Remember what Einstein once said, ‘Once you stop learning, you start dying.’ So, let’s start with this vital dimension: learning. It’s a cornerstone that profoundly impacts both our personal and professional journeys.
Learning isn’t confined to the four walls of a classroom or the boundaries of our job descriptions. It’s about dedicating time to our growth and development, whether it aligns with our work or delves into our personal interests. It’s about nurturing both soft and hard skills, expanding our horizons, and embracing curiosity.
Now, the debate around learning can be complex. Some argue there are two types of people: those with open minds and those with closed minds, suggesting that only the former truly embrace learning. However, we believe that learning is an inherent part of being human. It’s happening all day, every day. From the information we absorb to the interactions we engage in, even the subtle processing our brains do while we sleep — it’s all learning! So, why not revel in it, exploring topics that invigorate us, honing skills that indirectly boost our careers, and accumulating that invaluable social currency?
As we embark on this learning journey, let’s arm ourselves with practical tips to fully embrace this dimension:
- Cultivate Curiosity in Conversations: Engage in learning by becoming more curious in your daily interactions. Don’t hesitate to ask for more context or seek someone’s opinion on a specific topic. Curiosity is the spark that ignites the flames of knowledge.
- Explore Uncharted Territory: Challenge yourself to learn about new topics, even those that haven’t piqued your interest in the past or that you’ve actively avoided. Sometimes, the most unexpected topics can lead to profound discoveries.
- Diversify Your Skill Set: Actively pursue new skills that may have nothing to do with your current career path but could complement other skills you wish to develop. Learning is like assembling a toolbox; you never know when a particular skill will come in handy.
In essence, remember that learning doesn’t always have to align with your coursework or current career. It’s about enriching your knowledge base, which can indirectly support your professional journey in the near or distant future.
Consider the case of Juan, an accountant by day and a sneaker-painting enthusiast by night. His side hustle has led him to acquire content marketing skills, improve his communication abilities, and build a community around his unique creations. These are talents he might not have been nurtured in his day job, but they will undoubtedly enhance his leadership skills when he reaches that career milestone. Let’s draw inspiration from Juan’s story and actively seek out new learning experiences that may or may not have an immediate impact on our careers but will undoubtedly enrich our lives. Above all, let’s embrace learning for the joy it brings and the potential it holds to shape our future.
Challenge: This month, here’s a challenge for you: Dive headfirst into a new hobby, strike up an engaging conversation, or enroll in a course that intrigues you. Luckily, there’s a treasure trove of free courses waiting for you at Coursera, covering a vast array of subjects. Whether it’s that language you’ve always wanted to learn, a dance style you’ve been curious about, or a subject that’s never crossed your path before, take time to explore the uncharted territory of knowledge.
Remember, learning isn’t just about enhancing your career; it’s a voyage of self-discovery, an expansion of your horizons, and an invitation to embrace the joy of new experiences. So, seize this opportunity, embark on your learning adventure, and let your curiosity be your guide.
Stay tuned for next month’s post as we delve into the second dimension, Community, to discover how it plays a crucial role in our personal and professional lives.
Gori Bhullar, Law and Business ’13, is a seasoned Management Consultant with a specialization in understanding Human Behavior in the workplace. She has spearheaded transformative People & Culture initiatives for several organizations. Currently, Gori works in the Financial Services industry in Toronto, Canada, where she leads strategic People & Culture efforts for over 60,000 employees across North America. Her commitment to fostering talent is her hallmark, making her a standout figure in her field. Stay tuned for her insights in this series.
Read other posts from the Re-defining Success series: