For many, the New Year often brings into focus the possibilities of a brighter future.
We want to brighten our horizons, learn more, and to be better versions of ourselves. We cheer the New Year and write checks that we might not be ready to cash. Once the reality of January 2nd hits, some of us might not sure what direction to go in and our commitment to lifelong learning falters.
It does to me. Been there, done that – trying not to wear the t-shirt this year.
Begin with the end in mind!
Where we fall flat, and where we get caught up in the octopus arms of uncertainty, is because we don’t have our learning plan together. Whether you’re changing paths or expanding your skill set, it’s all in your mindset. Regardless of your goals, be they to earn a promotion or take over the world, some element of learning is required. This might be scary for some and exhilarating for others.
Talent and intelligence are not fixed traits.
The best way to approach your learning plan is to acknowledge that you need one. To move the needle toward your goals, your mindset must reflect that you are willing to commit to lifelong learning and willing to take on new challenges to your brain.
Adopt a growth mindset
Adopting a growth mindset toward lifelong learning, in particular, can reduce the intimidation and fear of failure that diving into something new can bring. Talent and intelligence are not fixed. We can develop skills, such as strengthening the brain, through effort and practice. A goal doesn’t know what you don’t know…
It comes down to asking ourselves: Are we willing to break out of our comfort zone, emerge from the cocoon of complacency? It’s nice, warm and comfy in that cocoon. Trying new things can be scary and uncomfortable. Having a mindset of learning reduces the fear of the unknown, allowing us to see learning as it should be seen, as an opportunity to grow as an opportunity to see new things, explore new worlds and boldly go where no one has gone before… (Couldn’t help myself, I had a Star Trek moment.)
Do we have what it takes this year to do better than the year before? I say we because we are in this together. Do we have the creativity, resilience, mindset, and emotional fortitude to drive ourselves to do better? Let’s start at the beginning.
5 Tips for building a lifelong learning mindset
- Challenge yourself: Ask yourself a question at the beginning each week or month, then challenge yourself to find the answer. Not just find the answer through a series of tweets or a quick Google search. Conduct deep research and share your discovery (there are bonus points for starting a debate). Examples: “Does the use of Neuroscience really benefit people in learning?” or “What is social learning…really, what is it?”
- Challenge conventional thinking: Seek out information that may be contrary to what you believe. Expand your horizons. Challenge yourself to find a better way… You want people to communicate beyond the class and your organization says it can’t be done…WHATEVER…you will find a way. You will find a way around barriers!
- Conscious experimenting: Try new things! We make tiny decisions every moment of our lives. Often, we run on autopilot. Same design, same template, same patterns. Instead of running through the day on autopilot, think about the small conscious decisions you can make to explore new things. Try a new lunch place, a different driving route, or listen to a podcast over lunch rather than working on email.
- Build on your skills: If you love building engagements in Articulate, you’re probably already into graphics and colors. Those types of connected interests and skills help us think about the things we already do well and are passionate about. Think about what other related opportunities there are to learn. How can you level up? Passion breeds passion!
- Take time for self-reflection: Reflect and learn. Remember that one elearning program that didn’t work? Go back and find out why. That one program that was balls on successful? Unpack it, and understand how you can replicate the results. Feeling confused or overwhelmed by a project (or by life)? Reflecting on the environment can help pinpoint where the train ran off the rails. This may be a time to start a journal or start a chat group with like-minded people. Build support tools for success.
There are many other tips for successfully creating a learning plan, but those don’t have a fighting chance if your mindset is one of being passive. “I’ll practice a new skill when I have the time.” People the time is now. There is no tomorrow. Time is finite.
Do or do not, there is no try. ~ Yoda (BAM, Star Wars and Star Trek in one post!)
So what’s it gonna be? Are we going to do better this year with our learning mindset? Or are we just going to “try” and be passive – waiting for a better time? (In other words, make excuses). Let’s take action now, and re-energize our overall commitment to shaking our learning groove thang!
I’d love to know what tips you have to make room for lifelong learning in your day – please share!
As you all know, I spent the better part of 2017 giving away books. What you didn’t know is that I was saving one book from each giveaway to create this BIG AUDACIOUS giveaway. Time to up your game! This giveaway includes a copy of the following books (plus a few gadets and fun stuff) all total over $150 buckaroos.
- You’re a Bad Ass, Jen Sincero
- The Originals, Adam Grant
- Eat that Frog, Brian Tracy
- The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg
- Performance Focused Smile Sheets, Will Thalheimer
- Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon
- The Steal Like an Artist Journal, Austin Kleon
- The Art and Science of Training, Elaine Biech
- How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck, Steve Stockman
- 101 More Ways to Make Training Active, Elaine Biech
There is an added bonus book: Learning in the Age of Immediacy, Brandon Carson
Click below for details on how to enter. Time is of the essence, next month it will all start again with a new book. YOU KNOW YOU WANT ALL THIS!