heaven wishes us to be.

We need to do more, and be more aware of the world around us.  We must do all that we can, and dedicate all that we have, or that we will receive, to helping to build this kingdom in these latter days.  We must know and realize that we are here to help save those around us.  This should be our primary mission in our lives, and we should do all that we can in order to save our brothers and sisters in this world who need to be saved.

This video really stirred up many emotions in me this week, and if you ever have a chance to watch it, I would recommend doing so.  I know, from watching this video, that I have been given a great gift by being born in this day and age, and by being given the many opportunities that I have been given.  I understand the responsibility that is also upon me, because of these great gifts, and I hope to be able to do all that I can to live up to these responsibilities.

In addition to these things this week, one other reading we did was of an article titled “What’s a Business For” by Charles Handy.  We are asked to include in our posts this week, the answers to three questions.  I have included the questions, as well as my answers, below:

1. Based on what you read in the first two pages (pages 3 and 4), why are virtue and integrity so vital to an economy?

I feel that virtue and integrity is vital to an economy, because this is what helps to build trust between all involved in the economy.  Without this virtue and integrity being present, there are too many that are only looking out for themselves, and doing so by any means possible.  This leads to distrust and to people not wanting to do their part for the economy.  As this starts to happen, everything starts to fall apart.

2. According to Charles Handy, what is the “real justification” for the existence of businesses?

According to Charles Handy, the “real justification” for the existence of businesses is so that as the business makes profits, it uses those profits to do more and help make things better for everyone.

3. What are two solutions proposed by Handy that you agree with? Why?

One solution that Handy proposes, that I agree with, would be that leaders of companies should bind themselves to an oath that would be equivalent to the Hippocratic oath that Doctors are sworn to as they graduate.  This oath, to do no harm, should be adopted by businesses also, as they should strive to always do good, and to always be working towards being better.

A second solution that he proposes, is to help provide more accountability within a business.  I think this would be great in helping to keep people more honest, and in helping everyone understanding what they are working towards.

Priorities

This week has been great.  Not only did I have an amazing Thanksgiving with my family, but we got to study some pretty cool stuff in our business class.  The thing I learned the most this week, was the necessity of having my priorities straight.  We had a couple of cases that we studied this week, talking about different scenarios that could possibly happen in our careers at one point or another.

In one scenario, we had to talk about how we would handle a situation where a client had an emergency, and needed us to be there to help out, even though it would mean missing our daughter’s first dance recital.

In the second scenario, we discussed how we would handle things if our spouse decided to leave us, because of too many times away from home because of work-related items.

Although I don’t think any of us want to find ourselves in these types of scenarios, the truth is we don’t know what might come our way as we establish our careers and put ourselves in many different situations.

I believe that if we have our priorities straight, and make sure to put family first, we will never have to worry about the second scenario.  But, this may mean that we have to sacrifice a dance recital or two, as we make sure to take care of the business that supports us and allows us the freedom to do different things.  As long as this doesn’t become the normal thing in regards to our family life, we shouldn’t have to worry about getting to the point of our spouse thinking the only solution they have, is to leave.

I think the main thing to be aware of, is knowing that we need to have our family’s best interests in mind at all times, and be willing to do whatever is necessary to take care of them.

I also want to share my thoughts this week on an article we read, called “Attitude on Money.” I thought this article was great, and it really made me reflect on my own attitude when it comes to money.  I feel like I have a slightly different view on money than most people.  Many people I know always seem to be worried about money.  And, to a certain extent, I guess I do too.  But I also feel somewhat calm, because I look at money in the following way.  I know it seems like there is never enough, but I also know that there is always more coming.

This attitude has affected the way I live, because it helps me to realize that if there’s not enough, I need to change the way I am using it, so that I can take care of all of my priorities.  But I also feel a sense of calm, knowing that there is always more coming in.  This helps to relieve any anxiety that might develop, because I know that everything will be alright.

In this article, there are certain rules that are recommended to help us prosper.  The first one is that we should seek out the Lord, and have hope in Him.  The second is that we should keep the commandments, including paying our tithes and fast offerings.  The third is that we should think about money and figure out how we can become self-reliant.  The fourth is that we should look for chances to learn so that we will not be ignorant when it comes to financial matters.  The fifth rule is to learn the laws that bring the blessings of wealth.  And the sixth rule is to not send those in need away.  We must be willing to help those around us.

I really appreciate the opportunity we had to read this article, and hope to work these rules into my daily life.

