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Avoid The School
Of Hard Knocks

Written Sunday 05/18/08 by Joe Rossini

In this week’s lesson, I would like to discuss one of my favorite topics, which I just can’t seem to speak enough about. That topic is how to avoid learning things the hard way during our lifetime at an institution of high frustration.

Keep in mind, there are no pre-requisites or tests to take in order to enroll in the “School of Hard Knocks.” Thus, this school has a higher enrollment than every single school and college put together in the entire world. And while there's no tuition costs to attend this prestigious institution of higher learning, the TRUE costs can be enormous. The real costs include, but are not limited to: enormous stress; loss of investments; loss of family; loss of health, and even loss of life.

It is reasonable to assume that every person that ever resided on Planet Earth has been a student more than once. What marketing savvy this school continues to display year after year, attracting billions of students daily.

If you spend too much time in the classrooms of the SOHK, then you need to learn how to Play Hooky more often. Because the lessons we learn at this school often lead to great pain and suffering. Stuff we would all like to avoid.

One simple and efficient way to play hooky is to learn from others mistakes. Just about anything we set out to do in this world has probably been tried and tested by others. Anytime you have doubts about that statement, just take a ride over to your local Borders or Barnes and Noble Bookstore and check out the number of books written on just about any topic you can imagine. If you are still not convinced, check out and you’ll find 10 times the books available at your local bookstore. Still not convinced, put your topic in a search engine like GOOGLE and you’ll find enough information on your topic to read for a week.

The idea is to learn from other people’s successes and failures and avoid lots of pain. Avoiding common mistakes reduces risk factors and propels you toward the successful completion of your objectives. You must take risks to get ahead in this world. But work diligently to reduce your risks by making smart calculated decisions.

Realize that your goal is NOT “ever make a mistake.” That’s impossible! There isn’t enough time in your life to read about all of the mistakes that people have made. You can’t possibly live in a constantly changing world, of which you know very little about, without making mistakes. Your mistakes are your teachers. They instruct you to “change course,” and “do something different.”

But you can make your life much EASIER by knowing which courses have already been taken, and which things have already been tried. There is a famous saying that goes, “One thing that we’ve learned from history is that people never learn from history.”

There’s a very good explanation as to why that is. It’s because a majority of people have no knowledge of history. But the earlier you grasp the following the better, “Never compare yourself to the majority!” You’re setting your standards way too low. Set your sights on the being in the very successful minority. You’ll quickly find that the minority have some knowledge of history.

Once you learn about what works and what doesn’t, you must take another important step: Trust Yourself! Trust in what you have learned. You may now be required to act differently than those around you. Remember, we live in a world where “people never learn from history.” So naturally, unless you want to remain a part of that group, you’re going to have to do things differently.

For many, being different is a step out of their comfort zone. They’d rather stay nestled in the pack. But the pack gives a false sense of security. If it were secure to remain in the pack, then the saying that “people never learn from history” wouldn’t hold any water.

It is in TRUSTING YOURSELF that true security is achieved. Make your life easier and learn from history.

It is possible to play hooky from the School of Hard Knocks if you really try. Thus before you have to learn the hard way, just do some research and find someone that already walked the halls of the School of Hard Knocks and learn from them. It’s so much easier. And so much quicker to get wherever you want to go!

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