#7. I am a lifelong intentional learner! This week I will read something to help me grow and prosper.
Each week I’m reporting here on my personal experience in implementing my 52 Intentional Affirmations. These are designed to help us be more intentionally mindful of the impact our intentions have on living a happy, flourishing and prosperous life. (Click Here to start work on your own 52 Intentional Affirmations).
In the news at the moment is a new strategy from the Federal Government here in Australia to implement ‘Emotional Intelligence’ training for school teachers.
The key point being a teacher who is proficient in their teaching subject(s) is one thing, but to be able to deliver that knowledge in an engaging and inspirational way for students is a totally different set of skills.
And yes… paradoxically, emotional intelligence is a combination of skill, knowledge and most importantly intention and character.
As I was focusing last week on this affirmation of being a life-long learner, I certainly realise how fortunate I am that my work life allows me to allocate a large percentage of time to reading and researching. I also realise how fortunate I am that the ‘subject’ that my work-life focuses on really boils down to business and personal growth strategies.
I mean, just last week I read two fascinating books (which I will post book reviews on shortly). The first is Aging Well by George Vaillant and the second that I couldn’t put down was Curious by Todd Kashdan. What a blessing it is that we live in an age where wisdom is so easy to discover (of course then it’s the challenge of applying it to our lives… but that’s another topic).
How do you find the time?
So proactively allocating time to research on business and personal growth strategies is not only so that I can continue on my journey of mastery in those fields to be able to share that expertise with my clients, but also knowing that the more I research, the more I can apply in my own life as well.
I don’t know about you, but I do realise that this is not the case for everyone.
For many people, their learning is often left to reactively wait for their organisation to provide some sort of training workshop or conference. Sadly, this is quite often a once-a-year event for many. For others (usually in Professional Firms) it might be more frequent on monthly professional development days – and these are quite often more about compliance, product or industry updates and less about personal development, personal growth, communication, building trust relationships, personal character, or self-leadership.
Now you might be rolling your eyes and thinking I’m referring to what many have tagged as ‘soft-skills’. And you’re right. I am.
Here’s the thing though… your organisation or association might be focusing on skilling you up to do your job better, however, the job of skilling yourself up to be a person of good character, a person who practices self-leadership, a person who others watch and make assessments about what your truth is… this is no-one else’s responsibility except your own.
The adage that goes something like ‘if you don’t use it you might lose it’ I believe best sums up the importance of this affirmation of being a life-long learner.
Let me leave you with this question and challenge…
At the end of next week, what will you proactively read, watch, or listen to that will help you build your personal character, your communication skills, your capacity to earn trust with yourself and others, or your self-leadership. Or what will you proactively read, watch, or listen to that will feed your personal creativity, help you move closer to your overt or secret life passion, your hobbies or just your thirst for knowing more about who you are and your world around you?
The most difficult thing for many people isn’t finding the time to learn – it’s making an intentional decision on what learning they would like to pursue.
Remember, if you leave learning to chance, the chances are you’ll just leave it. And if you leave learning for too long, you’ll stop growing, and if you’re not growing you may be stagnating.
The intentional choice is yours.