“Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart”

We grow too soon old and too late smart- Dutch Proverb 

I recently came across this quote in a book.  At some point, we reach “old age” at which we realize the knowledge that would have served us well at a young age.  Perhaps this knowledge might have helped us frame our perspective in decisions.

At some point in my life I realized that non-fiction books could help me cheat the system and get the smart wisdom that comes with age at a younger point in my life.

My problem in the past was finding the time to take in all this wisdom that was out there.  I would find myself collecting these books, but never actually reading them.  I knew what I wanted to be like, but never took the time to become that person.   Here are a few tips in prioritizing what book will come next in your reading queue:

What is the area you most want to improve?  There is no better time than now to access great books.  The market is saturated with How To’s and Guides for just about any subject.  Pick the greatest area of unknown in your life that is causing you to worry.  Start from this point and move forward with a highly recommended book on this subject. Amazon is your best friend in this selection process.

Find a Beginner’s Guide. Four years ago I was getting started with e-Learning at my job.  The first book I picked up talked in great detail about theory and research behind eLearning.  At that time, I just needed to get in the game and not worry about the science behind what I was doing.  Make sure your guide is at the right level for your knowledge and what you want to learn.  Otherwise, you could end up with a lot of great information that does not help you take the first step in your journey.

Your situation might be unique, but your problems are not. Each one of us has a combination of issues plaguing us all at once.  Maybe you want to improve your health, build better friendships AND be more productive at work.  Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can find a “one size fits all” guide.  Sure, you might be one of the few people that has this unique combination of problems to solve, but there are many people who have had these problems individually or as a piece of a different combination.

We can’t stop the aging process.  But, we can jump ahead on our “smarts” by learning from those who have come before us.  Don’t wait until it is too late to seek the advice from someone who has a later stage perspective.