Author: Byron Pulsifer, © 2017
The practice of continual learning has to be one of the most important
aspects of life. There is much about life that demands adaptation,
understanding and reaction but a process of continual learning allows
you to respond favourably or adapt to on-going change.
Some of this continual learning occurs naturally through normal work
activity; some occurs from observing or listening to colleagues; and, some is sought out by way of specialized training
offered either in the workplace or at on offsite venue.
Past Learning Fades
It is not a matter that we should be satisfied with what we have
learned in the past. Take, for example, one's formal education.
The world today moves very rapidly with the amount of new
and practices that are changing as each day moves on. If you believe
that your education completed many years ago will suffice,
you are one of the few thousands that think so. The fact of the
matter is this: to believe that old educational qualifications
will take you to the end of your career is the same as thinking
that the same clothes will be worn for the rest of your life.
Understanding That Learning Does Not Stand Still
The same applies to your understanding of your life experiences
thinking that what you understood at the age of twenty-one,
for example, will be the same understanding you have of life
experiences as you near the end of your time.
Each one of us assimilates information differently but whether
you believe it or not, you do intertwine information into your
own thinking, beliefs, attitudes and behavior.
The real question here is how you go about the process of learning.
Continual Learning Is Building For The Future
For some, learning on a continuous basis is a little more structured and
it is this structure that allows one to keep building useful knowledge
is a much more systematic way. The process in a more formal
educational way is to involve one in continuous reading in your
specialty area, or to attend seminars, or to take part-time advanced courses.
This learning on a continuous basis also means that you refrain,
at least to some degree, from attempting to assimilate necessary
new knowledge by osmosis. This is to say that you need to take an
active role in struggling to learn new information, new systems,
new approaches to what was once satisfactory. I expressly meant
to use the word 'struggle' for a very good reason, and that reason
is that the more challenging
it is, the more you'll internalize and remember the information. In other
words, the easy way is not always the best way.
I recently explained the process of 'struggle' to a colleague when they told
me that they want things explained to them. What this immediately
told me was that this person was attempting to glean over that
which would require him to exercise his brain cells. To me, this
so-called easy learning is the same as attempting to learn to ride
a two wheel bicycle by asking someone to explain how to keep
your balance without ever using your bodily mechanisms to experience
Personal Growth And Continual Learning
In the realm of personal growth, there is also the continuous learning
that occurs in your own control of your own destiny.
Some people continue on in the same old ways that they always have
and start to wonder why they never seem to be happy
There is a quiet deterioration of the spirit, the excitement that once played
upon their mind as they rose each morning. Now, all that is stems from
a routine of doing the same old thing every day and every weekend.
In these cases, there is no development, no control, no new understanding,
or no new action that can lead one out of routine.
Routine is not security unless you can live in a society that never progresses.
However, progress is all around each one of us whether we wish to
acknowledge it or not. Not a day goes by that there isn't a new
discovery of some kind or another; a new way of doing something
that either makes the task easier or more proficient; or, the development
of other people around you that requires you to exercise a new level
of understanding or a new way to build or establish a relationship based
on establishing a new base or common base of relationship building.
That is all to say that this is akin to being able to discuss the impact of
modern day changes to one's life and survival but counting on horse and
You Are A Model For Continual Learning
Continual learning is a necessary part of self-growth both on a personal
and professional level. If you are a parent, this continuous learning
is part and parcel of learning what it is you must do to help your children
develop to their fullest potential.
If you do not grow as a person, how do you expect to be the model
that they one day will emulate?
A simple example of this kind of continual development and learning
is modeled by what you do with your children. If you sit and read
a book to your young children, they are more likely to develop the
habit of reading. However, if you only watch television with them
or play a computer game with them, reading a book will be a foreign activity.
This unfortunate kind of activity does not serve them well when they
enter school where reading should be as natural as breathing.
But if they have no basis or habit of reading a book, this method
of education is more difficult for them to embrace.
Take Control Of Personal Learning
Start today to learn one thing new - it is never too late.
Your desire to keep advancing through life by initiating a program
of self-learning is one that fills your own desire and does not jump
to the rhythm of another drummer. Your control over your life is also
reflected in understanding clearly that there is no one else who is
ultimately responsible for your career, for your personal growth,
or for your future.
You are the owner of your own band with all of its instruments finely
tuned and playing in the same key and playing the same tune.
One of the short comings seen often in organizations is that employees
of today seem to think that their employer is responsible for their growth.
In other words, if the employer does not initiate, or pay for, educational
programs, the employee will not initiate their own learning opportunities.
Once, not that long ago, I had a colleague ask me why she was always
bypassed for promotion when she was one of the longest serving staff
members. The short version of this story was that she never engaged
in any form of self development or after hours training.
Her skill levels, and their usefulness to the company, were out of
date but she never initiated going beyond, in any way at all, what
was normally required of her to do her job. Simply put, her lack of honing
her skills, or learning new skill sets cost her the opportunity to advance.
"Each moment of your life is a brush stroke in the painting of your growing career." Wilfred A. Peterson, The Art Of Living
"You're unique. And you have an inner voice that tells what you want and need. To choose for yourself means to listen to and respect this voice so that you can say, I do this because I want to, not because others want me to." Amy E. Dean
"Knowledge from books will make you more confident to talk about practically anything!" Sarah Brooks
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