How to become an intentional learner for never-ending growth

What exactly do we mean by self-directed learning practices? Whoever heard of learners teaching themselves?

Let’s start with considering a few real-life examples. In sports, when a player plays a bad game, he or she knows what they need to work on in their own time. They go home and practice that skill so the outcome is better for their next game. Likewise, artists and musicians are always honing their craft and choosing what to leave in and what to take out.

So when you’re finished with school, do you stop learning things after you graduate? Of course not, and why should you? In a basic sense, self-directed learning is about the conscious and continuous growth of intelligence. It’s about taking ownership of learning because that’s exactly what we want our students to do.

What Is Self-Directed Learning?

The following definition of self-directed learning comes from University of Waterloo. It stresses four key stages of independent learning:

  • being ready to learn
  • setting learning goals
  • engaging in the learning process
  • evaluating learning

How can the idea of self-directed learning benefit all students? If we identify the roadblocks to lifelong learning, we see it boils down to mindset. Essentially there are 3 deconstructive mindsets that prevent self-directed learning:

  • Motivation: I’m not self-motivated enough
  • Ability: I’m not smart/talented enough
  • Type: I’m not that type of person

Do you see this mindset playing out in your classroom?

Tearing Down Walls

Let’s tackle “self-motivation” first. There’s a myth that people cannot be motivated by themselves. It suggests they must be given some kind of incentive. A good example to look at is Edward Deci’s 1969 experiment.

Deci gathered two groups of college students to engage in solving various puzzles over a period of time. To one group, he made no promise of money or mentioned any compensation or reward. The other group, however, was paid for their puzzle solving. Then after a while the paid group was suddenly informed they were not going to be paid anymore.

The results of the study indicated the group that was not paid churned out more solved puzzles and continued to do so after the third day. In other words, they were doing it for the sheer pleasure and satisfaction. Deci concluded that intrinsic learning is more powerful than incentive learning, although it’s also more fragile. Once you attach a reward, the value decreases.

In the study above, after being told they would not get paid, the amount of work produced plummeted. Why is this so? Daniel Pink, author of Drive, suggests that there are 3 very real internal motivations for self-directed learning:

  • Autonomy: freedom to determine your path
  • Mastery: the chance to grow competency
  • Purpose: connection to some greater good

Here’s Dan on TED Talks verifying Deci’s results above, and talking about how motivation is not increased with outside incentives.

Type and Talent

Now let’s address block 2 (I’m not smart/talented enough) and block 3 (I’m not that type of person). This kind of thinking is a common self-fulfilling prophecy of self defeat. If we change this language that students internalize about not being smart or talented enough, it would be a step in the right direction. However, let’s be clear

self-directed learning is hard work.

We talked about intrinsic motivation earlier as a component of self-directed learning, and the other side of that coin is “deliberate practice.” Deliberate practice is the hard work of self-directed learning. Though this may sound unappealing, consider that deliberate practice is shown to build intrinsic motivation, not take it away. Intrinsic motivation is autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

Through deliberate practice, we can make “excellence a habit,” as Aristotle instructed.

When we call ourselves “not smart, not talented, not that type of person,” our own thoughts and mindsets stop us dead in our tracks. Self-directed learners eschew these labels in favour of a growth mindset, explained in detail by Carol Dweck in her book Mindset: The New Psychology for Success.

In essence, growth mindset allows us to believe that our intelligence is not fixed. It posits that failures are merely transition points, and that we can change our personalities. Can you imagine if all your students adopted this way of thinking? For these kinds of thinkers, the grade matters less than the sheer love of learning and acquiring knowledge.

Again, self-directed learning is hard work, but that hard work fuels intrinsic motivation. Often the barrier to allowing students to self-direct is our need as teachers control our students’ paths. It takes letting go of our expectations and allowing students to blossom in ways that only they can determine.

Implicit learning vs. Explicit Learning

Introduction

Learning, its mean; the acquisition of knowledge or skills though experience, practice or study or by being taught, also learning is the process of learn something or gather information about related things, learning is never ending process or infinitive process. We can learn in different way mainly three is important which is here; Hearing, Seeing and Touching. All learning procedure is significance and helpful for learner. Existing world is dynamic and technology is rapidly pacing day to day. We have to learning that thing in explicit learning way or implicit learning way, whatever we have to know about it. Explicit and implicit learning is the superlative for secondary language learner because it’s helpful and practically and theoretically it’s provided a lot of information for learner. Form both a practical and a theoretical point of views it is important to understand the difference between implicit and explicit learning mechanisms and the role they play in second language learning.

Implicit Learning

Implicit learning is nonepisodic learning of complex information in an incidental manner, without awareness of what has been learned. Implicit learning experiments use 3 different stimulus structures (visual, sequence, and function) and 3 different dependent measures of response modalities (conceptual fluency, efficiency, and prediction and control). Implicit learning may require a certain minimal amount of attention and may depend on intentional and working memory mechanisms. The result of implicit learning is implicit knowledge in the form of abstract (but possibly instantiated) representations rather than verbatim or aggregate representations. Implicit learning shows biases and dissociations in learning different stimulus structures. The dependence of implicit learning on particular areas is discussed, some conclusions are drawn for modeling Implicit learning, and the interaction of implicit and explicit learning is considered.

(www. http://psycnet.apa.org ). In another word implicit learning is not clearly and hard to perfectly verbalize, it’s gave us doubt and fast answer without any awareness. Implicit learning also complex games, what is hard to figure out what is the best and better procedure. Implicit learning is generally characterizes as learning that proceeds both unintentionally and unconsciously.