Mentors

This week, we submitted a paper we have been working on for the past several weeks.  We have been looking for someone to interview that we feel has been successful as an entrepreneur.  As I started this project, I decided to interview a close friend of mine, who has owned his own business for 20 years.

One thing that really stood out to me during this interview, was my friends opportunity to have a mentor, as he started to prepare to own his own business.  This really stood out, as it is a recurring theme that I see in many of the things we are being taught during this business class.

I am coming to realize the importance of mentors in our lives, and this interview has really helped to increase my desire to have more mentors in my life.  It is definitely helpful to have others that have gone down the path you are wanting to go down, to be there to offer help, and guidance.

If we choose to seek these mentors out, and really make an effort to listen to them, we can avoid so many potential problems in our lives.  We can also look for stories of success, and try to emulate them as much as we can.

I have really come to know, over these past few weeks, that having many mentors is something that I should be striving for.  This will help me to be successful, and to learn from those that have been in the places that I want to go.

Dominion Over Yourself

This week, in our business class, we had a lot of reading to do.  The week was a little shorter than normal, but we have a couple things coming up that we need to be planning for.  One, is a book report that’s due next week.  The other, is an interview we need to conduct in the next few weeks and report on.

One of the talks that I watched this week, was titled “Success is Gauged by Self-Mastery” by N. Eldon Tanner.  This talk really stuck with me this week.  In it, President Tanner speaks of mastering ourselves, and the importance of doing so.

This means that we need to be able to work hard, and be disciplined.  It is easy to become complacent, and not do our best in life, but we must overcome this feeling, and work hard each day of our lives.

This needs to be done in all aspects of our lives.  As we work hard, we need to remember to keep ourselves on the straight and narrow path, and not let ourselves deviate from the direction we are heading.  We must set goals, and then follow through with them, and work hard to achieve them.

I really enjoyed watching this talk, and I would recommend watching it, when you have the chance.  I hope to continue to work hard in my life, so that I may be able to accomplish the things I hope to do.

A Hero’s Journey

This week, we watched a video, titled “A Hero’s Journey”.  In it , we learned about the importance of choosing people to surround us that will help us to become better.  We learned that during the journey we are all on, as we strive to be entrepreneurs, it is important to remember that we should not be focused on an endpoint, but rather we should be focused on the journey, and becoming better each day.

I think that is important to remember that we need to surround ourselves with people that will help to mentor us, and to help us stay on the correct path.  If we go these people that we trust, we can start to realize what gifts we have that will then help us to share with others.

At one point during the video, it is suggested that we identify the things we won’t ever do during our lives.  To help us make sure that we don’t cross these lines that we set for ourselves, it is suggested that we fill out a paper, and put in into an envelope.  On the paper, we should write whatever necessary to help us remember why it is that we don’t want to cross a particular line.

During the tough times, when we are tempted to cross a line we know we should not cross, we should pull out the envelope and read the message to ourselves, to help us stay on the right path.

I think the lessons taught in this video are great and definitely something that we should all implement in our lives.

Deconstructing My Fear

This week, we had the opportunity to read about deconstructing our fear experiences.  We went through an exercise that had us list our different fear, list our strategy to help mitigate the risk, and then list how we would rebound if that fear were to manifest itself.

It was a great exercise, and the point was to help us realize that most of our fears probably won’t come true, and if they do, we can have a plan to get through it.  This should offer up some relief for us, and make it so that we don’t have to worry about things that may, or may not, happen.

As we finished this assignment, we were asked to respond to some questions as our journal posting for this week.  The first question asks what the chances are that our worst case scenario will really happen.

I think that, as long as I work diligently, and I seek out the guidance of my Father in Heaven, my worst case scenario will probably not happen.  I’m confident in my abilities, and I have great faith that my Father will help to guide me along the way.

The next question asks what themes might emerge as we list our various fears.  I think the theme that comes up as I populate my list of fears, is one of failure.  Almost all of my fears are based around not succeeding, and not fulfilling what I need to do.  This is where I need to act on faith, and know that I will be successful.

The last question asked, prompts us to think about what the risk is, in taking no action.  What would happen if we let fear take us over and stop us from moving forward.  I think the risk here, is not living up to my full potential.  I know that I can always go from one job to another, and more than likely continue to keep steady work.  But, the risk to me, is not building what my Father has made me capable of building.  I know that if I use my talents, and my resources, I can be very successful.  And I know that this success will lead to greater opportunities to share with those around me.

The lessons learned this week were very valuable to me, and I look forward to implementing them in my every day life.