Travel back in time for a second and imagine yourself as a baby – you can’t talk, you can’t walk and you can’t feed yourself. Yet, over time you learn all those skills because you have to – it’s how you are going to survive. So, why is it that we don’t put that level of self learning into play as we grow up? Can we really use lack of time as an excuse for not doing the one thing that’s going to move us forward in our lives and make sure we are in control of our own destiny?
I was listening to a podcast this morning about the journey of an average American becoming a Venture Capitalist (VC). He started his journey simply by learning. He picked a subject that he thought would be interesting to start a business in one day, marketing was his choice, and he learnt as much as he could about it until he got to a stage where he could make money out of it…he eventually sold the company to Ebay which gave him enough money to invest in other companies. Isn’t it liberating to think that you could pick any subject, get online and learn all about it? The majority of us are in that fortunate position but we still don’t do it.
I’m currently training for an Inline Skating Marathon and finding the time to actually get into a fit enough state to achieve this goal has been challenging. I decided to take on this challenge for a number of reasons – I wanted to get outdoors more, with an activity that wasn’t too expensive to keep up and it couldn’t be running (I hate running!)…so my new hobby began. By having a goal at the end, the marathon, helps with motivation, although it’s still hard, but by breaking down into bite sized chunks, I am starting to see progress. We often want to be experts over night but it’s not possible so what skill do you want to learn and how are you going to break it down? Could you read a chapter of a book each morning? Could you listen to a relevant podcast on your way to work? Could you get up earlier and go for a skate? The answer is yes to all of those but you need to work out what you want to learn, decide the best way you like to learn (I like podcasts) and just do it by putting time aside in your day (and hold yourself to it – I find the app Goal Tracker fab for this).
For me, there’s still a long journey to go (quite literally) but it’s so liberating to be learning a new skill and know that one day I will be good at it. So, my challenge to you is to start learning something for you (it can quite literally be anything you want).