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Training Advice – Self-awareness and improvement


Growing yourself – grow your clients, trainees and students. Learn aboutSelf Discipline.

Most IT Trainers time is devoted to their work. Time is spent on procurement, sourcing and providing material, lesson planning, evaluation/marking of lessons and feedback. Time is spent on improving self-knowledge in acquired skills, IT Software application skills, reinforcement of training skills and much, much more... at the end of the day it is probable that 9 out of 10 trainers have little time left to devote to themselves.

All good trainers and performers (for trainers are performers combined with their other endless skills), know that their work is a mirror of themselves. On a bad day audiences and students will pick up the vibes immediately, you will know that you are not at your best, and they will know too, worse still you will know that they know!

What this article is about is self-awareness and improvement, of your performance, training skills, student performance – the first thing leads to the last and training will be effective. Setting time aside for yourself, looking at your own needs may well be at the bottom of your list of priorities, but read on and you may feel differently.

You may feel that you do not have time for such frivolities! But think again – is it frivolous to consider self-improvement, when self-improvement enhances your performance? Take a short break just to consider how you might benefit from a little time spent on yourself – if not once a day, at least once a week.

A few weeks ago TrainingZONE brought you information and excerpts from Jim Clemmer, a Canadian author who is also a keynote speaker among other things. This week TrainingZONE would like to bring you some excerpts from Mr Clemmer’s book ‘Growing the Distance’ book, which contains Timeless principles for personal, career and family success.

TrainingZONE would anticipate that its members not only enjoy the wisdom and philosophy of some of Mr Clemmer’s writings, but that it will assist them in their work and their training provision when working with others. If you find them of personal benefit, you might then like to pass them onto to your trainees and students as part of your training facilitation, thus assisting them with self-awareness also.

’I’m not a teacher: only a fellow-traveller of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you.’
George Bernard Shaw


'Do every day or two something for no other reason than that you would rather not do it, so that when the hour of dire need draws nigh, it may find you not unnerved and untrained to stand the test'
William James, Habit

'A key difference between successful people – leaders – and those who struggle to get by is self-discipline. As Confucius wrote, ‘The nature of people is always the same; it is their habits that separate them.’ Successful people have formed the habits of doing those things that most people don’t want to do.'

Still, if discipline is a key to success, the fact is that most people would rather pick the lock. Less successful people can’t pass up instant gratification in favour of some prospective benefit. It’s much easier to live for the moment and let tomorrow take care of itself. But it takes discipline to forego the immediately pleasurable for an investment in the future.

In The Road Less Travelled, psychiatrist M. Scott Peck writes: ‘Delaying gratification is a process of scheduling the pain and pleasure of life in such a way as to enhance the pleasure by meeting and experiencing the pain first and getting it over with. It is the only decent way to live.’ He goes on to equate self-discipline with self-caring: ‘Discipline is the basic set of tools we require to solve life’s problems. Without discipline we can solve nothing. With only some discipline we can solve only some problems. With total discipline we can solve all problems.’

Our discipline and habits spring from our passion and commitment. I find that when I have the least amount of self-discipline and have the greatest trouble learning a success habit, it's often because my heart isn't in it. To motivate myself, then, I need to find a way to increase my passion'


  • Too many people let their disappointments and cynicisms slowly extinguish their life spark. On-the-job-retirees who waste their lives in a dead-end job they don't enjoy aren't making a living, they're making a dying.

  • Leadership is the stuff of dreams, inspiration, excitement, desire, pride, care, passion, and love. This is the stuff of the heart, not the head. When we connect with our inner spirit, we feel the most intensely alive.

  • Our work can just be a job or the canvas that allows us to paint a rich and textured portrait of our deeper selves. Meaningful work goes well beyond 'what to do for a living'; it joyfully expresses what I do with my living.

  • A burning commitment to the cause is a clear hallmark of passionate and highly effective leaders.

  • Failure often results from following the line of least persistence. There are no 'success secrets'. However, there are success systems, success habits and success principles applied through discipline and persistence.

  • A key difference between successful people – leaders – and those who struggle to get by is self-discipline. Successful people have formed the habits of doing those things that most people don't want to do.

  • Good and bad habits are tiny daily choices that accumulate. Each choice is a small wire that is woven together with hundreds of other little choices. Eventually these wires form a strong cable and the habit has us.

All excerpts from 'Growing the Distance' by Jim Clemmer, and are printed by kind permission of the author. For more information on this and more of Mr Clemmer's, work visit

TrainingZONE would like to hear members' opinions on this article or items related to self-improvement that they feel might would benefit other members.


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