This has been an interesting few weeks for me – very busy and very stressful, two things that I could do with less of in my life. Whenever the stress level goes up in my life, the time I spend in the shower seems to increase proportionately. I tend to let my mind wander (even more than normal) and I do some of my best creative thinking in the shower. I’m thinking about all sort of things but one topic that has been working it’s way to the front more than usual is the need for personal growth.
Most people recognize the need for personal growth but as I’ve become older, I’ve noticed that people either stop seeking opportunities for this growth, or they decide that they have what they need and they go into “refinement” mode … they simply become better and better and the same handful of skills they currently possess. Did you know that I started this website over 7 years ago for the simple reason of wanting to learn a new skill? It’s true. The first post I ever wrote was “Who Wants to be Relevant?” and in that first article, I wrote about the need to keep learning new skills and technology. It’s easy to recognize the need to keep learning new things but it’s much harder to actually do it.
I am currently sitting in a hotel room in Orlando, Florida, a total of 1,093 miles from my normal Sunday afternoon writing spot (on my couch) and I am taking a break at … [looking at the clock] 12:55 am so that I can write this blog post. I’m in Orlando because I am on the editorial advisory board for KB&B (Kitchens and Bath Business) and we have our first meeting of 2017 scheduled to coincide with the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show and the International Building Show conventions. I agreed to be a member of this editorial board because I think I can learn something from surrounding myself with other people who are recognized as thought leaders within the field of design and construction. Of course, I would imagine that I was invited to be on this board because I too am considered to be a thought leader in the profession as well – although I might be too close on this and simply don’t see it that way.
Agreeing to be on this editorial board is an example of saying “yes” to an activity that should expose me to new schools of thought … which leads me back to what I’ve been thinking about in my longer than normal showers – the need for constant improvement.
You have to keep learning new things; adding new skills to your skill set. To my way of thinking, if you aren’t improving, if you don’t keep learning new things, your value within an organization is going to become diminished. You won’t keep receiving new opportunities, you’ll just keep doing what you’ve always done … until they can find someone who can do it for less money.
I’m looking forward to sharing whatever it is I learn during this period, but I want to acknowledge that everything that is typically worth doing is hard – which is part of the reason why completing difficult challenges is so exhilarating and rewarding. I may not always be successful, and I may not always achieve my goal … but I know I will be better off for learning some new skills and taking on a new challenge.
Keep on learning,