People who learn, un-learn, and re-learn bring a competitive advantage to their work: they tend to be current in their field, able to predict trends, and move quickly past conventional wisdom to discover and implement winning ideas. Learning is a key success differentiator that increasingly plays a role in professional advancement. Good thing I have always loved learning!
There are 3 habits I cultivate on my path to lifelong learning:
Curiosity: When we stay curious we naturally want to grow, learn and explore our world. We seek to question, not confirm, our assumptions.
Habit: asking curious questions, learning new skills, researching new ideas and concepts.
One of the best ways I have been curious this year is with this question: What is the most generous assumption I can make about the action this person has taken? This simple question has allowed me to be a better coach, leader, partner and friend.
Commitment: When our curiosity is wed to a commitment to act, we take steps to learn and grow. We discover more, experience new things, and build relationships with a diverse group of thinkers. Relationships are cultivated with people who have skills and ideas different from our own.
Habit: time. Learning takes time and perseverance. Devote time to study, read journals, books and articles, take classes or attend workshops.
This year I have stretched out of my comfort zone to meet and build relationships with people who think, live and act differently than I do, and I am better for it.
Enthusiasm: Contrary to popular opinion, people’s perseverance most highly correlates to their ability to maintain their enthusiasm for the project, not their discipline. It is our enthusiasm that motivates us to learn, grow and perform, not a sense of duty or obligation.
Habit: Cast your own vision. Build a strong picture about what will be true if you continue to act, achieve and succeed.
This year I have focused on the direction of my attention. When I pay attention to what is possible, what I can do, what I can accomplish, what I am able to simply do next, I find myself diving into my days and savoring the moments. When I pay attention to the problem, I run out of gas.
My recipe for success in 2017 is simple:
- Stay curious.
- Ask questions.
- Learn to do something new.
- Do the next thing: Act!
- Focus in the possibilities.
What will you learn in 2017 that you do not know today?
What experience will you take on that is new and different for you?
Who will you add to your circle of friends who think and live differently than you do?
Whatever you choose, I wish you great success and happiness in 2017!