How come we constantly need to be learning?
by Kevin D. Crone
Why is it that we constantly need to be learning, reading, listening to speakers, or taking coaching and training on principles of success to improve our performance? Let’s look at some possible reasons why it’s important to constantly grow and why we sometimes don’t.
Why constant learning? Haven’t we heard most of these principles before? Didn’t we understand them the first time? No, probably not.
Here are some reasons why we miss a lot of them:
- Maybe because at the time we probably thought we didn’t need them or, we didn’t relate to them because we spend a lot of time in a busy, survival, “get through the day” mindset. We figure we don’t have time to sharpen our axe because we’re too busy cutting down trees. The principles must be for someone else.
- Or, it’s just knowledge and we know and realize as we go that knowledge can come and go, there’s lots of it, and it can be forgotten in a week or two. So, we hear it but we don’t apply it. Knowledge just doesn’t stick without practice, which is what matters.
- Another reason we resist hearing the principles, is because we think it’s demeaning and hurts our ego to admit we need to change. There doesn’t have to be anything wrong but you need to keep changing! Trying to be your best at anything in the ever-changing game of life and business requires constant change and if you’re not continually changing and improving, you could be left in the dust. It’s not about something being wrong with you – it’s about your potential. How much of life, results and happiness are you leaving on the table?
It’s somewhat impossible today not to see change everywhere even if we don’t always agree with it. You’re either a player who’s learning how things presently work and what doesn’t work and are improving to meet change or, you’re a watcher or bystander engaged in just talking about what’s happening.
Or, sometimes we resist hearing how others succeed because it just causes us to rationalize and make excuses about how much easier it was for them. “If they only had our situation” we think. Circumstances do matter but blaming them for non-performance isn’t what producers spend their time on.
Or, we all know people who don’t realize what they need and we realize how much more effective they could be if they did. Well, that’s us too. It’s tough to see reality for ourselves. We’re all legends in our own mind or maybe just don’t give a darn about reality, at times. We want people to take us the way we are – weaknesses and all. Well, there is something powerful in being yourself – at your best that is.
But how do we know what our best is?
I’ve found that once people keep on the path to consistent improvement they will discover the truth about themselves, what they need and what their strengths are that continue to add up. And it’s all good!
Or, we don’t think we can change or improve, or we fear the process. In other words, we don’t believe in change or that it’s worth it. What I have seen in my world of corporate coaching, change consulting and training, over many years is that change can and does happen, but yes, it’s less than successful to many because, “It isn’t that they can’t, it’s because they just don’t want to.” As my dear friend Lee Straughan said to all his followers, “When the desire outweighs the fear or indifference, then change or improvement and success is possible.”
If someone told you how to be more successful, how to be healthier, or whatever, would you just do it? Let’s take health for instance. What are the success principles?
Eat more veggies and fruit, walk 10,000 steps a day, rid yourself of sugar, tobacco, loads of fat and salt, reduce intake of alcohol, meditate 3 times a week to reduce stress – heck that’s simple to understand. The lack of access to information is not the problem today. If it’s easy to find out what we need to do, then why isn’t there enough desire to change and be healthier?
Probably it’s not that simple to create the desire. Usually those recovering from a heart attack start changing after the scare. So, creating the desire to succeed, to improve before life slips by and to change is the answer.
So, it might help if we continually ask ourselves:
- What is it we desire?
- What are we going to be succeeding at over the next five years?
- For example, do we want to be a leader in the company?
- Do we want to be a bigger producer, someone who gets things done and gets exceptional results?
- Do we want more money, respect and recognition?
- Do we want to do something that’s important to us?
You probably have these things written down and you read them over and over, because, if you don’t, the every day details of business will consume you and you’ll forget. You probably read books, better yet, take training, and are coachable. You set goals and are constantly determining what you need to accomplish monthly. You probably have the desire and create it constantly. But now it requires taking your desire deeper and getting at where you need to be better and making sure it’s relevant to your goals and needs. Because it’s hard to be objective about this conversation on your motivation and desire, it can help to find professional support. It’s hard coaching yourself . All producers take coaching.
Everyone wants to go to heaven but few want to die. Success takes immediate action. You’re in or you’re out!
Sometimes it means taking tough action, doing things you’re uncomfortable doing. But, and it’s a big but, everyone can improve one step at a time – no excuses. Usually without quick action the desire disappears amongst the messiness of life, conflicting priorities or the lack of them. And we can stall or quit the performance improvement cycle.
If we really want to perform better, we need to build the discipline, focus and persistence required. And that is all possible. Eventually, all big players do what it takes every day despite their fears or busyness or the constant problems that arrive. Those that want to, and are willing to just begin immediately and get at it, are the players, the producers! They take coaching. They form the habit of performance improvement. They form the habits of doing what others just talk about. I bet that is you.
Inspiration can cause us to seek growth. The best source of inspiration is finding it from ourselves. It’s what occurs to us after we read or listen to something that stimulates the action.
So, what are you saying to yourself right now? Whatever it is, it could determine if you realize even more of your potential, success and happiness.
Kevin D. Crone
Dale Carnegie Business Group
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