Some people are of the opinion that once you have that degree or diploma then the learning is done and you can now “get on with your life”! Others feel that after 10 years in a working environment they now have all the knowledge and experience they require to be successful. Take the well-known saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” implying that once you reach a certain age you are unable to or shouldn’t try and learn any more.
Rubbish – we are never too old to learn whether it be formally through a University or college or informally through friends, colleagues, mentors etc. Much, much more importantly, one must never stop learning, or wanting to learn because to do so is to set yourself up for failure at some stage in your life. If you want to improve yourself and attain all those goals you set (or should have set) for yourself, always be hungry to know more and to increase your knowledge base. Strive to increase your knowledge of all things in life, especially where you are concerned – relationships, family, work, hobbies. It does not have to be from a text book only, today we have a vast amount of sources from which to learn. There are numerous articles and sources on the internet, read autobiographies of people you admire and believe to be successful, attend seminars and discussions, network with the right people and if possible get a mentor. The more you do at a young age and the more frequently you upskill your personal knowledge base, the more successful you will be at home and at work.
Sure, you are impatient and you want to make your mark and be a captain of industry today, not tomorrow. But believe me – the mistakes and errors you will make have already been made by others, they might be in a different form or guise, or in a different industry, but they have been made! So why waste all that time and energy repeating the same mistakes made by others, when you can teach yourself how to avoid them or perhaps see them coming and prepare for them. In reality, if you are to be truly successful, you will more than likely still make mistakes and will still have some failures or setbacks, this is inevitable. However if you can minimise the number of mistake’s or lesson their impact, then you are already better off. The lesson probably won’t come all pretty and pleasant and wrapped up for you. In almost every situation or challenge you are faced with, you need to decide whether there is a lesson to be learned or not. Wanting to or choosing to learn and grow yourself is up to you. Learn from the horrible experiences too, especially those in which it is tempting to blame others (even the universe). Question – what caused that, what role did I play in it (be subjective and critical of yourself) and then take what you need to from that situation, this way you will ensure whether good or bad, you turn it into a positive experience.
Failure and costly mistakes are lessons too, again it’s up to you to decide whether you want to learn from them and ensure you don’t make the same mistake again, or you can bemoan the fact that you always have bad luck and will never succeed – it’s your call. When faced with a challenge or potential disaster in your personal life or one that may ruin your company or enterprise, remember the lessons you have learnt to date and the people you have spoken to, or whose autobiographies you have read, I doubt anyone of them told you that it was a walk in the park or that they had no obstacles or challenges. Hopefully, what you did learn, was that it is how you face these challenges, how you as an individual react in really tough situations that will determine your success in overcoming any challenge be it at work or in your personal life. You can be the victim and blame others, the Government, your significant other, the economy and so on OR you can rise to the challenge, apply what you have learned thus far, seek advice if need be and overcome the problem, no matter how serious in nature.
The satisfaction, growth and self-worth you gain from any situation in which you have stood up to and beaten it, will be (sorry) Priceless !!
“TO STOP LEARNING IS TO ALLOW OTHERS TO HAVE YOUR SUCCESSES”
4 Elements Siyaba