Lifelong Learning

“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” – John Wooden

When I was a kid, my parents would ask me every day what I learned at school. They don’t do that anymore, but they should.

When you are a child, learning is your most critical every day activity. You are constantly learning new things about the world around you and new skills and abilities that will help you be successful. The alphabet, colors, multiplication, reading, history, biology, etc. You spend day after day absorbing knowledge and skills on a variety of different topics. Then all of a sudden school is over and it is time to move on to the “real world.” Even though school is done, there is always room for growth and development. There are things to learn from people in every walk of life. Best Practices, things NOT to do, general advice, etc are all ways to learn things from the people around you that can help you become more successful in sports, business and life.

Think about the last sporting event you watched. If something was unsuccessful what happened? It might have been attempted once or twice more, but eventually the players will no longer attempt to do what they know will not be successful. They adapt, learn and grow in an attempt to win the game.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results.” – Attributed to many different authors

I am a very strong believer in people and teams who are life-long learners. Different opinions and ideas help our brains to see a different thought process and improve our own decision-making abilities. Those that understand there is something to learn, even if it is a small thing, are doing everything they can to get an advantage over their opponent. The minute you stop learning is the exact moment that you allow yourself to become vulnerable to defeat.

So, how do you become a life-long learner?First, you have to acknowledge that you don’t have all the answers and do not know it all. Understanding that other people can help you is the biggest aspect of being a life-long learner. Look for the opportunities that are all around you. Notice the little things. Pay attention to anything that might help you know what you should or shouldn’t do. It may be as simple as an act of kindness or as complicated as solving a complex calculus problem. You never know what you may learn that will make the difference in your life.

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