You hear it all the time….your never too old to stop learning! I firmly believe in this statement. When you stop learning you stop growing, evolving, gaining wisdom and experience. If you use your wisdom and experience to help others why on earth would you want to stop learning!
When I was younger, naive and quite honestly…foolish, I used to think that I would reach this point, summit if you will, where I have the majority of all the knowledge I need to know and now I can cruise off into the sunset using what I know to live life to it’s fullest and excel in my career. Well, then in my early 30’s the wake up call and realization of how this is really going to go down became more clear. I will ALWAYS be learning, growing, and evolving. I just have to be sure to have my listening ears on and eyes open to take in all those learning opportunities.
So now, let me get to the point in all this. In 2015 I was taught a big lesson. I was attending a peer group meeting. We have been a part of this group since 2012. The moderator of our peer group kicked off the 2 day meeting with an exercise. It seemed simple enough but boy was it hard! For me anyway! The instructions were to make a list of the top 3 things you accomplished professionally in the last three years. The things you were most proud of accomplishing. Then narrow that down to your top 1. Then, once you narrowed down your 1 accomplishment, write down why you were proud, why was it hard to accomplish, what would have happened if you didn’t accomplish it, what expertise do you now have and so on. I began to see people quickly writing as we only had about 5-10 minutes to get all this on paper. I sat there…staring at a blank sheet of paper and no thoughts in my head. Surely, I should be able to come up with something!? We’re talking about the span of 3 years! It was so difficult that it made me think, what the heck is wrong with me? I think the moderator saw my lack of movement and passed behind me saying, “Seriously? I can think of a million things you should be writing down right now!” My response…”Really? Please share with me so I can write something!” HA! So, when time is almost up I muster up one thing and quickly jot down all my answers, not feeling very proud of my race to come up with something at the last second. As I was sitting on the plane on the way back home, I realized the magnitude of that exercise and the lesson that I was now in the midst of learning.
Celebrate your successes! Sounds simple, however for me it was obviously a challenge. Take the time to digest what you accomplish and allow yourself to know and understand what that success feels like so you can go after more of it! Even if they are small accomplishments, celebrate them. I found that I was just moving on to the next challenge and not enjoying even a moment of celebration on what I worked so hard to accomplish. Aside from this not being a good practice for me to do to myself, I certainly don’t want to pass this sentiment on to my team members or my kids! So, there it is….what I would say was my biggest lesson of 2015! Something so simple, yet will be so powerful for me as I charge forward into 2016!