It’s not just about thriving in the changing world of work. It’s also about being and becoming the best possible version of YOU. Like everyone, human nature and changing life conditions, challenges and opportunities continually call you to evolve through various stages of your life. The direction of this evolution can (and you probably agree, should) be toward greater maturity and wisdom. As you grow in experience and learning, neurons and connections in your brain multiply, enabling you to build new and more complex perspectives and capabilities appropriate to your life stage and the requirements around you.
There are theories of human development that describe how healthy human beings are propelled by nature to evolve our views, self-image, and scope of concern and impact over time. Generally, we start out dependent on others. First, as a child and teen, primary care givers and educators influence our development. Then, we become part of work and social groups and are influenced by their world views and thinking. Psychologists generally agree that many people don’t move out of this stage where group influence dominates.
In the next stages, if we choose to accept full responsibility for who we are, we become more self-managing, willing to take stands, aware of external influence and manipulation, facing our own self-created limitations, and taking risks to achieve our dreams and potential. We become independent thinkers, examining facts and various perspectives and deciding for ourselves what is true, even when it disagrees with those in our sphere of influence or even our own deeply held assumptions and beliefs.
Each of these leaps forward in development is fueled by new insights, knowledge, and skills. That is, movement through these development stages requires learning and personal change. Learning is really another word for evolving. The greatest learners thus create the most developed and fulfilling lives.
We live and work in a rapidly transforming era of work and life. We will never go back to the days when information took 100 years to double, creating a kind of stability that made doing more important than becoming. But today, lifelong learning, lifelong becoming, is both an economic and a life imperative.
Learning is the dynamic that underpins our success at work and in careers. It is essential to co-evolving with technology. Learning enables us to survive and thrive in an information saturated world. When we know how to learn – really know how – we are better able to help others learn. And, of course, learning is how we change and evolve ourselves to be all we can be in this one precious life. This doesn’t mean that change is the only dynamic in our lives. We obviously need stability of purpose, guiding values, intimate relationships, and a core but evolving identity. But learning is one major way we know we are alive.
Science is giving us new insights about ourselves as changing beings, capable of learning at higher levels so we can rise above, tap into, and channel the chaos of our times. Technology and the complexity of the modern world are pushing us to develop in new directions and ways. We can’t go back. That is not how living systems operate. They – we — learn.
But the learning mindset and practices that got us here are not good enough for the future we are creating. It’s time to upgrade this critical human ability – our ability to learn.
Transform yourself and how you learn. Bring the SMARTInside Online Course into your organization. Help everyone to become an advanced learner!