Brawn to Brains

I could remember a number of times during my elementary and high school years how I and my classmates would fall in a very long line to enter the National Library to do research. I could remember the different field trips we made to gather information and learn more things about a certain subject.
Things have dramatically changed right now – Internet. Things are no longer done in brute force manner but rather using the strength of the brain. Information is without question the new media which requires a whole different kind of analytical thinking. It is important to know which among the information are credible and reliable. Below is a list of things I use to determine which among them are credible and worth my time (list does not follow any chronological order).

1. I looked at their Google Page Rank – this allows me to gauge how many sites are endorsing them
2. I read the about page and research more on the person who writes/owns the site
3. I try to search on reviews about the particular site
4. I try to look for two to three more sites on that particular topic to validate
the information
5. be creative and use your gut instinct

In today’s time, the world has moved from brawn to brains. Things are achieved and the world is ruled right in front of the computer using every ounce of your intellectual muscle to achieve victory. While it could be argued that the brains is being used right from the beginning of time until today and surely will for all eternity; the percentage by which winning could be achieved through our brain muscles is higher that the muscles we used to use to flex and win battles.
Not long ago I watched the movie about Mongolian great Genghis Khan and how he managed to rule one nation to another through their physical presence, and power their way through their opponents.
In the information age, knowledge is power. That sounds like an understatement. Knowledge is the Ruler. An individual who continuously improves himself through adding of knowledge will have an edge. The more things you know the deeper your arsenal will become; the bigger chance you get to win over your counterparts.
Back in high school, one of my weaknesses I am aware of is speed reading. I have logged behind my classmates in a series of speed reading exams. Based on my observations, my classmates who ranked higher in our speed reading activity were more knowledgeable on a lot of topics. They were viewed as the smartest people in school either through official school ranking or simply through the batch wide perception.
That was the time I realized I had to do something about my weaknesses if I am anywhere to competing with the very best. Instead of studying or reading about different information, I focused on speed reading exercises and equipped myself with the necessary information and tools that would dramatically help me in speed reading.
True enough as I have developed the speed by which I could read materials; I became more knowledgeable than a lot of people and continuously improved in dramatic fashion.
By being able to read fast, you get to learn fast. Rapid learning is essential in revolutionizing yourself and rising above your peers.
Unless you are an athlete, today’s world is no longer won on the number of pounds and repetition in weightlifting, neither is the speed by which we could run, pin down your opponent to the ground, etc.
As you gain knowledge you get to boost your confidence level as well. As your confidence level goes up so is the control you have in your destiny. There will be endless possibilities in your road to success and how far you could reach.
As Moore’s law states that based on empirical observation, that at our rate of technological development, the complexity of an integrated circuit, with respect to minimum component cost, will double in about 18 months.
Throughout the years we have seen the effect and authenticity of Moore’s law.
But how was that achieved?
Continuous learning. The fact clearly presents us the reality of the importance of being able to acquire knowledge in leaps and bounds over a short period of time. We should have the hunger for information. The more hungry we are the higher chances we would want to satisfy that hunger. Constant satisfaction of hunger will bring us closer to our dreams.
Moore’s law does not only apply to integrated circuits but in almost every profession all over the world. This law definitely creates a ripple effect that has a global effect.
Do not allow yourself to become obsolete by lack of knowledge.
In my previous company, a fellow employee was asked to leave the company simply because he could not re-tool to a new and improved technology faster than what was required of us. His diligence, loyalty of 15 years, and incredible hard work was not enough to keep him the job. The manager’s reasoning was that they no longer needed hardware skills before they were too mechanical. I strongly disagree with that reasoning but nevertheless that’s how management perceives things though how lame they could be at times.
Listen to the news and what’s happening in the corporate world. Way too many employees are being retrenched and removed from their jobs. A lot of jobs also are being transferred to low paying countries whose risks for low skill requirement are tolerable.
What has stood for decades about an employee’s loyalty and retiring in the company they have started to work with is ridiculous during these times. People nowadays have a natural hunger for knowledge which they could either get in their present company or go somewhere to satisfy the need for more information.
I have worked in 5 companies in the last 5 years. Elder people used to advise me that it is more difficult to get hired in a company if they notice how you move from one organization to another. They would tell me that my loyalty will be questioned.
My simple answer is this:

“There is a War for Talent. I will give the company reason to keep me, but in turn they should give me reason to stay.”

I always asked myself the following things:

1. How does my present work contribute to my learning?
2. How will the environment change in the foreseeable future?
3. Is the information I am learning valued by the industry?
4. Or does the information I acquire have a progressive industry value?

If the answer is no and I could sense that a time will come that my work will stagnate me for quite sometime then I leave.
The things I always keep in mind are:

1. I should remain sharp to acquire knowledge in the fastest timeframe possible
2. I should always maintain a skill set that is valued by the industry

Keeping these things in mind will guarantee my stability and success in life.
The key to get on top and staying on top is keeping the muscles of your mind in top condition. Exercise and constantly strengthen them. Develop your brain in such a way that it could absorb great amounts knowledge and learn to apply them to your advantage.
Be the Leader
Don’t allow yourself to be led by people. Learn to lead others by making sure you are smartest and most knowledgeable in you field of expertise. Become the subject matter expert.
Depth of Arsenal
The depth of your knowledge arsenal is going to be the depth of your pocket. Unless you were born filthy rich, your wealth is your capacity to earn. Your capacity to earn is dependent to your capacity to learn.
Successful people in the world are all over the place. How many of them had great disadvantages when they started? A lot of them too (I will be writing more about this in the coming weeks). These kinds of people did not allow themselves to stay at the bottom but rather learned as much as they can until they became an expert in their field that helped them in their success.
Staying Power
The staying power of an individual will depend on his rapid, continual learning process. This is a never ending task at hand which should be bound to your system. Nothing guarantees your stability other than your ability to adopt. You should be able to weather storms that come along the way.
Learn as fast as you can to get as far as you should!
The Gap
All our life there will always be a gap between where we are and where we want to go. The more information we acquire the better we are at closing the gap between success and your present situation. Once you have reached that level you have aspired for; another cycle of the gap takes place wherein you would need to learn more to reach the new level. And so the cycle continues.
Always think of your new learning as having an expiry date. Nothing is timeless. One of the few things I could think of as timeless is “History” – but of course there are some instances that new discoveries alter what we thought were the correct writings about history.
What’s your speed reading?

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