The POWER of BECOMING (And Why What You’ve LEARNED Isn’t Enough) By: Michael York

The POWER of BECOMING (And Why What You’ve LEARNED isn’t Enough)

What does it really mean to BE TRANSFORMED?

To go from something…to something else?

Once you were only THIS—and then you BECAME something MORE!

Something BETTER or BIGGER or STRONGER or MORE VALUABLE than you are, or than you were?

My second-grade teacher was Miss Eula Belle Appleton.

I loved Miss Eula Belle and she loved me.

I was charged with the special assignment of HALL MONITOR at lunch and recess, a trusted assistant of Miss Eula Belle.  I’ll never forget coming home that year with my report card, handing it to my Mother who smiled and proudly announced “Congratulations son, you’ve been PROMOTED!”

When I asked her what that “promotion” part was all about.

You’ll be going to third grade next year” was her reply.

Just one problem—I didn’t want to go to third grade!

I loved it in second grade with Miss Eula Belle.

I was somebody in second grade and I had a good handle on what it took to be a successful second grader.  But alas… You can’t stay in second grade forever!

It’s why they make those desks SO SMALL!

Only later on would I discover what a big wide wonderful existence was waiting for me just down the hall. It was one of my first TRANSFORMING life experiences.

It’s why I’ve written and spoken for decades about the “I’ve got EXPERIENCE” myth, especially in today’s marketplace that is moving fast beneath our feet.

There is actually lots of EVIDENCE that experience alone is NOT ENOUGH and why “LEARNING is the WORK” as my long-time mentor Tom Peters would say.

I’ve been fortunate to have several individuals in my life over the years that PROVOKED me to think differently about many things. They came along at just the right time for me and coached and challenged and helped me with my commitment to BECOMING.

Over 30 years ago Mr. Rohn first said to me, “Michael, don’t just think about what you’re MAKING or getting paid, but PAY ATTENTION to what you are BECOMING in the process!”

While so many people talk about FINDING THE ANSWERS, too few of them are LEARNING to ASK BETTER QUESTIONS—which is where all the answers for you can be found.


So…back to my original opening question here—

There’s an ancient script that offers us this powerful advice… “Be Not CONFORMED!”

Let that sink in for just a second.

What does that really mean to you?

CONFORMING, settling, going along, being SIMILAR or COMMON or ORDINARY to others.

To act according to the PREVAILING STANDARDS or PRACTICES…that’s what you might find in a dictionary on CONFORMING. Thinking or ACTING much like others do. And while that might be OK, especially in some circles, this ancient passage continues the instruction, and the challenge.


I LOVE that part.


The RENEWING of your mind.

It seems evident, eventually even OBVIOUS that we must soon arrive at the conclusion that LEARNING would be involved.

And that would of course mean BECOMING a GREAT STUDENT!

And not just for TODAY…but FOR LIFE!

So in this issue you’ll find many great ideas from great minds; success stories and evidence offered over and over again that there is most certainly a huge benefit to YOU PERSONALLY in STUDYING and aspiring to become GREATER as a STUDENT.

What I’ve found over all my years is that BECOMING A STUDENT—of most anything, can accelerate and advance your VALUE and UNDERSTANDING of so many things that you wish to know more about or become better at.

If you really stop and think about it…Continuing improvement is what we demand from the marketplace, so it is that the marketplace is constantly demanding the same from you and me.

Top Performers are uncommon.

That’s why they’re not in the middle, or average, or ordinary or common.

Because they’re at the top.  They are continuous learners, perpetual students of success, life, business, and BECOMING– whatever it is they wish to BE.

Another of my favorite messages from a great thinker and writer I shared in my book BECOMING UNCOMMON

“Don’t bother trying to be better than your contemporaries, or your predecessors. Try to be better than yourself”  — William Faulkner

A powerful challenge that provokes us to ask ourselves, “How would one do that?”

Which just might lead you to DISCOVERING the answer.

Becoming BETTER, at most anything, is as simple as committing to BEING A GREAT STUDENT!

One more of my great friends and fount of wisdom, the late Charlie “Tremendous” Jones (Life is Tremendous) who would always challenge me to THINK…not so much about what I had LEARNED (past tense, he would say), but what he always wanted to know was “Michael, WHAT ARE YOU LEARNING?”

Because the I-N-G, the continuing and ongoing part of our individual education was so important to him. And as a result, it became TREMENDOUSLY important to me.

So here’s to BECOMING—and LEARNING—and CREATING greater VALUE in YOUR LIFE as well as in your WORK…BECAUSE YOU CAN!

As any GREAT STUDENT will tell you.




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