09 Sep 2016

The Joy of Learning

By Joy Talavera, ROHEI

When I was still a student, I told myself “I can’t wait to finish school and start working!” but when I graduated and became a young professional, I wanted to be a student again! Alanis Morissette would say, “isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?”

The thing is, learning never ends. Whatever season of life you are in, there will always be opportunities to grow. It is only a matter of whether you are willing to take it or not. Let me share with you five ways that learning enriches my life and brings me joy.

Learning Infuses Wisdom
Wisdom is not acquired overnight. It takes time. Much like exercising, you don’t get those six-pack abs without the discipline. One of the things I regularly do is read books. You can learn anywhere by reading, reading books on the way to work, before you sleep, and my personal favourite is during free time at a coffee shop at the airport.

In this fast-paced world where everything is one Google search away, there is a lot to learn. It is only when we choose to embrace the fact that there is always room for us to learn something new that we immerse ourselves in the stream of wisdom.

Learning Inspires Growth
When we continually choose to learn, we allow ourselves to improve and be better than yesterday. This invites success into our lives. Oftentimes, what we don’t realize is that we lose the joy in what we do, whether it’s professional or personal, when we find ourselves in a place of being stagnant. And when we remain stagnant, success becomes unreachable. Constant learning gives us the desire to grow more in whatever sphere of influence we are in.

Learning Increases Productivity
Being productive gives you a sense of fulfilment, knowing that your day did not go to waste. And sometimes, scheduling a time to learn can make you feel less productive. In my workplace, after our weekly staff meeting, we will watch short videos for us to improve on our leadership skills as a team. At first, it seems like a waste of time. But the amount of things I learned from these short videos every week allowed me to apply things at my work that helped me become more productive. A 30-minute investment a week may seem like long at the time, but as you apply the things you learned, your productivity will double, if not triple, the amount of time you spent learning.

Learning Incubates Possibilities
Apart from my development at work, I take personal online courses, subscribe to videos online or read books that will enhance my passion to write and speak. Investing on these one day a week during my non-working days may seem worthless because it is not something that is written in my job description. However, personal development creates possibilities for me to use my passion and impact others apart from my work life. As Mr. Miyagi (from Karate Kid) said, “wax on, wax off”. Invest now so you will be ready when those possibilities come your way.

Learning Invites Creativity
Whether you will admit it or not, you are creative. If you have a right brain, it means you are creative. So the idea of creating something is within you. An artisan is not just someone who paints or draws. You can be an artisan at creating those spreadsheets! I remember signing up for a course on Service Innovation so I can be better in serving people. It gave me a sense of excitement about creating new strategies at work. The idea of creating a new process may be something that doesn’t seem creative at all. But to design an experience for your customers, to give them the best satisfaction is in and of itself, creative.

My hope is that one, if not all, of these five reasons will encourage you to invest in learning. Finding time to develop yourself or your team is being future-ready.

Crave for wisdom, be inspired to grow, increase productivity, be ready for possibilities and welcome creativity in whatever you do.