As the academic year is dawning, it seems perhaps coincidental or appointed by divine fate that I’ve noticed something importance about success – or perhaps more specifically in business terms. My parents (who work together) have had to change the concept of what they do twice, perhaps thrice and each time they find greater levels of success as they progress and develop. They are extraordinary people who are not afraid to embrace change (check out last weeks post here, on the topic of change) and are so inspiringly willing to learn new things. This is what has definitely allowed them to go into such diverse businesses and why there is still a wonderful roof over my head. They needed to change what they did, out of instinct (perhaps love as well) in order to evolve with the jobscape and the world we live in today. Although it’s true that times are changing, majorly due to the internet, but it shouldn’t be a change in our generations to stop learning, or stop loving it.
My mother and father are so willing to learn and take an active role in what they do, and they have never lost their zeal for leaning. Their utter enthusiasm for it has leaked to outside of the business realm. Dinner parties are an opportunity to learn what’s new in the banking world, my dad conducting job interviews believes that it is a window (in my opinion somewhat distorted) into what young people are doing in this day and age, and my mum attends weekly study classes to educate herself on the challenging biblical book of Revelations. The older generation I believe are much more willing to learn than we think, and perhaps would be more so if we simply taught them how to operate Apple Airplay instead of grumbling and rolling our eyes.
I firmly believe the first stepping stone to success is your years in formal education. It’s fairly clear (though I do humbly acknowledge the rare exceptions) that those who succeed most are those who are learning. Those who are studying for hours on end, not perhaps because they love it but at least, they’re learning. Their brains like sponges will take in more information, and from my limited understanding of neurology (from a ted talk here), these will alter the shape of the brain and allow it to even take up more connections and information. Fantastic!
A love of learning unfortunately is not common in our society but it can be cultivated and nurtured by teachers who do their job in the highest degree. I may hope to go into teaching one day, and if I do, I hope that I can inspire the younger generation to have the same intense passion I have for the subject I teach. If not, I would consider myself a failure, because if it weren’t for my year 9 english teacher, I simply wouldn’t be typing this today, or experienced such a deep connection with literature.
However, let me not put you off learning because you don’t adore it, or have good, passionate teachers to cultivate it. Learning just has to be a part of life that you can embrace (just as much as change) and not shy away from. Recognise that it is what determines your future successes, opportunities and interests.
Knowlage should have a beginning but no end. – anon.
Leaning is so important because it determines the strengths of your bridge to your future. It possibly alters the direction too.
Can I challenge you, this year, to try and enjoy learning and start to cultivate a healthy appreciation for learning? To appreciate facts and figures that have taken years to aquire, even to educate yourself on opinions that might differ from your own. You can never become poor by the act of learning (education is another story), and their is no such thing as being overeducated.
Learning doesn’t have to be from a teacher in school remember, and that is why it differs from education. Learn from TedTalks, TedEd, books, TV shows, learning apps and other people. Absorb new information, no matter the topic. Learning is learning, be it about botany or bicycles, cooking or the cranium. Information at our fingertips allows us to access it quicker and easier than ever before, and the internet enables us to share our findings faster, should we want too.
The education system is flawed and does not give space to allow growth in loving learning, and that is what needs to be changed, fixed for only the better. But start first by changing up your attitude toward learning itself, and that change will shine through to your peers. Perhaps one day in a totally idealistic future we don’t have to force a love for learning – it’ll be there.