Mind over matter: My lifelong learning philosophy.
“Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first 4 sharpening my axe.” - Abraham Lincoln
In my early adulthood, I had a zeal for all things personal growth.
I consumed books, audios, conferences like I was starving at an all you can eat buffet.
Looking back I can see that I was likely overzealous with climbing the ivory tower of knowledge without the depth of application to back it up. But frankly, at the time, I didn’t care. The feeling of learning was so invigorating for me I would bulldoze through personal growth content regardless.
One day, a friend of mine said a statement that shocked me. She said she didn’t believe in personal development.
I was floored.
The statement was so far on the other spectrum of my world at the time that I couldn’t see where she was coming from.
After prying for more answers, she gave me this insight: “Well, I just think that growth happens organically, and you can’t force it ya know? You just have to live your life. So drop the self-help books and just go have a good time.”
It was an odd concept to me.
At the time, I had rejected the thought. Something about what she said didn’t feel quite right for me even though I did agree that there is growth to be had in everyday experiences.
But the conversation still bothered me. It gnawed in the back of my mind knowing that there are people out there like my friend (who is a reasonable person) who just doesn’t buy into intentional personal growth. Was there merit to that idea?
Years later, I heard a talk from John Maxwell, best-selling author and leadership guru at a conference. His quote confirmed my original hypothesis: that intentional growth is the key to your development.
The simple statement that reinforced everything for me was:
“Maturity doesn't come with age; it comes with acceptance of responsibility.” - John Maxwell
It makes sense though right? If maturity came with time, any old person would be mature. If wisdom came with time, any old person would be wise. If growth came with time, any old person would be personally grown.
Of course, you and I both know people who are older than us that aren’t more mature, more wise and more grown.
Today, I’m more sold than ever that you and I NEED an intentional growth plan in our lives to thrive.
The reason why is because an intentional self Improvement plan does 3 things for you:
It increases your effectiveness
You gives a clear trajectory towards your goals
You accelerate the speed in which you reach your goals
An intentional self improvement plan is one of the most effective, but commonly neglected resources to reach a person’s goals.
The benefits are plenty, but the sad truth is, most people spend more time planning out their vacation than planning out their life.
I however, have committed myself to always treat my learning with militancy. I have dedicated myself to being an intentional and prepared lifelong learner.