I was reading Gary Sinise’s book “Grateful American” this morning when my former wrestler/mentee/friend Shakky Boy sent me a text. I first met Shakky Boy (Adam) back in 2007 when I was coaching wrestling as part of my graduate assistant (read more about him in my new book, “World’s Toughest Lifelong Learner”). I had recently left my teaching career to pursue professional fighting, and part of my “agreement” with my mom was that I get my master’s degree. Since that time, Shakky Boy has taken to The Spaniard Show, sending me nearly daily text messages – maybe one, two, three snippets or phrases – with what he learned that day from the show. My vision is that, one day, millions of people will do the same.

Learning is at the core of our being, yet it’s so easily discarded and put on the back burner. But if we adhere to the progression of thoughts > words > actions > habits > character > destiny, shouldn’t we keep the practice of learning close?

There are many reasons why, but I’ll touch on the one that gave me the impetus to write this post. While reading “Grateful American” (the next book that I’ll talk about on The Spaniard Show), Shakky Boy sent me a text about the current book I’m talking about on the show – Jocko Willinck’s “Leadership Strategy and Tactics.” The text read, “When you were talking about the “I don’t care perspective”

[one of Jocko’s leadership concepts], it made me think of Kevin Hart’s shoulder shrug [from his autobiography “I Can’t Make this Up,” another book I’ve covered]. Jocko describes “I don’t care” as a form of detachment, the ability to walk away. Hart describes the shoulder shrug as his secret weapon to getting through life. If things didn’t go his way, he would just do the shoulder shrug and move on (I actually had Shakky Boy refresh me a bit on that one).  I shot Shakky Boy a text back about something else that I had covered on the show a few years ago, from Jack Canfield’s “Success Principles,” that also highlights this principle. Canfield teaches it this way: SWSWSWSW … “some will, some won’t, so what, someone’s waiting.”

My point here is that life is a series of who-knows and get-back-up-agains. Learning shapes the kinds of thoughts that become a legacy you will be proud of. And while there are many forms of learning, my favorite is reading. In such a high-speed time, it will force you to slow down and think, one word at a time.