Lifelong learning…

This weekend children and parents all across the country will be nervously anticipating the start of the round of SAT tests next week.

No matter the age or the level, the kids will have been learning day by day – expanding their understanding of the world and topics ranging from the traditional maths and English to understanding more about the world in which we live.

This love of learning that we all have as children is so important. I am not talking about academic prowess, but just the sense of wonder and discovery we as human’s have as we grow and start to explore our world. Children don’t learn just because they have to based on their school curriculum – they learn outside of their schoolwork, each day finding out more about themselves and their place in life.

As a coach and leadership consultant I get to work with so many different leaders across different businesses and what I am always struck by is how few devote time and energy to their own learning and growth. Most adults go to work, bust a gut doing the best they can to fulfil the tasks and items on their to do lists and then come home, eat, spend time with their family and then head to bed. Each day they repeat the same process.

Very few of them find the time in this busy schedule to explore their own learning and to reconnect with that amazing sense of discovery that they had as children. I was the same – for years and years I neglected by own development – i simply had more important things in my life than burying my head into a book or doing some learning.

One of the most valuable things i have done in my life is rediscover the joy of learning and exploration of the world around me. I am not talking about taking formal classes but the every day learning available to us all – watching an interesting documentary or tuning in for 20 minutes to watch a fascinating Ted Talk – or having an audio book on the go when I am in the car between meetings.

Every successful person I know – people at the top of their game – they all spend time investing in themselves! Think of a business. Great businesses are those that retain a degree of their profits and their energy and invest in their future – whether that be through new product development or by investigating new markets etc. No successful business exists that doesn’t in some way invest a proportion of its resource in developing its capability for the future. So why would this be any different for us as humans? If we want to succeed tomorrow we have to do something today that helps us grow and learn and become bigger and better than we are today!

Darren Hardy (Editor of success magazine and brilliant daily blogger) calls this the 10% club – he challenges his audience to invest 10% of their time and 10% of their take home pay in personal learning and growth. Just imagine that. How many hours do you work a week? 40 – 50? So that means investing at least 1/2 day per week on your own learning and growth!

What’s you take home pay a month? Do you invest 10% of that in yourself and your own learning and development? Signing up for courses, buying books, attending seminars or taking part in activities that will help you discover more about yourself or the things you are passionate about.

It is so easy to say I don’t have time or I can’t afford to – but if we can’t afford to invest in ourselves then we will end up going backwards.

So this week I challenge you to take the lead from our kids who are striving to better themselves daily and have a love of learning and discovery – let’s each commit 10% to becoming better! Let’s each invest in ourselves so that we can have an even brighter tomorrow!

At Mindset Associates we inspire the leaders we work with to rediscover their love of learning through our unique approach to leadership development – we don’t just train skills but we help our clients change their Mindset and ignite their desire to improve themselves. Contact us by visiting our website at Mindset Associates or dropping us an email at

Haydn Bratt, Pioneer, Mindset Associates


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