Published - July 2001

By Dave Jakielo


Yogi Berra had many famous quotes or as some considered misquotes throughout his Major League baseball career. A quote that rings true to me is the one I've include in this months sub title, "It ain't over 'till it's over."

What brought this to mind is the recent end to the past school year. You can hear the kids chanting that famous ditty, "No more homework, no more books, and no more teachers dirty looks." Many students think that the close of the school year is an ending. In reality it should be considered a beginning to the next learning experience.

Why I bring all of this up is that Spring of 2001 was a momentous occasion in the Jakielo household. David, my son graduated from high school. Amy, my daughter graduated from college and I received a Master's degree. These three events occurred within four weeks of each other. Needless to say we firmly believe that, "Learning is a Life Time Experience."

Recently, I was attending a seminar when the speaker mentioned that less than 10 percent of the general population ever read a non-fiction book after their formal education comes to an end. That's a pretty amazing statistic but when you stop and think about it, it isn't hard to comprehend. We have so many options when it comes to how we spend our free time.

Years ago a viable option on a shorter list of "what to do," could have been to spend time reading a book or attending an evening class for enrichment. Now our lives have gotten so complex. We have an enormous amount of pressure we must deal with in the fast paced world.

How can we decide how to spend our leisure time when we are expected to solve complex problems such as what will it be tonight, "Survivor or Millionaire," or a plethora of selections from the wonderful world of cable TV.

Our success and development have a direct correlation to how we spend our time. Plus we all have the awesome responsibility to lead by example. It won't work to tell people, be it our family members, peers or employees, to do what we say when they don't see us leading by example.

One of the things I am most proud of this past year is as follows. I was always talking up "continuous education," with my other team members and I'm happy to report that out of 25 people, five have gone back to school, a 20 percent success rate. It's a start in the right direction.

I understand that many of us are probably juggling various responsibilities at one time.
However, although we may not have time for everything, we always have time for the most important things.

It's more of a prioritization problem versus a time constraint. I always remember an example that was related to me a few years ago. Ellan Toothman, a fellow seminar leader, posed the following question to her audience, "What did Mother Theresa, John Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln and you all have in common?"

Answer: They all had 24 hours in a day. What made them different was how they spent their 24 hours!

Hear are some ideas as to how to become a continuous learner:
1. Read trade journals, in and out of your area of expertise.
2. Read one business book a quarter.
3. Listen to books on tape if you spend more than 15 minutes driving to and from work.
4. Take a class at the local Community College.
5. Attend a seminar.
6. Offer to tutor someone, by teaching we are learning it again.
7. TURN OFF the TV and do something educational.
8. Get up one half hour earlier or go to bed one half hour later and devote that time to learning.

The list could go on and on but I'll stop here and leave you with one last thought. Did you ever notice that the biggest thing in a successful person home is their Library, while the biggest thing in a struggling person's home is their TV set?

Keep in mind I'll be happy to address any issue of importance to you. So keep your questions and suggestions coming. Send inquires to any of the following. David Jakielo, Seminars, Training & Consulting, 86 Hall Ave. Pittsburgh PA 15205., 412-921-0976 or visit my web page at

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