Mary Kay Ash once said, “Don’t limit yourself! Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, you can achieve.” This is a concept that plays nicely alongside the old adage that learning is a lifelong process and that your continued success is largely dependent on how much new information you choose to take in and USE day after day.
Thinking back to your school days, you were probably presented with numerous opportunities to add all kinds of new ideas and knowledge to what was being taught in the classroom. Based on those opportunities you most likely ended up focusing this learning on particular topics that you enjoyed the most.
Did you take an automotive care or a small engine repair class in high school because you liked working with your hands? Maybe your passion for math led you down the road of taking advanced classes in calculus or statistics. Maybe the arts were for you and you took music classes or drawing or drafting classes. Did you play sports or join after school clubs? Maybe you added to your classroom experience by taking a job and learning new skills there. There are so many options and often we forget that we are in charge of supplementing what we know today with things we’re excited to know more about tomorrow.
This will hold true throughout your entire life, both personally and professionally. Whether you hold a job today that you’ve had for years or are aspiring towards your dream career, it would be a good use of your time to determine what sorts of additional skill sets will propel you to your next raise or your next promotion, or towards landing and nailing that perfect interview!
You should be asking yourself, “What skills will I be required to learn and demonstrate understanding of and how do I go about finding ways to learn them?”
I often think to myself: what could I focus on today that would make me better at what I do – in life and at work – and how can I consistently create and reinforce the habit of continual self-improvement? Having the drive to improve yourself can provide you with the opportunity to open many doors and that continual drive will open doors down the road you may not even know exists. But there is a catch… you have to actually get out there and take the initiative!
Take a class, attend a seminar, have a discussion with your boss or your co-workers. Ask your professors or your parents. Volunteer! In the end, where ever and however you choose to chase after your own continuous improvement, know that you’re both the architect and the engineer in charge of setting the course and getting from point A to B. And remember, have fun while doing it…it makes life more enjoyable along the way!
“The Beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.” – B.B. King