Antoinette Greene earned her PhD from Cornell University in 1910. She spoke several languages, became a college professor and editor and lived to be 105. Some of you know that Antoinette Greene Smith was my Grandma Tony. At about the age of 85, she told me, "When you stop learning, it's all over." It was her mantra throughout her life and I like to think it's mine, but sometimes I forget. Are you still learning? Daily? Following are some ways, from obvious to not-so-obvious, to make learning a daily practice:
Set aside time to learn every day:
- Watch Informational Videos. TedTalks and other online videos are an easy and stimulating way to challenge your mind and inform your thinking with new ideas.
- Read. Reading is easier than ever. I've joined online groups, including The Next Big Idea and The Business Source, that provide synopses of new business books that I can scan and order if I choose. I follow some of my favorite authors, including Daniel Pink and Simon Sinek, and read their articles online. I still love hard copy books that I can mark up, see on my shelves and refer to at will. I also read books on my kindle, which is especially convenient while on a treadmill at the gym.
- Study. Study is also easier than ever, either in person or online. For many of us, college campuses and/or extension campuses are nearby. Online college courses and degree programs are increasingly available. Web training and online chat rooms are available from which to choose by topic, interest and convenience.
Challenge Assumptions. Do you go along to get along? Color inside the lines? Both are habits we learn as we grow up and, yes, there's a time and place for both. But, you'll learn more if you challenge people's assumptions and routinely accepted beliefs. Most importantly, challenge YOUR OWN assumptions. That requires pausing to ask yourself, "What am I assuming? Is that accurate? What if something else might be the truth, the cause? What can I/we do differently?"