As one who has been a talent management specialist and executive coach for over three decades, L has to be for Learning! To me all progress comes through implementing new learnings, be it in your profession or in your passion. Improvements come about as we learn something new.
At times, not learning something does hamper our progress. If you were to look back in your own life, how many times have you regretted that you hadn’t learnt something? A new language may be or a new skill? You kick yourself for not having learnt that when you had the chance to do so!
I believe in the hugely competitive world we live in, it’s crucial for us to set ourselves a few learning goals. Ask yourself ” Have I learnt something new today? This week? This month? This quarter?”. If the answer is “Nothing” I am afraid we stand in danger of being left behind as the world around us speeds past.
The learning goals you set for yourself must be in tune with what you seek to be and do. There’s no point accepting the challenge that you will learn and do scuba diving everyday if the nearest place for this is hundreds of miles away.
As always your learning goals should be and here I’ll remind you of that old acronym “SMART”:- * Specific * Measurable * Achievable * Realistic *Time Bound.
Derived from my learnings ( given later in this post), here by way of example, are a few goals I have set for myself in my new field of writing:_
- Complete and publish my second novel “Lucky For Some, Thirteen” by end 2011.
- Work towards the next edition of my debut novel ” It Can’t Be You” slated for May 2011.
- Write at least 500 words per day, be it as part of my ongoing novel-writing or my blogs.
- Here is one you will relate to: Complete the A-Z Challenge during April 2011!
These goals came about after I had listed my key learnings pertaining to life as an author ever since my debut novel was published in November 2010:-
- Writing is hard work. make no mistake about that. You have to genuinely enjoy it!
- The role of the modern day author goes well beyond writing the book. You are directly responsible for marketing it successfully. One can’t depend on others, least of all the publishers.
- Like everything else in life, carve out your own schedule and your own space as a writer. What works for me need not work for you or someone else. Choose the time of day when you are most productive to do your writing.
- Like any other skill you get better at writing by writing more. Practice, as the old saying goes, makes perfect. The more you write, the better it is for you and hopefully for your readers too!
- I am convinced that an author cannot be good across the wide spectrum of writing. Choose an area for yourself, a niche if you will, and stick to it. It would have to be one in which you are pretty accomplished to give you a better chance of success.
I, for example, have been fascinated with thrillers since childhood and I am in a happy situation in which I write only in this genre. I am sure I would be hopeless in some romantic stuff or worse still in sci-fi.
Another aspect of learning is that you learn more when you share more. It’s as simple as that. By participating in many discussion groups at sites like NaNoWriMo and the Writer’s Digest Community, I have gained immensely. I like to think that I have contributed in small way to someone else’s growth through my participation and sharing of insight and experiences.
So, L for Learnings gives you a few actions straight off if you want to improve the quality of your life. List your learnings and draw out goals derived from them. It won’t be easy but I can assure you, it will be well worth your time and effort!