The rate at which things are changing in the world now, it is becoming increasingly important that we keep up with what’s relevant to us.
It is our responsibility to ensure we:
- Stay current with what’s new and how it will impacts us over the long term.
- Acquire the necessary knowledge we need to get us to where we want to go.
- Learn the vital skills to remain competent in our chosen profession.
If we don’t keep up, then there is a high probability we will be left behind as things change, which will lead to frustration, thoughts of regret, and can also cost us financially.
Focusing on skill and personal development is critical if we want to take advantage of things that are changing, and use them to take us to where we want to go. Skill development typically focuses on how we can do things better whereas as personal development focuses on improving our mindset and behaviours.
Here are ten things that will help us become smarter, more resourceful, and better leverage the things that are changing around us all the time.
- Fall in love with learning again. In order to sustain long-term learning, we must enjoy the process of learning. If we don’t, then it’s very likely we won’t have a consistent approach to learning, which can jeopardise our progress over time. The key is to find out what our favourite learning preferences are. Most of us will either be visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners or a combination of them so it is important we find our preferred learning style.
- Adopt a “dead time” learning mindset. If we analyse our day, we will find opportunities to better utilise our time. Think of how much time is lost commuting to and from work, waiting in line when purchasing something, surfing the internet or using our mobile devices. Imagine what a difference it would make if we could better use some of that “dead time” and put it towards our development. We could listen to audio books, podcasts, learn a new language or learn a new skill during that time.
- Learn to read faster. In this knowledge age, we are bombarded with so much information every day. A lot of it requires us to read more. Therefore, developing the skill to read faster is going to be an extremely valuable skill for all of us as the speed at which things are changing continues to become faster and faster.
- Improve your memory. There is no such thing as a poor memory. We either have a trained or an untrained memory. Every person is capable of developing their memory to higher level than where they’re at currently. By improving our memory, we’ll be better at remembering people’s names, remembering facts and figures, or remembering foreign languages.
- Practice holding less things in your mind. While this may appear contradictory to improving our memory, the key thing here is to not force ourselves to remember all the things we need to do. Instead we can use task management systems or a simple “To Do” list to free up our mind. That way, we are not using mental energy to remember trivial things. Instead, we can direct that mental energy towards activities that are of high value and importance to us.
- Learn to make decisions faster. Being able to make informed and timely decisions is a skill that can be learnt. With practice and more confidence, we will get better at making decisions. Here are a few ideas on how to become better at making decisions.
- Practice being creative. Since we’re all creative at some level, to distinguish ourselves from others, it will be helpful to broaden our creativity. If we’re more creative, we can solve challenges faster and we can also come up with more innovative ways to do things better. Here are some practical ways on how to be more creative.
- Solicit regular feedback. One of the best ways to improve ourselves is to ask for feedback from others who have your best interests at heart. Feedback can be provided by a mentor, a coach or someone whose opinions we value. We can also provide feedback to ourselves by reviewing our own performance regularly. One way to do that is to complete a weekly review, which can provide valuable input into how we can improve.
- Become financially intelligent. Having financial stability eliminates so much stress from our lives and provides a level of comfort that enables us to do things that are important to us. Just knowing how and where we spend our money is a simple way to get started towards better financial management. Ideally, we want to seek advice from those who can demonstrate through their results that they know how to be financially secure. Here are some good reasons why is it good to be wealthy.
- Be willing to go beyond what you’re comfortable with. Our personal growth is directly proportional to how much we’re willing to challenge ourselves to attempt new things. There is a saying, “We must be comfortable being uncomfortable” is very true. There will be things that happen in our lives that will challenge us and the more we develop ourselves, the bigger challenges we can endure. Here are some simple ways on how we can get out of our comfort zone daily.
It is our responsibility to continue to learn, grow and stay up to date with everything that is going on around us. One thing that is guaranteed is our world will continue to change so if we can consistently take steps to stay informed, it will assist us in achieving what we want. If we stop developing ourselves, it will become harder for us to keep up with changes happening around us.
Action Step: Pick one idea from the list above and practice applying it for the next seven days. Once you’re comfortable with it, pick another idea until you’ve had the opportunity to apply all the ideas mentioned.
Question: What is another strategy or tactic that will also make us smarter faster?
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