#1- The Owners Manual
This post will show you the top 5 places I use to know and grow and are my personal choices. You may have a very different list, and I would love to hear your opinions and preferences, so please take the time to share them in the comments section below.
I have often heard people say that life does not come with an instruction book.
We know that when we purchase a new product, a car, a phone, a home, and just about anything, we get an owner’s manual along with it.
These owners manuals that many of us ignore and throw away, never even looking at it, are very valuable because they are the instructions from the manufacturer of the product.
You and I may think we know it all, but we do not know more about the product than the one who created it.
Regardless of the reason that we ignore these manuals, our laziness, arrogance, or ignorance, it is a good idea to change this habit and take the time to read these when we purchase something.
I will be the first to admit that for the majority of my life, I qualified for all three of those excuses as to why I did not take the time to read the instructions.
But What About People?
For the sake of argument, let us say that we all agree with the statement that taking the time to read through the owner’s manual when we purchase something is a good idea and can help us all to use the products we buy in the correct ways.
That still doesn’t answer the question of humans and how we are supposed to know how to live this life we have on earth.
Well, the good news is that there is such a manual and it was written by the Manufacturer Himself. Sixty-six books all placed together and sitting idle in a hotel nightstand near you.
Perhaps it is for the same reasons we do not read other manuals that we fail to understand the most important one of all.
A startling statistic shows that less than 10% of professing Christians have even read it all, yet just about everyone on the planet knows it exists and has formed strong opinions and beliefs as to what is in it.
Second and third-hand information funneled through the opinions and views of others is not the ideal way to get information accurately or entirely.
For me to tell you what the bible teaches us is one thing, for you to pick it up and read it for yourself is quite another.
So, without getting all preachy and giving a sermon, my number one place in my top 5 sources in life that I use is the Holy Bible. Man’s instruction manual from the Manufacturer of life.
One last thing I would add here. It is ultimately the relationship with Jesus that I find. He is the Living Word.
#2 – Books
Not to be confused with “The Book,” referred to as my number one place on this list.
Books on many different topics and interests have proven to be an incredible source of knowledge, learning, and personal development for me.
It is unfortunate for many of us who were forced in school to read books that we disliked, were boring, and in the massive scheme of things, were a waste of our time to read.
Many of these books did more harm than good as it created a dislike for reading in many students.
But the books are lovely. We need to read the right ones. You probably have tasted food that you like and the food you hate.
If all you ever ate were the food that you hated, eating would probably be something you only did when necessary and, you would only eat the amounts required to stay alive.
For most boys in school, reading the book “to kill a mockingbird” was like listening to someone run their fingernails across a chalkboard over and over again.
It seemed as though we spent an entire semester in this book, and I developed a strong dislike for reading because of it.
If it were the only book we had to read like this, perhaps I could have overcome it, but the reading requirements never changed, and neither did my dislike for reading.
Until several years after high school when tragedy struck, and my dear late grandmother sent me a book in the mail. “God still moves stones,” by Max Lucado.
I could not put it down and read it from cover to cover. The words jumped off of the page and hit right in the heart of what I was dealing with at the time. It forever changed my view of books and how big of a role they can play when I want to know and grow.
You can see my personal book recommendations here:
#3 – Family
This particular place has changed in rankings over the years.
Originally this was numero uno on my list as is likely the case for many of you. It fluctuates up and down, but an essential place for me to go and also grow no matter where it falls on my list.
No one plays a more significant role in our early years than our families do, positive or negative. Even if we grow up in a dysfunctional family or have little to no family at all, the impact family has on us lasts a lifetime.
Growing up with an older brother who was someone I always looked up to, was talented, gifted, and seemed to do what he wanted, when he wanted, and how he wanted to do it, allowed me to see just how different we all are.
We are all different and see things differently at times. We have different personalities and experiences that form our views and values early on in life. Even two boys who grew up in the same home can be as different as night and day.
Even though there are differences, no one knows us like our own families, and no one accepts us or cares about us as much as our close family members do.
Until you have your children, sometimes this does not sink in as it should.
And through the years, we may grow distant with some and closer to others, that is just part of life. For me, it was always my mom who I looked to for wisdom and someone to listen when it seemed I had nowhere else to go.
Like a rock, she never disappointed, and I will forever be grateful for the time I had her beautiful soul in my life. God bless her.
Sometimes this can be the best source of learning and support, making decisions, or just having someone tell you like it is.
It can also be the worst place to go as friends sometimes can limit us based on their own beliefs or experiences.
Either way, a good friend is something to be profoundly grateful for and can be a person with whom we grow and learn throughout our lifetime.
