Learning is a continuous process. When you think you have learned it all, you have not learned at all. Thus, it is quite dangerous to think that you have reached the finish line when it comes to learning. Besides nowadays, there are countless of ways to learn from reading to taking online courses.
Back in 2017, half an hour before the Effective Business Writing Training I was about to conduct for a company, one team leader approached me. He said that he was supposed to attend our training. But he has already attended a Business Writing Training conducted by another consultant. Hence, he told the training team that his subordinate would take his slot in the class instead.
I told him that if their company’s training team agreed to this, then this would be fine by me. But I asked him when did he take this course that he mentioned. He replied, “2008!” 2008! So many things changed from 2008 to 2017. I felt sad for this employee. He thought that because of a training program he attended almost a decade ago, he did not need to learn any further.
Why do we need to learn?
While I am a communication training consultant whose main job is to teach adults, I would not shy away from telling you that I still study. In fact, I study very hard because with every second that passes, the world changes. Also, I remember this one Chinese proverb that says, “Learning is a treasure which accompanies its owner everywhere.”
Now, how can we continuously learn? With all the big responsibilities at work and at home, is there still time to squeeze in learning on a daily basis? The answer to these questions is yes! Read on for some quick tips on how you can learn continuously.
1. Have the intention to learn.
There are so many opportunities to learn around you. Sometimes, you learn from observing nature. At times, the learning comes through a conversation with a friend. You may even learn from watching children. But while all these opportunities are around you, the conscious intention to learn must be there. After having trained thousands of professionals, we have observed one thing… People with an open mind and heart learn and grow the most.
In our communication training sessions, we always encourage our participants to read, read, and read. Reading not only broadens one’s knowledge; it also awakens one’s spirit. I believe that every book that I read gives me a hint on what I should do and where I should go next. In addition, while you read, you also get to improve your vocabulary and grammar as you see how words are used and how sentences are structured.
3. Watch educational shows.
Watching Netflix is not necessarily bad. It’s all about a matter of choosing what shows would nourish your mind and spirit. For instance, before our team had our strategic planning for 2021, I watched Inside Bill’s Brain, a Netflix series about Bill Gates. I wanted to know his habits and best practices and see how I could apply these to my own life and work. As a result, I learned and enjoyed at the same time.
Listening is an activity that most of us overlook. But the truth is we can learn more from listening than from talking. Listen to your colleagues, boss, subordinate, customers, and even your family. What are they truly telling you and not telling you? What are they teaching you at the moment? If you listen closely to your customers, you might learn that their needs have changed. If you listen to a colleague, you might hear about an inspiring John Maxwell podcast episode that is exactly what you need at the moment.
5. Take online courses and attend training sessions.
Microlearning is now the buzzword in the learning industry. You don’t need to go through heavy traffic or block the whole work day to attend a training. With just one click, you can take an e-learning course by watching bite-sized learning videos during your lunch break. You can attend a two-hour webinar on a topic that interests you and go back to work immediately after without even having the need to travel back to your office. If there is one good thing that came out of this pandemic, that is there are more convenient ways to take a course and learn.
Never stop learning.
Whatever your age is, never stop learning. It is your ticket to growth. Moreover, as the whole world grapples with all the changes brought about by the pandemic, learning can help you adapt to these changes. Plus, it can help you adopt the new skills needed in today’s world. There are so many benefits that come along with continuous learning. But whenever you feel tempted to give up, remember the words of Mahatma Gandhi who said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”