You’ve heard or seen the chatter of certain individuals within and outside of our business who appear to know everything there is to know about their subject, their field of work or specialty. They say they are at the top of their game, boast of their material possessions and brag their credits constantly, and insist that taking any kind of training or learning anything new is useless and unnecessary.

In essence, they have stopped to grow their intellectual knowledge base. They’ve stopped reading, attending trade shows, listening to audio seminars or taking additional training. Such folks have fallen into a trap by making an unconscious decision to stop growing and learning.

Brian Tracy, in his book “Thinking Big”, reiterates an illustrative story about Albert Einstein, who gave a final exam to his advanced physics students at Princeton University. His graduate assistant pointed out that the exam was the same test as last year. When the assistant asked him why he have the same test two years in a row, Einstein replied , “In the last year, the answers have changed”.

Scouting Trends

What was true a year ago may not be so today, and what will be true in a year from now will not be what it is today. So as we approach another new year, my mind’s eye is scanning the horizon for useful truths to adopt to keep creating and reinventing myself in such a way that will lead me to greater success.

Tracy states that the individuals who appear to excel the most are the ones who keep learning, and they are also the most humble. Today it’s impossible for one individual to learn everything about even one subject, because information is in constant flux. There are great minds specializing in specifics of their fields, so it is imperative to have an open mind, as any unexpected event can become a trend of things to come. The minds who aspire to continue learning appear adept at discerning those trends, adopt and progress. I marvel at how much I do not know! There are changes taking place al the time. In new technology, new products, new services. It’s a fun challenge to try to keep up!

Toss The Mechanical Mindset

A mentality that is rigid, inflexible and unchanging may be detrimental, and resists change. As such, this is a mechanical mindset. Conversely, the author states, the most successful performers in any field, however take a more adaptive approach if a new idea has more merit, and are more curious, and open. They approach problems systematically. They ask big picture questions. They try to piece a solution from high quality ideas, and not rush to judgment.

Tracy says the truly successful people invigorate their minds with a flow of new ideas that will keep creative juices flowing. When it comes to creativity, which is paramount to voiceover excellence, we must continually strive to be creative in our approach to a read. Be creative in marketing, and client relationship cultivation. Creative thinking flourishes within the mind and the more ideas you are exposed to, the likelihood is high that you’ll get the perfect idea at the time exactly that you need it.

Get Out Of The Comfort Zone

Also relying on what worked in the past, and remaining consistent in your comfort zone can tend to block out almost all possibilities of future growth. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”. In other words, by staying so in love with the past way of thinking and doing invalidates the future. Brian Tracy says that by Thinking Big is to be willing to abandon outmoded ideas. So try new “thinks”, and you’ll find more effective ways to reach a higher level of personal and professional development.

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Comment by Bobbin Beam on January 4, 2010 at 11:29am
Hey Greg, and Mandy, Thank you for your kind comments. I wish you both a most spectacular 2010!
Comment by Mandy Nelson on January 3, 2010 at 7:44pm
Bobbin, I really enjoyed reading this and putting the ideas into my brain. Thanks for such a great post!
Comment by Gregory Best on January 3, 2010 at 6:33am
Well said Bobbin and thought provoking. I frequently ruffle feathers challenging others thinking in areas other than VO in my life. I need to do more of it within the VO biz too. 2010 is the year of change for me. Phillip is right out the rebuke if you don't go along with the self aggrandized even on some VO forums. Those who are really truly the successful leaders in this biz are quite humble, sincere, willing to help others and always learning something new. I need more of that in my life. Thanks Bobbin.
Comment by Bobbin Beam on December 30, 2009 at 1:19pm
Thanks Brian. And Philip, you seem like a constant thinker, always turning concepts inside out. Intriguing. Which is why I prefer to surround myself with people who know more than me, so I can learn from them. I don't think it's important to prove someone else wrong or to be proven wrong yourself, because what works for one cannot work for all. Someone will always be correct, to one degree or another.
Comment by Brian Whitaker on December 30, 2009 at 6:59am
Nice read Bobbin! A good mindset to have to start out 2010.

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