Here is what a few people you may have heard of have to say about continuous learning
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. ” –Henry Ford
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” –John F. Kennedy
“An unexamined life is not worth living.” –Socrates
“We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn. ” –Peter Drucker
“An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.” –Jack Welch
“Absorb what is useful.” -Bruce Lee
“The minute that you’re not learning I believe you’re dead.” –Jack Nicholson
You gotta love Jack…
I have been very fortunate to have been able to study people and mastery for over 25 years now, from the martial arts, to sports, to business and academics. I’ve worked with and for people of incredible skill, knowledge and measures of financial success. They all have a common thread, whether said or implied in their actions; “Never stop learning”.
And our societies continue to expand the learning curve at an exponential rate. Dr. Stephen Covey states that 50% of our current level of knowledge has a shelf life of two years. That means half of all of your skills and knowledge that you posses today will be obsolete by 2012. So I’m suggesting that continuous learning is not just a part of professional/personal mastery, it’s a part of keeping up or being left behind. In this next decade it will be a matter of personal evolution or extinction.
Consider that the roots of this reality have already spread in the last two decades. Do you know anyone who struggles at work today because they did not pay the price to become PC literate? Perhaps in the mirror? I remember people in the early 80’s actually telling me that the personal computer was just another fad. I not only see people today, but entire companies struggling to compete or ‘catch-up’ with their markets, in many ways, most are two decades behind the learning curve with their technology. As just one example, until approximately 2005 the major insurance carrier, Farmers, had no computer system…at all. When your claims adjuster would say, “let me pull your file” they literally pulled papers from rows and rows of file cabinets.
This section, “Expand your knowledge”, is about keeping ahead of the learning curve. I will be posting excerpts from information resources people share with me, books that either myself or others have recommended and the occasional thought-provoking question. If you have some great stuff to share, please let me know Ω