Learn Without Ceasing: You Are Always a Student

May 22, 2016

This time of the year awakens a spirit of pride, excitement, and achievement for graduates.

   

Since much of my time is spent on a university campus, I am a constant witness of this jovial feeling that registers with many people as "arrival". Graduation at any level is indeed a cause for celebration and cheer. However, whether the graduate is receiving a high school diploma, bachelor's, master's, PhD, or other advanced degree, she or he must be careful not to develop a mindset of "arrival" - a common phenomenon that limits many people once they reach certain successes, not just graduation.

   

There is, at all times, much more to learn!

   

Do you remember the structure of the classes you took when you were in school? Hopefully, your learning experiences were guided by teachers or professors who provided written statements of the course objectives at the start of each term. It's a standard process, and these goals are documented in a syllabus. If you had really good educators, then you were probably encouraged to prepare a second set of objectives - your own personal aspirations, what you hoped to gain from the course.

   

Now, think about your life.  Where are you currently? You might not be in school, but you are definitely taking courses. Yes, life involves many courses!

   

So before I go any further, let me remind you of what a huge proponent I am of writing as a tool for succeeding. If you read my book or any of my past articles, you know this already.

   

That said, get your pen, paper, iPad, laptop, or PC ready because here comes the assignment - one that will help you avoid the "arrival" pitfall and perform optimally in all of your "courses".

   

Questions for Guidance

  1. Write down the area, or course, of your life that you wish to develop most.

  2. Make a quick list of the course objectives. For instance, if you are aiming to excel more at your job or company, write down the corporation's purposes.

  3. Briefly outline ways that you will help the company to fulfill its purposes.

  4. List your own personal objectives, what you hope to achieve in the "course" or at the company.

  5. Set and record a time frame, how long you think it will take you to fulfill your objectives.

Just as a syllabus with course goals helps to solidify expectations and establish a plan of action in a classroom, a similar written strategy will assist you in reaching your goals in every course of your life.  

   

You are destined to pass many "courses" and advance to numerous "graduations", but always remember that the learning process is everlasting. Embrace it as a student who is eager to absorb and apply new knowledge while reaching greater heights!

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