Intentionally giving and unintentionally receiving, these are the two biggest and most robust benefits I get out of continuing the learning process.
Reading about things, people and places becomes more and more fascinating as I get older, however, what I am coming to realize more and more over time is how much I get to help people who are interested in learning due to have already walked a similar path as theirs.
Everyone learns uniquely, we hear that all of the time. I guess it is true. What I do believe is that when people want to learn about things that interest them versus things they must learn for work or school, it's done with a much different level of passion and commitment.
Engaging a younger crowd, and trying to instill in them just how important the continued learning process is, can be a bit overwhelming. The message that resonates within me and that I try my best to communicate is, "Things are changing at an ever-increasing rate. Industry, STEM-like topics, healthcare and the electronics around that world as well as just plain communications. You really must read, learn and share to be an effective and functioning member of modern society. Gone are the days of learning a skill, trade or anything else and then becoming stagnant and watching the calendar flipping year after year and you remaining relevant ... Gone."
Learning, Like Most Everything Else Worthwhile, Has To Be Done With Intention.
If you are preparing for an archery tournament, you put in the hours of practice, William Tell like practice. You simply don't show up and kind of participate. No! If you are involved and moved to the point of being part of the tournament, you want to win. You win by intentionally trying to score the most points. Learning has to be done just like this, you have to set aside time for it. Do something wild, like skipping the reality TV show and working on your future. No one else can, will or should do that work for you. It is up to each of us to, as my old friend and author Greg Smith says and has named his company, "Chart Your Course".
Philosopher William James wrote in 1887, when he penned Habit, a short treatise on how our behavioral patterns shape who we are and what we often refer to as character and personality:
1. The acquisition of a new habit, or the leaving off of an old one, we must take care to launch ourselves with as strong and decided an initiative as possible. Accumulate all the possible circumstances which shall reenforce the right motives; put yourself assiduously in conditions that encourage the new way; make engagements incompatible with the old; take a public pledge, if the case allows; in short, envelop your resolution with every aid you know. This will give your new beginning such a momentum that the temptation to break down will not occur as soon as it otherwise might; and every day during which a breakdown is postponed adds to the chances of its not occurring at all.
2. Never suffer an exception to occur till the new habit is securely rooted in your life. Each lapse is like the letting fall of a ball of string which one is carefully winding up; a single slip undoes more than a great many turns will wind again. Continuity of training is the great means of making the nervous system act infallibly right... It is surprising how soon a desire will die of inanition if it be never fed."
3. Seize the very first possible opportunity to act on every resolution you make, and on every emotional prompting you may experience in the direction of the habits you aspire to gain. It is not in the moment of their forming, but in the moment of their producing motor effects, that resolves and aspirations communicate the new ‘set’ to the brain.
There are any number of ways to build the study habit. However, they all depend on one thing. Getting started by becoming committed to it.
I can promise you that it is 100% better than simply getting by. #LifeLongLearning