When we quit learning, in some ways, we start dying. No matter what degree we’ve earned, or what initials come after our name, we must find ways to improve competency on a daily basis.
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 improving your competence.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
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.
What other ways have you found to improve competency in your field?
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