Your brain has 60,000 - 70,000 thoughts a day.
But here’s the catch.
90% of those thoughts are the same as the day before.
Isn’t that scary? How if you don’t introduce new thoughts you’ll continue to think and, consequently, repeat the same habits and behaviours?
Most people stop learning after school, though. I know that happened to me.
In fact, I hardly recall any of the courses I took during my Bachelor of Science degree.
Reflecting on my university days now, I felt averse to learning. I had no desire to learn about organic chemistry, mathematics, or statistics.
This, in part, might have had something to do with the fact I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.
So instead of studying and learning, I filled my mind with cheap dopamine: Social media. Netflix. And I even played League of Legends for a bit. It just felt easier. More gratifying, you know?
So what changed?
After a painful breakup, a toxic situationship, and months spent partying, I decided enough was enough. I was sick and tired of feeling like crap about myself.
So I started to watch a bunch of motivational and self-help videos on YouTube that all talked about the importance of taking personal accountability, having a growth mindset, and learning new skills to have a better life.
That’s what I did - And I haven’t stopped since.
Since then, I’ve learned about health and wellness, copywriting, social media marketing, website building, and much more.
Learning these skills is the reason I’ve manifested my goal of working remotely and writing about topics I love for health and wellness brands.
So in sum, if you’re not happy with your life and the direction it’s going in, you have the power to change it. You have the power to grow professionally, live a life with purpose, and live happily.
It starts with choosing to do so. And then, investing time into learning.
Let’s dive more into why it’s important to grow in these three areas.
You’ve worked in the same position and at the same job for the last 20 years. No promotions. No new opportunities. With an (insignificant) salary increase.
If you’re okay with this scenario, then okay. I know not everybody is ambitious. And that’s okay.
But I’d reckon most people are eyeing promotions. Because a promotion = more money.
Now, here’s a tough pill to swallow: You (most likely) won’t get that promotion if you’re not learning and growing.
I read something once (I can’t remember where anymore) but it said if you’re not getting paid what you think you deserve, then maybe, you’re just not that valuable to the company. You’re replaceable.
I mean… if you were a leader, who would you rather promote? Person A, who’s been at your company for 10 years but hasn’t developed any new skills? Or Person B, who’s been at your company for 6 months and is learning and growing at an exponential rate with the results to show for it?
The choice should be self-explanatory.
Simply put, developing new skills and knowledge gives you greater opportunities and success. It enhances your life. It enriches your career.
As you acquire new skills and knowledge that are relevant to your field, your confidence will grow too. And your newfound confidence will help you negotiate for better salaries, apply for better jobs, and perform better.
So the bottom line is: If you don’t learn, you stagnate and miss out on professional development opportunities.
Find Your Obsession
Some people are born knowing what they naturally like.
My friend, Lily, for example, has always loved art, design, and photography.
And so, when the University of Waterloo launched Canada's first undergraduate program that combined creativity, technology, and business in one unique degree, she applied (and got in) without a doubt.
Since then, she’s had a remarkable career as a UX designer.
But most people (myself included) aren’t that lucky. I didn’t know what I liked, what my strengths were, or what excited me.
I dabbled in baking, teaching, and being a virtual assistant. At one point, I wanted to be an archaeologist. Lol.
It took years of trial and error before I found something I liked, was kind of good at, and made money.
So here’s my advice for you if you’re not sure what you want to do with your life: Pay attention to the things that excite you. Learn about them. Identify what you obsess about. Then double down on your obsession.
That’s how you start to find, and then, create your purpose.
Enter Your Happiest State
Tony Robbins - Progress equals happiness.
This quote has been at the forefront of my mind since I first heard it back in 2017.
To expand on his idea, happiness is learning, growing, and challenging yourself in new ways. Why?
Because reaching a goal is satisfying, but it’s temporary.
Whenever you reach a goal, you’re happy for a bit but then you’re already thinking of the next goal post.
When I made my first $1000 from copywriting, I was happy for a while. Then soon after, I aimed for $2000. When I reached that goal, I felt happy but in my mind, I had my eyes already set on $5000.
So here’s what I’ve learned about happiness and learning: You have to strike a balance.
Learn to be content and grateful for all you’ve achieved while continuing to strive for more in life. And never stop learning.
That’s when you’re in the happiest state.
With all this talk about learning, how can you (actually) learn?
Most people forget that learning doesn’t have to take place within a school setting. Here are a few of my suggestions:
Read a book.
Engage in a thought-provoking conversation.
Watch YouTube videos about topics you’re interested in!
Take a course on LinkedIn to level up your professional skills.
Sign up for a class like yoga, pottery, or whatever interests you.
Check out courses on Coursera, Udemy, Khan Academy, Skillshare, and Domestika.
There’s arguably no easier time to learn than now with so much accessible information at your disposal with a click of your finger.
Rachel Hollis - Every year you close a new chapter in your life. Please, please, please don’t write the same one seventy-five times and call it a life.
If you stop learning, your professional life with stagnate.
If you stop learning, you’ll find it hard to discover, obsess, and create your purpose.
If you stop learning, you’re not going to be happy.
So my challenge for you today is to spend a few minutes (even just 18 minutes) to learn something.
Replace your video game time. Replace your Netflix time. Replace your social media time with something educational.
Watch how your life expands once you get into the habit of learning every day.
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