Personal Growth

The Most Important Action You Can Take For Continued Personal Growth

Success in any area of life does not come from being on auto pilot.

This holds true for relationships, business, mental health, physical health, spiritual well-being, etc.

Life is always in flux and we need to keep up with it.  Every time our circumstances change and we do not we are setting ourselves up for failure. That sounds like catastrophic language but it is true.  There is a simple antidote though and that is to continue learning.  The more we know the more tools we have to craft the life we want.

Continuing Education

Many of us have continuing education requirements in our professions.  Doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, and hairdressers are just a sample who are compelled to do it to keep a professional license.  A smart business person will also tell you that you have to keep on top of what is going on in a particular business.  After all, it would be pretty silly if IBM never investigated why the bottom dropped out of the typewriter market.

Most of us can relate to this sort of additional education but what about outside of work?  This is equally important in the other area of our lives. Any successful long term relationship whether it is romantic, friendship, or parent/child hinges on adapting to the changes of the other person which requires learning what makes them tick. This does not happen by accident. We need to learn about the other person.  We need to learn effective ways to interact.

It behooves us to keep our health, mental and physical, in the best condition possible.  This, too, requires us to keep ourselves knowledgeable as our needs change.  Studies show that learning new things that challenge our brain is shown to help our cognitive processes and stave off dementia. That fact in itself is enough to want to put our educations in hyper drive.

When we sharpen our skill the outcomes in our life are generally more favorable. Click To Tweet

All skills we learn, whether physical (like a diy project) or mental (dealing with our finances), are always improved with more knowledge. As we sharpen those skills the outcomes in our life are generally more favorable.

Beyond Formal Education

When we look at the various categories in our lives where we want growth it does not necessarily mean we need to be taking a college course.  Or even a structured one at that.  Although neither of those options are bad there are other ways to gain knowledge.

Read.  There are books, blogs, and websites on just about any subject.

Listen.  If you don’t like to read there are audio versions of books.  There are podcasts and videos as plentiful as books these days.

Counsel.  Take the counsel of those who know more than you on a given subject. This could be formal or informal.

Trial and Error.  You have had an idea.  Try it out.  Regardless of the outcome, you will have learned something. 

Converse.  Merely discussing another point of view can help you gather new information.

Observation.  Watch what others are doing to see what is working and what is not.

Deep and Wide

Don’t be afraid of acquiring knowledge in many areas or diving deep into a subject.  Information from one area can help you find solutions in another.  Life doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

Using the Knowledge

Information and education are worthless if you do nothing with them.  You have to consider carefully what you can use and how you can use it.  And as the saying goes, “use it or lose it”.  The ultimate goal for our continuing education is wisdom.  I think Albert Einstein said it best:

“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but the life long attempt to acquire it.”

Photo Credit: hjhipster

What part of your life are you educating yourself on right now?



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