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Conditions for Learning

Conditions for Learning

One of the most heartening aspects of writing a blog is the continual evidence of how many people are actively striving to learn and develop themselves. It’s easy to become downhearted at the way the world seems. How the media constantly complain about schools and other educational institutions, as if spending on education were a waste of resources. If more reporters paid attention to blogs, they’d see just how much enthusiasm there is for all aspects of learning.

We all know learning is a process of discovery. Sitting in a classroom listening to a lecture is probably the most inefficient way for anyone to learn. I think that’s why some people leave the educational system with little or no sign of achievement, only to more than make up for that lack once they have the opportunity to pursue their own brand of self-development. I’m also sure most teachers don’t want to try to work in this way. It’s the pressure and lack of resources that force them into it — plus the crazy emphasis politicians have placed on standardized tests.

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When it comes to learning for yourself, the best friend you have is curiosity. Strong learners are always asking questions. They don’t accept glib or conventional answers. Nor do they assume others, even those in authority or people with a long string of credentials, automatically know better than they do. Experts are a great resource, but need to be used with care. Some of them got their degrees more by knowing how to work the system than by intellectual merit.

If you want learning to work for you, you must create the conditions in which exploration can take place and discoveries can be made. It’s very clear what these are:

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  • regular time to reflect
  • enough leisure to think and explore
  • freedom to ask questions
  • open-mindedness to the unexpected and unusual

Above all, no learning will take place in conditions of stress and pressure. That’s where learning requires courage: the courage to claim the time and space you need to develop into the person it’s in you to be. Without them, all your efforts to learn and grown will be in vain.

Over at my blog Slow Leadership, I’ve been trying to help leaders understand the importance of slowing down and allowing enough “white space” for creativity and learning to occur. At my other blog The Coyote Within, I’m hoping to spread ideas about the vital importance of learning and growth for a satisfying and enjoyable life. I hope you’ll drop in and visit with me from time to time.

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Related Posts:
How to Kill Creativity
White Space
Letting Go, Letting Be and Letting Through
Keeping Up-to-Date
Thoughts

Adrian Savage is a writer, an Englishman and a retired business executive. He lives in Tucson, Arizona. You can read his serious thoughts most days at Slow Leadership, the site for everyone who wants to bring back the taste, zest and satisfaction to leadership; and his crazier ones at The Coyote Within.

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Last Updated on October 9, 2018

How to Write a Personal Mission Statement to Ensure Peak Productivity

How to Write a Personal Mission Statement to Ensure Peak Productivity

Most of you made personal, one sentence resolutions like “I want to lose weight” or “I vow to go back to school.” It is a tradition to start the New Year with things you want to achieve, but under the influence resolutions are often unrealistic.

If you’re wondering when will be a good time to write a mission statement, NOW is the time to take a personal inventory to make this year your most productive year ever. You may be asking yourself, “How am I going to do that?” You, my friends, are going to write personal mission statements.

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A large number of corporations use mission statements to define the purpose of the company’s existence. Sony wants to “become the company most known for changing the worldwide poor-quality image of Japanese products” and 3M wants “to solve unsolved problems innovatively”. A personal mission statement is different than a corporate mission statement, but the fundamentals are the same.

So why do you need one? A personal statement will help you identify your core values and beliefs in one fluid tapestry of content that you can read anytime and anywhere to stay on task toward success.

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For example, Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire came to the realization that he had lost track of what was important to him. After writing a personal mission statement, we saw him start his own business and he got the girl, Renee Zelleweger. Not bad, wouldn’t you say? A personal mission statement will make sure that, through all the texting, emailing and constant bombardment of on-the-go activity, you won’t lose sight of what is most important to you.

Mission statements can be simple and concise while others are longer and filled with detail. The length of your personal mission statement will not be determined until you follow this simple equation to create your motivational springboard for 2008.

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To begin your internal cleansing, you will need to jot down the required information in the following five steps:

  1. What are your values? Values steer your actions and determine where you spend time, energy, and most importantly, money. Be specific and unique to yourself. Too much generalization will not be as effective. It is called a “personal” mission statement for a reason.
  2. What are three important goals you hope to achieve this year? Keep your list of important goals small and give them a date. It is better to focus on the horizon and not the stars. Realistic goals are keys to ultimate success.
  3. What image do you hope to project to yourself? How you see yourself is how the world will view you. Think about this carefully. Your image should encompass what you look like and feel after you have achieved your goals.
  4. Write down action statements from each value describing how you will use those values to achieve your three goals. Start with “I will…”
  5. Rewrite your statement to include only your action statements. Make portable copies for your wallet, car or office.

If you followed the steps above, congratulations! You have just written your first personal mission statement. Your personal statement will change over the years as your goals change. You can have more than one statement for the different compartments of your life such as your career, family, marriage, etc.

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Writing a personal mission statement is an effective method to ensure your productivity is at its peak. It is an ideal tradition to start so that when next year rolls around, the outdated practice of resolutions will be something you permanently left in the past.

Featured photo credit: Álvaro Serrano via unsplash.com

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