I am euphoric to share that I’ve received an Honorary Doctorate of Science, D.Sc (Honoris Causa) for my contribution in the field of research and innovation from Triune Biblical University Global Extension, USA.
My point here is not to impress you with what I have worked at. It is to share with you how opportunities constantly arise as you pursue any given course. It’s been said that life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. Of prime importance is that you realize that learning doesn’t end with your graduation; it begins. Here are a few points or learning tools that I’d like to share and which I hope you will find useful.
I’ll start with a little poem I like called the Hobo’s Prayer and goes like this:
I don’t know what I’m looking for
But I know I’m looking for something
I only hope I recognize it when I find it.
To me it means ‘keep your eyes open’. You never know when something or someone valuable will appear.
Once your eyes are open, I believe learning how to learn is paramount. Trying to learn by collecting individual facts is hopeless; knowledge expands too rapidly. Only by pursuing learning habits and strategies that are global will you be able to keep pace.
Imagine the difference between trying to learn something as complex as a golf swing by analyzing each individual motion and performing it sequentially. Contrast this with developing a type of motion camera in your brain that allows you to mentally film and imitate the swing of a pro. I think you’ll find it a lot easier and with practice it’s possible.
Another prime example of learning how to learn is to view every interaction as an experiment and to remember to collect the data and analyze it. Too many non-successful patterns are repeated simply because the participant forgot to record the results and alter behavior appropriately to achieve a more desired result.
Clear communication is another key to goal achievement. Connect empathically with others. Always try to first understand what someone is telling you. Check with them to make sure you understand correctly. Only after this is accomplished can you effectively try to make yourself understood.
Question Everything. I’ve often heard ‘don’t try to reinvent the wheel’ but why not? Recently someone did and the way we parallel park will soon be changed forever.
Now is nearly always the best time. When I have a question about anything, however trivial it might seem, I write it down and research it at the earliest opportunity. The subconscious mind is a powerful thing and it’s a pleasant surprise when you notice how often research is timely.
Say ‘yes’ to everything. It’s true that work expands to fill available time but its more interesting to me that time expands to accommodate necessary work. Give someone all day to sweep the warehouse and that’s what it will take. Give them an hour and tell them after it’s done you have more challenging work for them, and it will be done in an hour.
Adaptation. We live in a rapidly changing world. A study of nature leads me to believe adaptation is the key to survival. Whatever you pursue make sure you keep current with current events and how they may affect your plans.
OK. Let’s sum it up:
Learning is all about exploration however it is not enough to wander aimlessly in a dream state. Knowledge is its own reward, but accumulation of knowledge requires presence; one’s eyes must be open—retention and analysis need to be engaged.
Properly viewed, all learning is a creative process. There is time and place for learning in solitude, in pairs and in groups however first and foremost to me is the importance of ‘beginner’s mind’—being able to approach an investigation without preconception.
Seen in a mathematical context, the patterns of construct in a musical composition can exhibit similarities with the principles of physics or contract law. Personally, it’s been important to allow my inquisitiveness to range freely.
It’s not enough to have a great idea; you need to be able to communicate the concept, to illuminate and inspire in order to realize the successful attainment of a goal. When seeking team members with whom to share your vision I believe an elevator pitch is of paramount importance. Be ready and able to share your vision verbally in three minutes. Refining a statement like this will also aid in making it clear to yourself what your true goals are.
Perhaps above all, success is predicated on ‘fun’. Find an area of interest that rewards you with the thrill and joy of discovery because no amount of financial reward will compensate for a life spent doing something you don’t enjoy. If you’re truly excited about what you spend your time and attention on, the day will never be tedious. On the contrary, it will never be long enough.