Arrogance is the death of progress. Again, I’ve had to stare down and reckon with my own arrogance. I’ve had my blog now for over a year so I sort thought I knew I was doing with WordPress. I signed up for a Blogging for Beginners course put on by WordPress recently and wasn’t sure I’d pick anything up. I did. In the first and second lessons. Lesson learned…I hope.
Always be open to new ideas and don’t be afraid to be reminded of the fundamentals of anything, even of things you think you are an expert at. It’s true for guitar playing as well. Every time I play, I pick up something new that I had forgotten or never learned but should have learned long ago. It’s also true in photography, videography, and writing, which are things that I think I am somewhat advanced at doing.
Never stop learning. Never stop growing. Be open to new ideas and don’t close your mind to the old ones either. The fundamentals are important in any subject and they should not be neglected or ignored. Never stop reading. I mean go beyond just reading posts on social media. Buy magazines or books and read them. Really read them. There is just so much knowledge to plumb by getting lost in a good book that holds your attention and expands your horizons.
By the same token, bear in mind the saying “it’s better to go deep than wide.” This is just another way of saying that you are better to pick an area of specialization and focus your attention on it and deepen your knowledge in that subject rather than skim the surface of many unrelated topics.
In this information age, seek out information that is educational and useful. There are so many options to help you learn and grow, if you know where to look for them. Go beyond social media. You wouldn’t limit your diet to just snacks and desserts. Don’t do it for your intellectual diet either. Challenge yourself and try to gather knowledge that expands your horizons and helps you grow.
Take a course. There are so many to choose from online. It doesn’t have to be formal, such as a certificate or degree from a college or university. There are several other options. One of my favorites is the MasterClass website. You can learn all kinds of fascinating and useful information from true masters in their fields. Imagine having a personal guitar lesson from a guitar legend such as Carlos Santana. I did. Sure, it wasn’t really personal but it sure felt that way. All of the videos I’ve seen on this website make you feel as though you’re in the same room as the really famous person giving the masterclass. And the subscription fee for the all access pass MasterClass is a relatively small investment in your personal development. Creative Live and Udemy also have very reasonably priced lessons too.
It doesn’t matter how old you are. It’s never too late to learn. I recently completed a certificate in Digital Marketing from the University of Ottawa, completely online – at 54 years old. You don’t have to go to those lengths but my point is: there is so much knowledge available to you online. Go out a grab it. Of course, traditional classroom learning hasn’t lost its place either.
Build on your successes and learn from your errors and missteps. Don’t let the opinions of others shape your future. It’s up to you to map out your future, making the best of your current knowledge and skillset. Assess where you are and where you want to be, then make a detailed plan to bridge the gap.
More important than your skillset is you mindset. Try to maintain a positive and growth oriented mindset. Your life will generally take you to where you focus you mind’s attention. Decide where you want to go with your life and focus your attention on those things that will take you there and avoid things that will distract you from achieving your goals.
What has helped me very much with goal setting is taking lessons from masters in personal achievement. These lessons take the form of books, audio books, magazines, and specialized videos on the subject. People like Darren Hardy, Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Earl Nightingale, Brian Tracy, Wayne Dyer, Stephen Covey and many other famous motivational speakers offer so much valuable information and lessons on shaping your mindset, setting goals, and tips on how to achieve those goals. There are countless organizations that specialize in selling the works of these motivational geniuses, which can all be found through online searches.
It all starts with your attitude and mindset. Stay as positive as you can. Focus on learning things that will carry you down the road toward your goals and ambitions. And maintain a growth oriented mindset.