“If you will spend an extra hour each day of study in your chosen field, you will be a national expert in that field in five years or less.”
If you want your “Professional Cylinder” firing-off with maximum horsepower, you must show yourself to be competent. Take a look around, legitimately competent performers are extremely rare. (How many customer service calls to your cable or cell phone provider were filled with awesomeness? Or how many times has the order at the drive-through gotten messed up? Not to mention the clowns at work, you know the ones….don’t point!)
If you just show up on time, don’t call in sick, and have a half-decent attitude, you have already made it into the top 20% of the professional world. If you want to be at the top of your field, here’s the secret: hit the off-button on the remote, begin reading and studying for one hour every day. If you find it boring to study in your chosen field, it’s time to change fields.
What do you think about when you don’t have to think about anything? What do you think about when you’re driving home, going for a stroll, laying out at the pool, or while you’re in the shower? Go study that thing grabs your interest. You might be surprised to find that one hour turns into two, or three, and after 5 years, you’ll be getting calls from head-hunters, the media, and new clients.
Focus for one hour each day on activities that increase your competency. Of course, if you hate your job, you’ll be spending every waking hour trying to distract yourself from the misery your professional life is. If that describes you, time to take an honest assessment, write out a vision of what you want your life to be, and then make the decision to go for it.