Posted by Dinesh Daswani at Jul 20, 2015
I hope you have realized that our world is constantly changing, and change is the nature of existence. This includes business procedures, technologies, the weather, and even our bodies are changing, isn’t it? Everything is in motion – we live in an ocean of motion. In addition, if you’ve attended any Change Management workshops you may have heard of the acronym PESTEL, which is an analysis tool that organizations use to decide in which area they need to change their business practices. PESTEL means Political, Economical, Social, Technological, Environmental, and Legal. Think about it, don’t these six factors affect your life and business?
If change is the nature of existence, why is it that we come across so many people and businesses that simply refuse to change? Many individuals would rather perish, than change. This is simply because they have cultivated a fixed mindset over time. They continuously do the same thing every day expecting a different result, and this is what Einstein defined as Insanity. This fixed mindset revolves around many factors such as fear, limiting beliefs, denial, or simply laziness. Of course, I cannot cover all these areas in this article, but I will discuss how to cultivate a growth mindset against all odds.
It is often observed that as we age, our behavior tends to become more fixed and structured. This simply means that our habits become deeply ingrained, and thus, we start operating on autopilot. Change, on the contrary, requires conscious effort, determination, and most of all a desire to change. Not a desire fueled by fear, rather fueled by enthusiasm and novelty (new experiences).
The reason I’m sharing this article is because I want to bust the belief that we may be too old to change, or circumstances are not in our favor. This is absolutely BS. Of course, by BS, I mean Belief System. What were you thinking I meant by BS?
For example, when I lost partial vision, I was unable to read, or go for a walk alone, and I lost a lot of my independence, especially the ability to use the computer. And this set me off on a journey of depression fueled by an unfulfilled desire to learn and grow. However, after much introspection, I realized that this was just my own BS, again I mean Belief System.
After I cleared this BS, I realized something fascinating. The first insight was that to grow and learn, we don’t need to look outside. We can simply turn our gaze inwards, since all the universal knowledge is within us. Our mind is filled with memories of experiences, all we have to do is reflect upon them and ask ourselves, “What can I learn from that situation?” And this became my most important question for reflection.
You see, every moment of life offers us an opportunity to learn something, either about ourselves or the world around us. But we must be willing to see without judgment, without bias, and with a new perspective. If we observe carefully, both failure and success are wonderful teachers, so we must be grateful for every moment.
The second insight was that to learn and grow, we don’t need all our senses in working order. There are tons of audio books for individuals who cannot read due to loss of vision or age related vision conditions. We don’t need our hearing ability if we can read books, or closed caption on the TV. Even if we are on a wheel chair, we most likely have our other senses in order. Basically, as long as our hearts are beating and brains are pulsating, we can learn. We can Grow.
So, here are four practices that you can include in your life to continue learning and growing.
1. Meditation – Research has shown that meditation can heal the body and heal the brain. It can make you smarter, and it can make you younger. Research also indicates that if you meditate for 30 minutes a day for 5 years, your biological age will become 12 years younger. Meditation will also help you to adapt to change easily. So, practice meditation daily, even for a few minutes if possible.
2. Invest in personal growth – Associate with people who are smarter than you and are willing to share their knowledge and experience. This is a great way to learn life lessons without having to go through the challenges yourself. Invest in personal development programs or connect with a Life Coach.
3. Read more books – Leaders are readers. If you ask any leaders what is one of their most important keys to success, they will say that they read a lot. Reading improves your knowledge and enhances your creativity. So, make reading a daily practice. However, read less of the news and more content that inspires you.
4. Sleep – You may be wondering how can sleep help you grow; it’s a waste of time isn’t it? But, if you ask any athlete what has helped them improve their performance they will tell you sleep and relaxation. The muscles can only grow when there is tension, and then relaxation and recovery.
Sleep also helps the brain to process information that was learned. This is why it’s very important for students to get enough sleep, so that what they have learned stays in their memory.
So, there is absolutely no excuse for you to stop learning. Change your BS (Belief System), and always ask yourself this powerful question “What can I learn from this situation?”
Finally, one of the best ways to learn is by teaching. Share your knowledge and experiences with others and enhance their lives as well. This will definitely be a fulfilling experience for you.
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Gandhi