Never Stop Learning
by on August 14, 2014
As long as we’re alive, we’re learning something. Contrary to what some people think, learning does not stop when we get out of school. It is only just beginning. Whether we’re aware of it or not, we’re always in the midst of a lesson. Learning is for a lifetime.…You never stop learning (whether you want to or not).
For me, the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know. That drives me to learn more. Whilst today, I no longer head to a university campus, I subscribe to thought-leading webinars, teleseminars and blogs. I also have a growing library of books and media pertaining to the areas of leadership, parenting, marketing, coaching, personal development and self-leadership.
I’ve read in various places that if you want to earn more, you must learn more. In today’s world you must stay current. There is no place for complacency. To slow down or stop learning is close to career and business suicide. The speed at which information in any given field is growing is nearly exponential. You need to keep up just to survive.
What’s your approach to learning?
To me, learning is a must. Most leading companies know this. Zappos keeps a library of books and other materials for its employees to keep developing themselves. Some of the top consultancies in the world put people development as a priority business function. They allocate 5% or more of each employees salary to their further education each year. I personally budget for my on going education.
Leaders are learners. Leaders are readers. You will not find one CEO or sports star who is not proactive about learning. How else do they stay at the top of their game?
Many people did not enjoy school. Perhaps that was you? Schools, teachers, subjects, focus, aptitude and attitude all play a part in making learning enjoyable or torture. Regardless of your experience, there will be things that you have an aptitude for and they may not be realized through conventional education. Who knew?! Sometimes you have to kiss a few (okay more than a few) frogs before you discover your groove. But to find your groove you have to try new things. How else will you learn?
You may stop learning, but the lessons keep coming.
If you are stuck in a dead-end job, have limited career aspects or have yet to discover your true calling, know that you will have to learn your way out of it.
Perhaps the best learning never comes formally. It just happens because life does. Rarely, a day goes by when there is not something to learn. We just need to become more aware.
As you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re facing problems and challenges. Life has a way of teaching us lessons, whether we want them or not. I’ve been taught many an informal lesson through unemployment, marriage, parenting and business successes and failures. Such lessons are everywhere and never-ending.
Lessons come in all shapes and sizes. Some are only for a moment and some go on for ages. No matter what you’re going through – the good, the bad and the ugly – there is always a lesson. Any such lesson is meant to help us grow. If we’re not growing, we’re dying.
If you don’t figure out the lesson the first time, sometimes it keeps coming back to haunt you until you finally get it. It took me many years to learn about humility and the need to put others needs before my own. A lesson is learned when you change for the better.
The blog here at Leading Men Only is a catalogue of the lessons I’ve learned over the years – the ones I’ve noticed, learned from and applied to change and improve me, my life and that of those around me. My hope is that the lessons I share will save you from making some or all of the mistakes I did. I also hope they save you time, energy, money and relationships.
To finish off, a few of the key lessons if you want to learn well.
1. Have a teachable spirit. To learn you must want to learn.
2. Be curious. Lessons are everywhere. Some are easy to find; some you have to dig for.
3. Ask questions. Lots of them. There is no such thing as a dumb question (except for the one you don’t ask).
4. Learn to teach; teach to learn. When you learn something, share the learning. It helps you assimilate the lesson further and helps others on their learning journey.
5. At the end of each day, ask yourself, “What have I learned?” Make notes.
Learning is meant to ultimately be for our own good. Each of us has a lifetime of learning ahead of us. Make the most of each day and the lessons it brings. Before you know it, you will have grown wiser and closer to your potential.
Ask yourself every day for the next week what you’ve learned. Note it down. Share it.