“There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.” – Zig Ziglar
Ben had never quite fitted into the ‘traditional’ idea of the way we should live our lives; the white picket fence, 2.4 children and a mortgage, however, somehow this was exactly where he found himself. Trapped in an existence he wasn’t content with and in lot of debt from his previous startup falling through. It wasn’t until it all began to unravel that he had to take a proper look at his life and work out if all he was doing was surviving, not actually living.
Ben was a candidate I dealt with, who I knew had more aspirations and skills than he could ever have dreamed of. In short, this wasn’t the life for him and that was plainly obvious over the course of the time I knew him. He wasn’t the type of person who would ever have been content with your standard ‘adult’ life, he wanted to see the world, explore and use his creativity for the good of those around him.
He had a strong imagination and could instantly bring photographs to life and you could tell that this was something he loved doing. He also enjoyed helping and making a difference to the life of other people and these were two things that could go hand in hand together.Advertising
That was Ben’s story and there is more about it. If you find yourself with the same attitude and believe me, more people do than you could ever imagine or would ever admit to, you may want to explore some of these steps to achieving your goals and ultimately, create the life you desire.
Many people spend their whole life dreaming about settling down and taking out a mortgage. It’s what society in general aspires to and the way you know you’ve “made it” in life. However, what if you get the mortgage and the white picket fence and realise it isn’t what you wanted after all? The way people think is slowly changing and as a career advisor, I had an experience with a candidate who ended up bankrupt through their desire to have all of these possessions, yet they were never truly happy.
When they told me they were giving it all up to become a travel photographer, I couldn’t have been happier for them. I felt, from getting to know them that this would be the kind of life they would have loved. It wasn’t an easy journey by any stretch of the imagination. The need to file for bankruptcy and, of course, the courage of letting go of their life and possessions to go into a new world was completely unknown and in many ways, very scary.
The point to remember is, if you want to do something, you should go for it. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing or what everyone else thinks is the right way to live your life. You should always follow your own desires and dreams and do what makes you happy. After all, it is your journey and no one else’s.Advertising
“We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous
If you do like the idea of becoming an independent traveller, these are some of the steps you might want to take in order to reach your goal.
1. Make the Decision
The most important step and possibly the most difficult, is to actually make the decision to change your life and become an independent traveller. If this is something you aspire to, then the sooner you make that decision, the quicker you can start to put your plans into action. My candidate had her epiphany after travelling around India, sitting on a boat on the river Ganges at dusk. But your photography epiphany could begin anywhere at any place, you just need to feel it and make a decisive plan to work on it.
2. Saving Money
In the case above, the candidate I was dealing with was made bankrupt, so they had no debt to pay off. If you find yourself in a similar position, it might be worth taking this step too. If you want to travel, this will give you the financial freedom to do so and will allow you to start saving straight away. The benefit of this kind of lifestyle is that you won’t need credit for mortgages, loans or anything like that. You will be completely free and this can be such an amazing and freeing feeling: no longer having to find the money to make ends meet but instead, having the freedom to save money and embark on an exciting journey.Advertising
3. Which Job?
There are far more options available now for those who want to work independently and travel, whether it is photography or another line of work, it’s important to plan out what you are going to do. In photography, when moving into a freelance position even as a travel photographer, it’s important to focus on a niche. My candidate focused on South East Asian travel photography and now she has popular travel publications calling her up for assignments whenever they want to focus on a country in this region.
4. Plan Your Route
Just as you want to focus on a niche make sure you choose an area you are particularly fond of – or intrigued by! You will need to decide on where you actually want to go first and what route you will take. The world is your oyster, so you have many options to choose from. This can be an exciting prospect of it’s the own, the chance to just say, “I’m going here” and to start on a journey which could lead to anywhere.
5. Finding Work
There is, of course, the aspect of finding freelance work when you get to your chosen destination. No one said the journey would be easy, so you will need to be prepared to break doors down to find work and to work really hard. It might be a good idea to try some freelance websites prior to arriving and find out if there is any work you can do offline. In the case of a travelling photographer, you may want to phone up companies in the local area and let them know when you will be arriving.
Social media can also be a great way to let potential customers know where you are and what you can do for them. In the case of my candidate it was apparent that with her little money she needed to find frugal measures to become acknowledged, she entered travel photo competitions and approached image libraries to host her images. This opened new doors for work at low expense.Advertising
6. Making the Break
Although this choice of lifestyle comes with its share of advantages, it can also be a difficult choice to make. You will not only need to get rid of all of your possessions, but also saying goodbye to your friends and family can be a very difficult part of it. No one said it would be easy, but if it makes you happy, then it is worth jumping over the difficult hurdles. For more inspiration, take a look at this article and when all is said and done no one is in charge of your own happiness but you.
Featured photo credit: Chris Hunkeler via flickr.com
Last Updated on March 31, 2020
How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively
Knowledge is essential to become successful in life, your career and your business. Without learning new concepts and becoming proficient in our craft, we cannot excel in our chosen careers or archive knowledge to pass down to the next generation.
But content comes in various forms, and because how we learn influences how much we know, we need to talk about learning styles. This article will focus on how to utilize visual learning to boost your career or business.
Table of Contents
The Importance of Knowing Your Learning Style
Knowing your learning style enables you to process new information to the best of your ability. Not only does it reduce your learning curve, you’re able to communicate these same concepts to others effectively.
