Are you an intentional proactive learner, or an unintentional reactive learner?

Whether in your work or in your personal life, I am convinced your truthful answer to this question holds one of the keys to you living a happy, flourishing and prosperous personal and work life.

I’m worried that what I’m about to write will be seen by some as just another platitude. If you look up the definition of a platitude, you’ll find it is typically a remark or a statement that usually has some form of moral content, and that it has been used so often it is potentially no longer considered interesting or thoughtful or useful.

So my potential platitude is this…

Your character matters!

OK, so I’m sure you’ll agree with the statement ‘Your Character Matters’, but is it something that we typically agree with, and unfortunately, because of the time-strapped world we live in and with the demands that are either placed on us or that we place on ourselves, we simply now consider our character as something that will just take care of itself, and that Character Matters is just a platitude?

I’ve just finished reading the book ’50 Psychology Classics: Who we are, How we think, What we do’ by Tom Butler-Bowdon. One of the books discussed is Erik Erikson’s ‘Young Man Luther: A Study in Psychoanalysis and History’. Erikson makes a key point that is aligned with Inescapable Truth #2 in the Intentionomics Blueprint of 9 Inescapable Truths for a Prosperous Life… the importance of taking stock of your truth about you.

As Butler-Bowdon highlights “Erikson’s point was that the issue of identify is never completely solved. When one aspect of us achieves wholeness, there is still some larger self that is trying to make sense of our experience.”

In other words, it’s incumbent for us all to continually be assessing the alignment of our personal values and the way we are living up to those values in our personal and work lives.

This is where the question of whether you’re an intentional proactive learner or an unintentional reactive learner becomes so important.

If we wait for learning to be provided for us by our employers, or by chance, our potential for personal growth is stifled and slowed.

Whereas, if we intentionally take steps to proactively seek and undertake learning opportunities that help us to build on our competencies and character, what the research in applied positive psychology validates is we will have a higher sense of wellbeing.

Is wellbeing now just a platitude?

But what I personally worry about is that the idea of us seeking ways to increase our sense of wellbeing, to pursue opportunities to live more happy, flourishing and prosperous lives is also just becoming a platitude. Because of the limited view that many are reporting and focusing on with the term Happiness, the more broad and encompassing reality of the pursuit of wellbeing in life is at risk. This is why I don’t just use the term happy, and why I typically refer to happy, flourishing and prosperous as a more representative description of a ‘good life’ and of what I mean by our overall sense of wellbeing.

So let me remind you why it’s important, to intentionally and proactively learn and take intentionally proactive action on what science is telling us about wellbeing.

In a nutshell it’s this. A range of scientific research validate that people with a higher sense of wellbeing live longer; live healthier; have better relationships; are more resilient; are more creative; and experience a host of other personal and work-life benefits that those with lower levels of wellbeing do not experience at the same level.

Your call to intentional action from this post is to first ask and then answer the question “To what extent are you intentionally proactively learning?”

Inescapable truth #9 of the Intentionomics Blueprint is “It’s your choice” – learning is your responsibility, and not the responsibility of anyone else but you.