Open for Learning
If you are not where you want to be in life, professionally, then you may have to accept the fact that we still have some things to learn.
Many of us would agree with this statement and generally speaking when you are starting out it is a concept that is easy to embrace. “I know very little, therefore I need to learn more”. A few weeks ago I wrote about the importance of dedicating a large portion of time to training. This week I want to expand on that and look at what often happens when we have some measure of success. Often, our desire, or maybe more accurately our openness, to learn diminishes. It seems that our learning curve is inversely correlated to our success. The more successful we become, the less willing we are to embrace and learn new ideas, thoughts or concepts. I think this is a real shame. I don’t think that this is something we do consciously but many of us tend to think that the “learning moments”, courses, workshops, conferences etc. are great for “them” but we seem to think that we already know it. We seem to feel that those around us have a lot to learn yet go into these opportunities with a fairly closed mind and as a result likely miss a lot of what could be learned from many opportunities.
Jim Rohn, one of the great personal development guru was quoted as saying “Always be eager to learn, no matter how successful you might already be. In the Millionaires’ Club, we sometimes invite a billionaire to come talk to us. He says, ‘You’re doing okay, but come on. How about if you really poured it on!”
Ask yourself this question “Am I exactly where I want to be or do I have room to grow and improve?”. Now think about the last time you were at an industry learning event. Was it a brokerage meeting? Was it a lender event? Maybe an online course or a webinar. When you went into it did you go in with a fully open mind ready to fully explore what nuggets of wisdom you might be able to take away to make you better at what you do? or did you go in with a skeptical mind?
This may sound like a simple concept but take the time to seriously challenge yourself with this. I think if you are completely honest with yourself you will likely admit that there have been times when you have gone into a training environment simply because you felt an obligation to and you were not in the best mindset to make the most efficient use of that time. You went in feeling like this is a waste of time. If you think about it, when you do that, you really are wasting time. I mean, hell, if you are going to take the time to attend you might as well make it as efficient as possible. My goal with this article is to challenge you to really make the most out of all the learning opportunities that you can. To challenge you to really be honest with yourself and open your mind to learning new things, not just showing up.
The flip side of that challenge is that if you are honest with yourself and you decide you can’t be fully open to learning, then do yourself and your instructors a favor… don’t show up at all.