You owe it to the new you that emerges from this COVID-19 crisis.
You entered your home, in most cases, about 7 days ago and have shown nary a hide nor hair to the outside world since. But what have you done for YOU while inside?
We are in a scary time, but a remarkable time. A remarkable self discovery moment in time. Never before, has the planet gone into hiding all at once with such an overt opportunity to expand, grow and create while inside.
This is your opportunity to decide if you entered this cocoon of social distancing with intention to emerge a powerful butterfly or a weak and tired caterpillar relegated to the same old you as went in.
Lifelong Learning is all about patience when you have nothing and humility when you have everything. The patience comes from taking the time to learn and create and to be better as a human being than you were before, even if you feel like today you have nothing or aren’t where you dreamed of being. Maybe you have been laid off during this crisis or just aren’t where you would like to be in your life, relationships or career.
But this message is just as strong if not stronger, for those who believe they already have everything. The 20 year veteran in each industry who believes they already know everything there is to know and learn. They, by the way, are usually the ones who falter and fall the quickest, despite the knowledge they think they have, at the behest of their refusal to learn and grow.
The belief that you have or can truly reach the ‘pinnacle of you’ is a false belief if you don’t recognize that the pinnacle of you is a moving target. Your pinnacle and best self in 2020 is not the same as your pinnacle and best self in 2024 and if you believe it is, then expect to be somewhere in the mushy middle, or worse again in 4 years.
We must recognize that we are always growing, always changing and always have the need to learn. Always have a need to “sharpen our axe” as James Loewen says so poignantly on our platform. We all need to grow to reach our best self and now we have the chance to do it. To turn the tide, to reach new heights, new knowledge, new spiritual and personal connection.
See, lifelong learning is not about taking a math course or a science course per se, it is everything. It is being a perpetual student of life. “Learning that you still have a lot to learn” as Maya Angelou once said is in itself lifelong learning.
When we talk about that person we need to become by 2024 in order to be the best version of ourselves on January 1st. We need to understand that this new person is defined by the efforts that we make today and the efforts you then make in 2024 will define the person you are in 2028 and so on. The learning and the need to grow does not ever change. The people that remain stuck or lose their grip on success and become redundant or fall to where they never envisioned falling are those that became complacent in what they know today and refused to accept that things and life itself changes.
So today defines you, today in self isolation defines the person in the world when we all emerge…and we will emerge. Some will take this time to achieve and grow, some will not. It is those that believe they already know, those that believe they already have the answer that will be left behind. The world will not emerge from this the same as the day you went in and shut the door behind you. Therefore, you cannot emerge the same person either.
Spend time learning! Be so focused on improving yourself that you have no energy to criticize and spend time in Facebook groups, launching attacks on those that bought 60 packs of toilet paper, but instead on so vastly improving yourself that your urge to criticize washes away.
Never be the smartest person in the room. Be in places and with people (even at a social distance, try online for example) and doing things that allow you to learn and develop. Be in a place where someone can share ideas or things at any moment that could really change your life forever. Stop going in circles or running on a treadmill of life, you weren’t built for that.
Realize that you are a student for life, it helps you to develop and develop others. Draw lessons from others, whether it’s the grocery store clerk bravely going to work right now, or the CEO of your company, or your child.
Draw lessons from every person, interaction, situation and circumstance. Let lifelong learning become your mindset, and reaching the pinnacle of you will not be so far fetched because you will move in lock step with that ever evolving definition of “pinnacle” as the this world and as you yourself, evolve.
Today, take a course, communicate, learn from situations, life, people, animals… draw lessons from everything and understand when you crack open your front door in a week or two and emerge, that the butterfly that emerges is greater than the caterpillar that went in.