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Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in Blog, Life |

Be a Daily Learner

Be a Daily Learner

I came across this quote in an article I read a few years ago:

There is divine beauty in learning… To learn means to accept the postulate that life did not begin at my birth. Others have been here before me, and I walk in their footsteps. – Elie Wiesel

The quote by itself is spot on.  But if you know the person it is attributed to, it becomes much more powerful.  From Elie Wiesel’s bio on the Elie Wiesel Foundation website:

Elie Wiesel was born in 1928 in Sighet, Transylvania, which is now part of Romania. He was fifteen years old when he and his family were deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz. His mother and younger sister perished, his two older sisters survived. Elie and his father were later transported to Buchenwald, where his father died shortly before the camp was liberated in April 1945.

When I was fifteen years old, my biggest concerns revolved around sports, acne, and my daily ability to corral my hair.  I can’t imagine having my life and family thrown into such turmoil.  And, as much as I’d like to give myself the benefit of the doubt, I’m not sure I would have emerged from that experience with such a humble perspective on life and learning.

And that’s a shame.

The reality is that many of us, myself included, diminish our personal growth because we rarely take the time to reflect on our days and ask simple, introspective questions about what life is teaching us.  Much is lost that, I fear, cannot be regained.  Wisdom that could have been multiplied through us in the lives of others is unknowingly subtracted from our own.

So how do we become daily learners?  I think two simple things could exponentially increase our life learning over time:

Write down opportunities, obstacles, and insights that are worthy of our reflection.  If you don’t have some way to regularly capture ideas, be it simple post-it notes or a more complex technological solution such as Evernote, find something that works for you and put it to work.  As you go throughout your day, be mindful of the things that present opportunities for learning.  Jot them down, and then move to #2.

Dedicate a few minutes at the end of each day to reflect on your learning opportunities.  Write down what things come to mind as you reflect, and think about how you can put those learnings into action.

So here’s a challenge for you: write down and reflect on 3 things tomorrow.  Then, if you’re up for it, share what you learn in the comments.

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