Did you read my last blog and have you made a declaration of learning? If not, pick a couple of thoughts from the list and make those your declaration of learning, of continuous growth, personal advancement and enrichment. Because those that do, your glass will always be at least half full.
What does it take to be half full?
Have you had a conversation this week?
Read a book? Watched a movie?
Observed something? Asked questions? Seen or read any news?
Any of these is learning, informal learning and by participating in them, you are advancing your knowledge. But how do you know? Ask yourself if you know more about whatever subject it is than you knew beforehand. If yes, congratulations, you’re learning! If no, do something else to ensure that you keep learning.
I flew to DC last week and sat next to someone who’s a manager for a consulting firm. She’s constantly reading to improve her skills but does not always have the time to apply or implement them. My advice: take small steps. It does not have to be all at once. I call this learning nuggets. You’re taking and trying a small learning episode at a time and building on it. And what’s more, try it OFF the job, not on the job if you’re nervous at all about how it will work out. Less pressure. We all have opportunities off the job to apply what we learn. Use those times to get more practice. I have done this a lot with social learning projects with companies. Ask me about it.
According to a study on The Contribution of Learning to Health and Social Capital from the Centre for Research on the Wider Benefits of Learning, “Adult learning plays an important role in contributing to the small shifts in attitudes and behaviours that take place during mid-adulthood. Participation in adult learning has positive effects on a wide spectrum of health and social outcomes.” http://www.learningbenefits.net/Publications/ResReps/ResRep8.pdf
This past week, I took a class – assessor training for ANSI, the American National Standards Institute. I thought I knew all there was about training certificates. I felt like I lived in a cave, there’s so much more to learn. I had lunch with a learning friend, and we talked about the importance of transformational learning and various resources including the neuroleadership summit. I traveled to Virginia and learned about the Battle of Fredericksburg, something I knew nothing about. And I had brunch with cousins who set up an amazing learning experience for lawyers in Israel.
Everywhere I seemed to turn, learning was happening. My glass kept getting filled up, and then as I learned it, I left room for more. Learning is not a one-time process. Be sure to keep your glass half full, and always add to it. For your health, for your growth, and for life.