But it all starts when you’re able to first identify the best way you learn.
As a college student, I soon figured out that taking online courses without visual aids or having an instructor in front of me led to poor retention of concepts.
Sure, I got good grades and performed excellently in my online exams. However. I discovered that I couldn’t maintain this performance level because I forgot 80 percent of the course content by the end of the semester.
There are several types of learning styles known to mankind. To give an idea of how visual learning stacks up against other learning styles, here’s a brief mention of some of the different types of learning styles we have.
The four most popular types of learning styles are:
- Visual learning style (what this article talks about).
- Aural or auditory learning style (learning by listening to information presented).
- Verbal or linguistic learning style (learning that involves speech and writing).
- Tactile learning style (learning by touching and doing)
But for the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on using visual learning to boost your career or business.
How to Know If You’re a Visual Learner?
When it comes to boosting your career, business (or education), a visual learner is one who would most definitely choose shapes, images, symbols, or reading over auditory messages.
I’m talking about preferring to read an actual map when navigating to a new place over listening to verbal directions. I’m talking about discovering that you actually have trouble remembering what your manager said at the meeting because there were no graphs or illustrations to support the points raised.
Most people who struggle with learning probably aren’t leveraging their best learning styles. The earlier you identify how your learning style can boost your success, the less struggle you will encounter with processing new information throughout your career.
However, visual learning in particular CAN 10x your career or business whether it is your preferred learning style or not. And here’s why:
Several studies have arrived at the conclusion that the brain retains more information with the help of visual aids. In other words, images are directly processed by our long-term memory which helps us store information for longer periods of time.
While some lessons can be performed orally, several concepts can only make sense if you have an image with an explanation of sequences (i.e learning about the human DNA).
Visual learning does use a different part of the brain and visual cues are processed by the part of the brain known as the occipital lobe.
By engaging more parts of the brain during learning, you’re able to have a fuller understanding of concepts and facilitate better interaction with your immediate environment.
How to Use Visual Learning for Success
Here’re 4 ways to use visual learning to boost your career or business:
1. Bring back the to-do list. Then add shapes and colors to boost productivity.
We live in an age where computers have taken over virtually every aspect of productivity and most human functions. But written lists are making a comeback, and with an endless number of important tasks to complete, having a to-do list of tasks in order of importance can improve your productivity.
While coming up with a list is initially challenging, adding colors and shapes to written lists that you personally write and manage gives you an extra layer of assurance and boosts aids recall so that you actually get stuff done.
I have tried this technique in my work as a registered nurse and discovered that adding shapes and colors to to-do lists helps me delegate tasks, recognize where more work is needed, and makes it easy to cross off completed tasks at the end of the day.
2. Add graphs, charts and symbols to your reports.
Yes, it seems like more work cut out for you. However, graphs enable you monitor the heartbeat of your business.
Graphs and charts help you trend your finances, budget, and pretty much any data overtime. With the help of free and premium software available on the market, it has become easier to take plain data and in a matter of seconds, have relevant information displayed in different shapes and images.
As an entrepreneur, you can make predictions and allocate funds wisely when you’re able to see whether your efforts are rewarded. You can use colors and charts to delegate actions to members of your team and track performance at the same time.
And when broken down into monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual goals, graphs and charts communicate what ordinary text cannot.
3. Effectively brainstorm with mind-mapping.
Mind-mapping is not new but I don’t think it’s been talked about as often as we do to-do lists.
With mind mapping, you’re organizing information accurately and drawing relationships between concepts and pieces from a whole.
Think of a mind map as a tree with several branches. For example, the tree can symbolize healthcare while each branch stands for nursing, medicine, laboratory science, and so on. When you look at nursing, you can further branch out into types of nursing; pediatric, women’s health, critical care, and so on.
It’s an interesting relationship; the more ideas you’re able to come up with for your chosen subject, the deeper you get and the stronger the association.
Mind maps really show you relationships between subjects and topics, and simplifies processes that might seem complicated at first glance. In a way, it is like a graphical representation of facts presented in a simple, visual format.
Mind mapping isn’t only limited to career professionals; business owners can benefit from mind mapping by organizing their online learning activities and breaking down complex tasks into simple actions so that you can accurately measure productivity.
4. Add video streaming to meetings.
What if you could double the productivity of your team members by video streaming your meetings or adding flash animation to your presentation at the same time?
When you offer video as an alternative method of processing information to colleagues, there is a greater chance of retaining information because we recreate these stories into images in our minds.
For organizations that hold virtual meetings, it can also be an effective way to enhance performance during if people can see their colleagues in addition to flash animation or whatever form of video is provided during the meeting.
Is Visual Learning Better Than Other Learning Styles?
No, that is not the point. The goal here is to supplement your existing dominant learning style with visual learning so that you can experience a significant boost in how you process and use everyday information.
You might discover that understanding scientific concepts are much easier after incorporating visual learning or that you’re able to understand your organization’s value when projected on a visual screen with charts and graphs.
The overall goal is to always be learning and to continue to leverage visual learning style in your career and business.
More About Learning Styles
- 6 Common Types of Learners (With Learning Hacks for Each)
- How to Connect Different Learning Styles with Career for Great Success
- How to Know Which Types of Learning Styles Work for You?
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com
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