This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com - #Growing Your Business
If you already think you know enough to get by, you’re sadly mistaken. Find out why and how to continue learning to be the successful person you’d like to be.
5 min read
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If you were to survey highly successful people, you’d discover they share a philosophy of being lifelong learners — they continue to learn and grow. Unsuccessful people think, “I already know enough to get by.”
Making a commitment to lifelong learning isn’t easy. Most people have a negative view of continuing education, but this works to your advantage. What others can’t commit to is your opportunity. Every day you commit to learning, growing and developing yourself adds value to who you are and what you have to offer. As you increase your value, you also gain the rewards and compensation of knowledge, skills and income. The fact is, becoming a lifelong learner is a must if you want to achieve and maintain success in our ever-changing world.
To be a successful lifelong learner, make a commitment early to expand your horizons by making room for new topics of inspiration in your life. Easy ways to start moving toward success are by reading empowering books and finding inspiring people to learn from on a daily basis.
Expanding your knowledge comes down to diving deeper into your areas of expertise. Commit to learning things that are relevant to your industry and business, and commit to sharpening timeless, applicable skills that will help you move forward every day. Learning at this level puts you in a positive state of mind and inspires you to raise your standards and increase your value as an expert.
As you continue to learn, you’ll also learn more about yourself and create a greater quality of life: increased earning power, more opportunities, and amazing experiences. When you commit to lifelong learning, you’re creating a need to constantly improve yourself so you can gain a competitive edge in business.
Your ultimate goal should be to live a life where you see no boundaries because, with your extended knowledge, you have the options to create anything you desire.
The lifelong learner mindset
To commit to being a lifelong learner, you must cultivate the right mindset. A lifelong learning mindset requires curiosity about the world. A curious mind wants to know more — it longs for new challenges, ideas and experiences, and isn’t satisfied with the status quo. When you have this mindset, you want to grow, learn and develop beyond imagination. You want to become a well-rounded, better version of yourself.
The lifelong learner mindset is always open to new possibilities, and you come to understand that the only way to reach your ultimate success potential is to be open to anything that comes your way and be willing to explore everything.
This mindset also allows you to approach life from a place of gratitude, where nothing is taken for granted. Every bit of knowledge you’ve learned is appreciated and respected because you understand that over time it will help transform your perspective on life.
This process of lifelong learning isn’t just about reading lots of books to gather information. It’s also about taking the information you acquire and putting it into practice.
We all have weaknesses in our personal lives that we can improve on. And since our personal life has a tendency to spill out onto the rest of our life, including our business relationships, it’s important to become a lifelong learner in your personal development, too.
I’ve had to work through weak areas of my personal life and implement the lessons I learned along the way. In fact, it never stops. I continue to work on my personal development and growth to this day.
Shared thinking can expand your mindset
When you want to learn a new skill, do you go off by yourself and try to figure it out, or do you find someone to show you how so you learn faster? Shared thinking returns greater value than solo thinking because when you learn from others, it’s much easier than trying to work things out on your own — and it yields a higher return on your investment of time.
The compounding action of shared thinking with successful people moves your knowledge forward faster and easier. I’ve discovered that the more I respect the wisdom of others, the more I listen and learn. For example, when I’m being mentored by someone, I allow that person to do most of the talking so I can learn from them. When I’m mentoring a client, on the other hand, I ask them a few questions and expect to do most of the talking, so the client can learn from me. In shared business relationships, it’s more of a give-and-take conversation between equals.
Even beyond the immediate need to solve a particular problem, listening to how others approach business or their personal lives can flip a switch in your thinking, leading to a breakthrough or a new insight. When you’re excited to learn more, you do more, and work becomes more like play!
Knowledge allows you to master success again and again (both personally and professionally) when you develop the skills and the tools to continually win in business. That’s what makes success easy!