Catching pearls is the art of being a life long learner.
I like useful, practical, and tactical ideas. It turns out that other people do too. These “pearls” are in high demand and if you aspire to do great things you will need cornerstones, words of wisdom, and advice other than your own. There is a saying that goes something like, “getting a really great idea normally comes after you have gone through a lot of not so great ideas.” On a similar note, not every clam has a pearl. When you mine for gold, what do you find? Rocks, dirt, and mud.
This is common sense. We tend to forget, however, to be ready when, after sifting through the sand and dirt or cracking open that 150th clam, we do find that priceless nugget.
We are continually encountering new ideas weather we like it or not. We already know that a few of them hold some priceless treasure (like the honest critique of a friend or a suggestion from some one smarter than you). The question is: How are you going to catch that falling star?
How to Catch Pearls:
Define your pearl…
What is it that you are aiming to catch? What are you looking for?
“Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.” C. S. Lewis
Psa 111:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.”
Only God has what you want. Make Him your chief end and the real rest, best, and the most come with Him… but not in a way you would expect.
Always carry a net
If you are going to catch pearls, you have to carry a net. I didn’t realize how much I was missing until I began carrying a 4″ x 6″ black notebook to record ideas, phrases, and advice as I heard them or they came to mind. It soon filled up and I am actually writing this post from it.
This “net” can fit in your back pocket and is the pen and paper you need when those lyrics for the song you’ve been writing finally pop into your head. It can also hold prompts for profound thoughts that come out of the mists of contemplation.
This is a tried and true method of catching and making the most of the treasures you may come across. Here are a few great minds who used pearl catching nets: (Compliments of The Art of Manliness Crew.)
Alexis de Tocqueville
George S. Patton
George Lucas (still a great mind… even if he did sell Star Wars.)
Ludwig van Beethoven
and the list goes on…
Hang around places where pearls tend to roll
You are very much made by the company you keep. Surround yourself with a group of Godly friends: people who are smarter than you; people who are honest. Try creating a Mastermind Group to facilitate this kind of community.
Once you find those people, listen to them.
The company you keep is not only with people, but also with books.
Read… Don’t just read books that entertain. Read books which inspire you to act, which give you the tools for success, which not only open doors to new worlds but also uncap the fountainheads of revelation.
Then make note of what you find.
To catch pearls you have to pay attention. To retain them, you have to note them. To solidify them, you have to write about them in the context of your own ideas.
That is why I blog.
Share Your Pearls With Care
I love the book of Proverbs. After reading it over a few times and thinking it through, I realized that Proverbs (and any proverbs in general) are not words to quote at other people. They are words to live by.
In the same way, pearls are not for throwing at other people. They are for you to live by. They are meant to crown your head, adorn your neck, and shine from your fingers.
However, wise counsel is made from the delicate sharing of pearls. That said, here is my conclusion:
Pro 25:11 “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”
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“Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.” C. S. Lewis (click to tweet)
Psa 111:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.” (click to tweet)
“Only God has what you want. Make Him your chief end. The real rest, best, and the most come with Him, but not in a way you would expect.” (click to tweet)
“Read books which inspire you to act, give you the tools to succeed, and uncap the fountainheads of revelation.” (click to tweet)