Haba na haba?…..Hujaza kibaba.
This is a Swahili proverb that simply illustrates the law of incremental addition. 2 and 2 being brought together to make 4 may seem obvious to many, but the most basic ideas- such as these are often the building blocks of immense knowledge. Our question today is; are we really applying this concept in our personal growth?
It is no doubt that skills and applied knowledge are some of the most transfromational tools that one should possess or pursue continuously. However, learning has been traditionally viewed and confined to the set curriculum and the academic environment which has led to the creation of a huge learning gap. This rift greatly affects young professionals who have been wrongly led into thinking that their theoretical knowledge is enough to sustain them in their work environment.
The 5 ways through which you can ensure that you remain competent and skilled are;
Your thoughts are as good as the books you read. This one comes as a no brainer. Lots of literature has been published on the benefits of reading, which include strengthening your mental muscles, sharpening wit and fostering creativity. Many successful individuals including Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey have been noted to be avid readers and consumers of knowledge.
Reading will not only teach you new things, but it will enable you to gain unique perspectives on various matters. Among the most popular titles on my reading list are; Paulo Coleho, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Malcom Gladwell and Simon Sinek. The book summaries by this guy are also really great! Especially when I do not want to commit to reading a very long book!
The internet has made it much easier for us to access quality literature at almost no cost. This is something that we should take advantage of everyday!
I must admit that even though reading is great, there are some of us who are simply not readers. Former US president Franklin D Roosevelt was one such individual. He capitalized on listening. This is another great medium of learning. There are tonnes of audio books and podcasts available on the internet at our disposal. YouTube has also become a personal favourite of mine in the recent months. When i’m too tired to read, I listen to book audios which can be just as good! Give it a try! My last book was the classic Sun Tzu- The Art of War. Next on my list is Think and Grow Rich!
This one can be a bit daunting especially if you’re not a writer. A very reflective mindset is required here. I have found it very useful to have a notebook where lessons, ideas, plans and interesting observations are noted and described. This mentally engaging activity is very useful and leads to great psychological gains and fresh ideas!
There’s no better teacher than experience. This “Learning by doing” principle has enabled nations like Japan and Germany to make great leaps in growth and development. If you get a chance to learn practically through direct experience, (unless it is otherwise harmful) choose it over any book or theoretical lesson.
Some of the most practical ways of learning by doing in the workplace are; apprenticeship, volunteering and interships.
Talking is another great way getting one’s intellectual juices flowing. Thought provoking discussions and debates with informed individuals can be some of the most intellectually stimulating environments. However it is important to note that the two way process can only be as good as the quality of the ideas shared.
I hope that you will apply these learning techniques to remain informed and on top of your game!
I would like to hear which method has been most suitable for you!