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  • Writer's pictureRobert Stevenson

Shorten Your Learning Curve


Robert Stevenson Blog - Sharpen Your Axe

If I have learned one thing in business, it is “WHY” experience the pain to learn something when you don’t have to; the more knowledge you can gain from others, the better for you. Go to school on other people’s experiences. Learn from their wise words or from their mistakes and shorten your learning curve. I heard it once said: “He is truly wise who gains wisdom from another’s mishap.”


Life is too short to learn and experience it ALL yourself. Success comes to those who seek knowledge from others and apply it. According to the American Booksellers Association … eighty percent of Americans did not buy or read a book this past year, and seventy percent of American adults have not bought a book in the past 5 years. We all need to understand that we can gain SO MUCH experience, insight, and knowledge by reading about the experiences of others.


So, shorten your learning curve by reading for KNOWLEDGE every day. I am always looking for great quotes, sayings, or statements, to help reinforce my message. I have also found that great quotes don’t always have to come from famous people to be helpful. In all honesty, is a statement more profound, wise, brilliant, insightful, astute, sensible, intelligent, shrewd, smart, or clever, because a famous person said it? I don’t think so.


I think that each quote should stand alone, judged on its own merit, and not be given more or less value because of who said it. Here are some powerful wise words of wisdom from ANONYMOUS sources that I wanted to share with you.


  • The wiser a person gets the more they listen.

  • Those who complain a lot – succeed very little.

  • Do more than you are paid to do … every time.

  • To be a winner, all you need to give is all you have.

  • I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.

  • Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.

  • Never listen to those who have not done “IT” tell you how to do “IT.”

  • Worry doesn’t help tomorrow’s troubles, but it does ruin today’s happiness.

  • The sooner you admit you messed up - the sooner you can get on with fixing it.

  • Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.

  • Results are everything. You will be graded by what you do, not what you said you would do.


As I said, shorten your learning curve by learning something NEW every day. If you haven’t set apart a few minutes per day to read, study or listen to something that will make you better, you will soon be losing to your competition. If it isn’t part of you daily plan, it won’t get done. Abraham Lincoln said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Put time on your daily calendar to sharpen your axe.

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