At one time in my professional career I thought I had learned everything I would learn. As you can imagine, I had come to a plateau—or should I say, a valley—in my development. If I knew then what I know now, I would have realized that I needed to have a lifelong learning perspective.
If we don’t realize that we need to be constantly learning, then we will end up stunting our personal and professional growth. As one CEO once said, “I am always operating at the margin of my incompetence.” We should be doing the same thing.
Here are three things you can do to cultivate a lifelong learning perspective.
1. Believe you can become more than you are now.
The first thing I had to do to develop a lifelong learning perspective was to believe that I could improve myself. I had to get out of the rut I was in and believe I could be more than I was then.
This may be harder than you realize. Fear can step in and make you afraid to step out to do something new. Others may tell that you are crazy to try to go a different route. You may have habits that keep you stuck where you are.
But remember: you can do all things through Christ Who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13). But you have to decide to believe it.
2. Read. Read. And then read some more.
Read on a regular basis. Find a time to read a good book in the early morning before you start your day or in the evening as you unwind. And then decide to make the time.
Do not just read the latest novel. Read business books. Or spiritual development books. Or self-help books. Don’t waste your time on fiction that won’t make you better than you are now.
It was hard to carve out that regular time to read books that I did not automatically gravitate to. But once I got it into my schedule, I found it very enjoyable.
3. Push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Find ways to try out your wings. Be willing to try new things. But most importantly pray. And then see what God will do.
God changed my life dramatically when I told Him that I would:
- Do whatever He wanted me to do.
- Say whatever He wanted me to say.
- Go wherever He wanted me to go.
As a result, new opportunities opened up for me that I would never have dreamed of on my own. Because I prayed that God would do with me what He wanted. Because I read voraciously about areas I felt directed to pursue. And because I was willing to believe that God could do more with me than I thought possible.
And the best part is: you can cultivate a lifelong learning perspective too.
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