When we are teenagers, our friends become more important than anyone and are usually the first place we go when we want to get advice, and we often value their opinions over those more qualified
Once we are married, our spouse usually will become our most trusted confidant and the person we learn and grow with and from the most.
This choice is always better when we choose friends to be with who are headed in the same direction as we are.
If you are ambitious and have your sights set on becoming more disciplined with your time and how you spend it, to get the most out of your life, choosing like-minded friends makes sense.
On the other hand, hanging around friends who only want to sit and play X-Box night and day might not be the best idea and will likely offer you little support or advice with your plans.
A friend should make you a better person and not drag you down, destroy your ambitious dreams or goals, or have a life that you would never want to have.
Ideally, having friends who are already where you want to go or are ones that you look up to are going to be the kind of friends who help you to grow into the person you want to be.
Someone who has no desire to improve or change for the better will not stay the same. We are growing or fading, we use it or lose it, and that is just the way life is.
#5 – YouTube
I know you probably laughed when you saw this one, and I understand completely.
However, I am telling you that this platform has dramatically changed my life for the better.
How? Well, for one, it is free to use. But the main reason is that it has given me access to some of the best speakers, teachers, audiobooks, and how-to videos. I sometimes wonder if this has not become my number one place to go.
I may have started years ago using Youtube simply because I could hear all the different music I wanted to for free.
I could create playlists and go back and listen to songs anytime I wanted from my cell phone. Amazing!
Then there are the how-to videos I have used to work on cars or fix something at home, which is often done by professionals who provide step by step, easy to follow instructions where you can see how they do it.
But by far, the biggest bonus and use for this fantastic platform for me have been discovering the teachers, preachers, lecturers, training, and the wealth of knowledge available 24-7.
I have learned so much, take courses that would otherwise have been too expensive or would have required me to travel far from home to experience.
If you have never taken full advantage of the audiobooks and programs that are available, then I would encourage you to do some searching. In any area of interest, you may have, you will be pleasantly surprised at the amount and quality of content available for free.
I now have the paid version because the ads were causing me to lose my mind, and they were too frequent and annoying. It is more than worth the cost to remove these from my life and experience on Youtube.
I quit watching t.v. Years ago and have never regretted my decision. I now choose what and who I allow to influence my life and no longer surf 100 channels hoping to find something worth my time.
If you are looking to learn and grow and to hear some fantastic speakers then I am going to leave you a shortlist of some people and groups I have found to be very helpful and educational for me:
I have no affiliation with any of these channels; these are some of my personal favorites that I want to share with you in case any of them may be of interest.
Youtube Channels and People to Help you Know and Grow:
- Jim Rohn – a very successful businessman who became one of the best speakers on the planet. Great common sense and practical advice not only for business but for life.
- Dr. Miles Monroe – A former pastor and speaker who is a teacher of the principals of the Word. He passed away in a tragic plane crash. “wisdom for dominion” has an artist who puts the words into picture form as the concepts are spoken- A compelling visual addition in the videos, especially for men who tend to remember and connect better with pictures.
- Kevin Trudeau – founder of GIN ( global information network), and the most successful infomercial earner of all time, Kevin and a small group of some of the richest elite men on the planet broke many open secrets held by secret societies and influential people for thousands of years. We hear this information quite often, with the law of attraction becoming more and more popular among those who have had great success with learning these secrets.
- YouAreCreators2 – Along the lines of what Kevin Trudeau teaches, they are all about the law of attraction and how to create your future through positive thoughts and reprogramming your subconscious mind so that you can be, do, or have anything and everything you want.
- Bob Proctor – Proctor Gallagher Institute. This popular speaker who started out cleaning floors became very wealthy and successful using the book by Napoleon Hill, “think and grow rich.” It is these concepts and ideas that he hammers home to help others achieve success in their lives.
- Evan Carmichael – brings compilations and videos that help make you and I better through motivation, tips, and advice from successful people around the world. Great channel.
- 21 Studios – A movement for men to be men- speakers, seminars, interviews. “Make men strong again.”
- DanLok – Offers good advice for Entrepreneurs from a very successful Entrepreneur. I haven’t been watching his channel or videos for long, but I am discovering he has good sound advice to offer.
Other names & channels on Youtube you may want to search for:
the motivation studio
Habits of the Wealthy
Bellview Baptist Church
Dr. Joe Dispenza
Other suggested reading at Neatfreaker.com
Thanks for reading, if helpful or if you have questions or comments, please leave them in the comments section below. And always Aim-high-2-day and every day!