The Hot Poker Principle is simple: put the poker by the fire and it stays hot. Take the poker out of the fire and it will cool down.
The same is true in our lives. The people who are the happiest in life are the people who are always growing. Growth equals happiness. So how do we ensure that we will always be growing? We’ve got to abide by the hot poker principle. We’ve got to put ourselves in situations that will allow us to always be growing.
Here are 5 things you can do to stay “hot” every year:
Be Around Great People – I recently posted about surrounding yourself with great people. Take some time and make a list of people you admire and look up to. Ask them if you can grab coffee or breakfast with them. Get them on your calendar over the course of the next year. Nobody is off-limits. The worst that can happen is someone says no. Strive to spend time with great people.
Listen to Great Lessons – There is no excuse to not listen to great lessons. With podcasts, there is an endless supply of great teachers to listen to. Find the ones that speak to your soul, and listen to them as often as you can.If you don’t think you have time, listen to them in the car, you’d be surprised how many lessons you’ll listen to in a year’s time!
Visit Great Places – My friend, Natalie, who has traveled a lot, recently told me that she believes traveling is more about courage than it is about money. I believe that to be true. Visiting great places changes you. It gives you a broader view of the world and of people. Make a list of places you’d love to visit and develop a plan to make it happen. (i.e. I want to visit every presidential library, I want to visit and tour Israel, etc.)
Visit Great Events – Conferences, seminars, leadership roundtables, etc. While these can be pricey, the potential they have for changing your life is priceless. The best investment you can make is investing in yourself. Be willing to pay for great experiences, the return on the investment over the long haul will be much greater than your initial investment.
Read Great Books – You have heard it a million times, leaders are readers. If you’re not reading on a consistent basis, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to grow. Mark Twain said, “The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.” Read books that will help you grow and develop! Be intentional about the ones you select.
So my questions for you are:
Who are the people you want to spend the most time with in 2012?
What lessons from leaders will you listen to?
What great places will you plan to go?
What great events will you go to?
What great books will you read?