Why continue to learn?

The simple fact is that we never stop learning – it defines us, it’s how we continue to evolve, to interact and perhaps most importantly, it very often influences how others perceive us.

The experiences and interactions we have literally on a minute by minute basis, actively help shape our subsequent actions and reactions to the next new “stimulus”.  The key point here is how we utilise that learning. Do we use it passively, in a subconscious way?  Or is it something that we actually need think about, or remind ourselves to use in a more conscious way?

If it’s the former then the chances are it is an element of our thought process, our psyche with which we are quite comfortable and as such it needs no obvious challenging. Moving forward you recall and utilise as you see fit…it’s become second nature.

If it’s the latter then you should ask yourself “why?“.

  • is it a recent learning point that needs more work/development?
  • is it a new skill, recently acquired?
  • are you simply not yet comfortable with it?
  • was acquired though an unpleasant experience?
  • is there an element of fear involved?

Consider also why the decision process still needs to be a conscious one.  We naturally use an iterative learning process (although we may not realise it) to further evolve the learning, often until it becomes a subconscious action. It may be that the learning point by that stage has morphed quite considerably.

Continual learning is a really positive trait and it underpins the evolution of so much for us, both personally and environmentally. For myself, focusing on change within businesses means I can never ignore an opportunity to learn, to reflect, to change, to learn….it’s an on-going cycle that I am conscious of because of my passion for it in a work context.  For instance, a recent programme I led showed a massive 83% reduction in issues and rework through the various phases as the learning was proactively applied to each new phase.  I regularly attend  business networking meetings and at almost every meeting I learn something new and of value to me/my business.  The key thing for me is not be closed to new input, to listen to what’s going on around me and to not shy away from any external barriers.

So in summary:

  • be open to new influences, stimulation and ideas from multiple sources
  • proactively consider how to utilise new learning and then act upon it
  • learning helps avoid repeatable mistakes and all that goes with it…if you are a business owner that could mean a significant bottom line impact, a loss of reputation, maybe even a client!
  • look critically & pragmatically at how that learning can benefit you, your family, your team, your organisation…and then look again

Embrace it!

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