“If you dream it, you can do it” – Walt Disney.
The pursuit of our dreams requires courage to remain focused and dedicated to the cause. You may have a good dream but you may not have all it takes to achieve it. That’s why learning comes in to empower you with knowledge and skills to:
- enable you seek to understand, where you are uncertain
- observe how certain things are done
- practice to put in action what you learnt: which may lead you to more learning
- explore alternative methods of doing things.
For you to have the drive to seek for more knowledge and skills, you must consider the following:
- Clarity of your expected deliverables. What is your dream, goal and target? Ask yourself honestly and candidly what you are doing well and where you could you do better.
- Your current skills. Do you have the necessary skills to achieve your goals? It may be essential to revisit your targets, goals and dream to check the suitability of the current skills.
- Your past skills. You may need to look back, too. Are all the skills you have been used to drive good value or are underutilised, what could be the missing link. Have practices changed that you need to refresh, did you change career such that there are no longer applicable and so on.
- Your future skills. What critical skills or knowledge do you lack to deliver your goals. Feel free to seek support from a friend, mentor or coach to get honest feedback. Think about what your business or job requires you to offer now and in the future? What about your customers, suppliers, colleagues, workmates, family and so forth for you to serve them better?
Abigail Adams argues that “learning is not attained by chance, it must be looked for with ardour, passion: and attended to with diligence.” This calls upon you to have strong case for learning empowering enough to keep you on course with your learning plan and dream thus;
- The need for knowledge and its essence. To enable someone to prioritise is a question that must be answered in clear and precise terms. Your learning goal and the gap you want to fill with the skills and knowledge must be clearly articulated.
- Visualise the revealing experiences you will get: learning provides opportunity to reveal or open up new perspectives: a) that you may not know or that you may be holding certain beliefs about; and through which you can only notice through acquisition of new knowledge. b) understanding the detail of whether what you are pursuing is possible with a deeper acquisition of knowledge and information in the areas of focus. Digging deeper in a matter reveals more information and exposes you to more details which is in tandem with a popular saying: “experience is the best teacher.” c) experiences are a call for action: learning or exposure to how things are done drives action to do the same or related things as there is already evidence that the same is possible or can be done and achieved. This can be through learning by doing: with practical exposure and hands-on practice such as benchmarking, apprenticeships and placements. It can also be through demonstrations, process-mapping; or case studies that expose you to reality as you learn: which can make studying more practical and enjoyable.
- Improves your profile: learning enables you to keep improving and growing. Things learnt start to be recognised by your colleagues, in business and at work .
- Enables you to keep pace with the changing world: learning enables you to avoid being left behind, and to keep pace with new skills and trends. It also creates coping mechanisms in order to adopt to new technology, changes in the environment and legislation; making it possible for you to effectively function and remain relevant and valuable.
- It ignites new ideas: the acquisition of new knowledge ignites new skills; and the new skills unveil new opportunities and enables innovation. This equips you to begin to understand and apply logic and reasoning to many aspects from which you are now empowered to make the best choice from a pool of ideas.
- Change your perspective: new knowledge opens your mind to change by building on what you already know. The more you learn, the better you will view situations deeply. This will enable you to begin to change and focus on a variety of things.
Before you think of learning, ask yourself, what do I truly want, is it important to put hours and effort into it, what will I gain from it in the short, medium to long-term. If the answer is certain, then, you have business for learning.
Charles Barugahare (Ph.D., FCCA) – Financial Consultant, Trainer and Coach