When we quit learning, we quit everything in our lives. No matter what degree we’ve earned, or what initials come after our nameplate, we must keep increasing competency on a daily basis, to improve our knowledge, to read and learn.
The first step to increasing your personal and professional competence is to understand you have not arrived. If you believe you have no room to grow, you won’t grow. Once you see there are areas for improvement in your life, growing your competence in those areas is really quite simple.
Here are a few quick and easy ideas for growing your competencies:
- Consider every circumstance an opportunity
Napolean Hill, foremost success authority, said, “Every adversity brings with it the seed of an equivalent advantage.” If you’re willing to see every conflict, every delay, and every frustration in this light — your whole life becomes a learning opportunity. If you are positive and always looking for new opportunities you can achieve almost everything.
- Join a mastermind group
The power of a group is hard to argue. For years we’ve seen powerful leaders and thinkers emerge, not as individuals, but as groups. Surround yourself with people who are more successful, more competent, and more qualified than you — you’re guaranteed to grow your competence. If you have friends with a lot of new ideas try to connect more with them and make something together to improve yourselves.
- Find a mentor
Nearly every leader can point to a mentor who has played a key role in their success. If you don’t have a mentor, and you would like one, generally it’s just as easy as asking the question. People with good knowledge can help you a lot with developing new ideas and improving them.
- Use time wisely
So much time in our day is wasted doing mindless things: TV or YouTube videos, sitting in traffic, waiting for a meeting to start. Set yourself up to take advantage of those moments by listening to podcasts in the car, loading books onto your computer or phone for those down moments, and not allowing yourself to mindlessly watch garbage on TV. If you use your free time wisely you can reach more and learn more.
- Take advantage of technology
I heard of someone recently who listens to books on tape at two-times speed so he can finish them faster. Technology is constantly improving. Take advantage of the opportunities it provides to learn. Technology can help you a lot in developing skills and new competencies.
Mark Twain famously says, “The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.” Become a consumer of good books. Read books that challenge you.
- Take initiatives
Think about new ideas for developing yourself. You are able to take more initiatives. You can start with volunteering and make good things for the society. You can do an internship and take part in a lot of trainings to develop skills and competencies.