Do you want to grow?

Look, Listen, Watch & Apply

You’re never too old.
More than 2,000 years ago, the Roman statesman, Cato, learned Greek at age 80. When asked why he was tackling such a difficult task at his age, he replied, “It’s the earliest age I have left.” When he was 84 years old he declared, "Old men retain their intellects well enough, if only they keep their minds active and fully employed."

Learning for life
I don’t just think of learning as university or formal education, though these are invaluable. To me, learning is a way of life. It begins when you decide to open yourself up, ask questions and look for answers, read and listen.
The American novelist Mark Twain famously stated, “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

What stops you from learning?

Six examples you might recognize in your own life:

  1. Indifference: The ‘who cares’ attitude when you simply drift along. The downside: You can’t drift your way to the top of the mountain.
  2. Indecision: This is where you’ve looked into doing a part-time course in your field, but you put it off by saying I’ll get around to learning more about my job some other time. Warning: A double-minded person is an unstable person.
  3. Doubt: What if I find I’m not competent in that area? Or What if someone gives me the wrong information or misleads me?  Well that’s just part of asking questions. It’s part of learning, reading & evaluating. Over time you will be able to tell the difference between helpful and unhelpful advice.
  4. Worry: Even the most positive people worry at times. If it dominates your thinking, you won’t look for answers or learn from the experience. Instead, let worry drive you to learn better ways to handle things.
  5. Over Caution: I decided a long time ago that to advance in my career I had to extend myself to learn. At some point you have to make a decision to grow, to move forward in life. Timid people don’t get promoted; they don’t advance and grow.
  6. Over Confidence: Sometimes we think we know enough… period! Why do I need to listen to that speaker? Or I don’t need to ask – I already know the answer!  This ‘been there, done that’ thinking closes you off to any further learning.

Peter Irvine
Peter is Co-Founder of Gloria Jean’s Coffees, author of ‘Win In Business’ and ‘Building your Business, your People, your Life’ and keynote speaker.

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