How often are you learning? You may respond “everyday”, however, can you state what you learned? If unable to state what has been learned, have we truly learned anything?
Seems many stop consciously learning after whatever level formal education they complete. Consider the damage of unconscious learning. Unconsciously, we are continually teaching ourselves. The very act of functioning daily is creating patterns. Anything we repeat becomes our beliefs and our habits. What percent of your learning is conscious and how much is unconscious? Sure, some will be unconscious. However, until we deliberately commit and follow through, the unfolding of life creates us and we feel we are out of control. When instead we devote ourselves to personal and professional development, we create by design.
Many will claim to be life-long learners . . . as long as someone else pays for everything. Totally agree there are times we need help along the way. Though like the countless people encountered in my workshops, my experience is that something happens when we dedicate our hard earned money toward our own improvement. Very grateful for my parent’s contribution to my formal education AND also very grateful they required me to contribute too. Even with that involvement, for years there was resistance and excuses on my part to take charge of my own growth. Learning after all, is another indicator of taking responsibility for ourselves. How well are you doing in that capacity?
Some expect their company to provide all the resources. When you are so blessed to receive such a perk, it is a perk, maximize the opportunity. What does that mean? First, attend the sessions! Think that sounds absurd? Having witnessed on multiple occasions; both as a presenter and as a participant; there are numerous people that sign in and then leave. It happens! Second, take and apply the information. This is where the real transformation occurs. Often you will need additional support. This brings me to the last and critical aspect, show you are equally committed to your improvement. For example, companies will often invest in their employees by providing initial trainings or form of support. Then when given the opening to continue the individual ceases moving forward.
Learning is an interesting phenomenon and essential for success, in life and in business. Formal education; though critical in certain fields; is in the whole scheme a small piece of the process. Degrees, certifications yes, are important. Yet when formally trained if you are ineffective with managing your emotions or interacting with others how skilled are you?
As children we are sponges, continuously exploring and absorbing. When we become adults eventually (hopefully) we realize some of what we learned is hindering us from achieving our goals and desires. To effectively learn as adults therefore, requires first we unlearn what is interfering. The unlearning is challenging and uncomfortable for a couple of reasons. One, we tend to have an attachment to what we know; even when producing results counter to what we want. Until we recognize this we vehemently defend what we know. Two, we affix meaning to what we’ve learned. These extrapolations we use (often subconsciously) to torment ourselves based on the association and significance we’ve connected.
What about common sense? Seems common sense to one is insanity to another. Why? Common sense is a deduction based on weighing data available; however, the data is in each of our heads. Even with the same information we rarely put the pieces together the same way.
A simple question can create vast responses, sometimes creating major disagreements amongst the parties involved. What is a truck? You may have thought of a semi, a pickup truck, an SUV or something else.
Okay, time to get honest with yourself. What is your level of commitment to your own development? What would a recording of you in action indicate? Avoid excuses, denial and berating yourself; simply get moving in the appropriate direction. If you’re still thinking about it nothing is happening!