Explicit Learning

“A popular distinction in the learning literature is the distinction between implicit and explicit learning. Although many studies elaborate on the nature of implicit learning, little attention is left for explicit learning. The unintentional aspect of implicit learning corresponds well to the mechanistic view of learning employed in architectures of cognition ( http://cogprints.org )”. Explicit learning fully and clearly e xpressed or demonstrated; leaving nothing merely implied. It’s always aware learning and easy to verbalize our knowledge, error intolerant learning which is conscious and controllable. “ Explicit learning is a more conscious operation where the individual makes and tests hypotheses in a search for structure. Knowledge attainment can thus take place implicitly (a nonconscious and automatic abstraction of the structural nature of the material arrived at from experience of instances), explicitly through selective learning (the learner

Searching for information and building then testing hypotheses), or, because we can communicate using language, explicitly via given rules (assimilation of a rule following explicit instruction). (Ellis 1994b: 1 f.)”. Example of explicit

“The law is very explicit about how these measures should be enacted”, Its mean law is defined very well and clearly. http://webdoc.sub.gwdg.de

Explicit learning and implicit learning is not easy to describe without any supporting things so we can say its definition depend related situation and dependent condition. Below some contract between Explicit learning Vs. Implicit Learning.

For implicit learning we have to use less effort than explicit learning, implicit learning only gave us neutral or doubt suggestion or advice then explicit. On the point of decision line implicit learning don’t provide exact and clear path compare to explicit learning.

Explicit learning is aware and always helpful to deliver good suggestion or advice for us then implicit learning. Implicit learning is unaware or ignore some parameters which is basis line for decide something.

On the implicit learning learner felt difficult to verbalize gaining knowledge and uncertainty about how to verbalize his gaining idea or knowledge but on explicit learning, it’s easy to verbalize and represent what the learner gain and what has to verbalize.

Implicit learning is hot and emotional it doesn’t follow the hard line to give up better solution which is appropriate and better than other. Explicit learning gives up cool and suitable question answer which is overwhelming.

Implicit learning is fast pace learning which is represented holistic, heuristic solution, and unconscious control where explicit learning represent slow pace, analytical, algorithmic and conscious control style.

Explicit learning is also part in a discussion and we can get materials from reading, listening to people, lecture and audio in another side implicit learning is part of simulations and got material form theater project, role playing and life experience.

Indeed, explicit learning and implicit learning both are helpful and over the last several decades migration rate is increasing year to year. When people migrated they have to familiar with different language, culture, environment, and language etc. language is primary thing to know to migrated people. Explicit learning and implicit learning system basically help those people who focused to learn secondary language. Some point of view explicit learning and implicit learning have significance difference even it has same purpose. Contract point give up to know how important is it and which once give us best solution. Speed, knowledge, consciousness, effort, control, learning approach etc. are the basically contrast point on implicit learning and explicit learning. Explicit learning and implicit learning is the best learning approach to secondary language learner and key point to turn on secondary learning field.

How to become an intentional learner for never-ending growth

“Never stop learning because life never stops teaching.” As they say, learning is a never-ending journey. There are ways to boost your learning ability by doing things the right way.

Here are some tips that educators have shared on becoming a better learner.

1. Be enthusiastic

Do not give in to lack of enthusiasm. You should not seek what the class can give you but seek the fascinating thing about each class. Look at the material, and try to deduce why someone once thought it was terrific. You’ll discover that the material is much easier to learn. You don’t have to ‘memorize’ things that are fascinating; you automatically remember them.

2. Ask questions

Understand why you are studying, what you are studying. It’s important to be aware of your studies. Relate it with your practical life. Get real life examples. Do not memorize it blindly. Create a visual of the event.

3. Avoid distractions

When you are studying, shut off all distractions. Turn off music, don’t text, don’t check social media. You need to focus exclusively on the material in front of you.

4. Set clear goals and plan how to reach them

Create clear goals and set a plan. Know what you want and figure out how you will reach it. Use your gained knowledge to develop powerful strategy, by thinking deeply on the knowledge you have found.

5. Network with people

Never again will you be so closely associated with so many future successes. The friends you make in school are the managers, entrepreneurs, the drivers of tomorrow.You will find that when it’s time to look for a job, or strike out on your own, that your network will not only be a safety net for you – it will be an absolute treasure trove.”

6. Don’t compare yourself with others

Every individual is unique and has its own purpose. Do not compare your life with others. Instead, compare your life with your past. Ask yourself this question, have you improved?

7. Search for a way to help the world

Our society today is incredibly good at giving individuals the opportunities to change the world. With digital technology and modern communications, ideas and products can spread faster than ever before. With the right ideas and strong execution, any person can quickly help a lot of others on our planet.

8. Don’t rely on your diploma too much

Don’t rely on your diploma too much. While it might be relevant for your future, you might find your calling in an entirely different industry.

9. Keep on learning

Work hard and work smart. Be focused and don’t waste time. Time is the only ‘resource’ we have which we cannot get back.Keep your word. Be on time, be respectful.

10. Be open to learning from anyone

Be open to learning from anyone regardless of age, experience, education, and more. You might be pleasantly surprised.

11. Challenge yourself

Remember how you often learned the most from tough teachers and challenging classes? That’s likely because the teachers and courses pushed you to not just memorize but also analyze their motives and identify motifs. While that may not have been fun at the time, per say, you likely came out learning more than if you’d coasted through true-false quizzes.

12. Experiment with new approaches or behaviors

While reflecting on a challenge that you are facing, it will help if you ask yourself these questions:

  • What’s one thing I could do to change the outcome of the situation?
  • What will I do differently in the future?

Try experimenting with different solutions to a problem and see it from different perspectives. Sometimes sticking to a sole perspective will not resolve the problem.

13. Ask for feedback

Always ask for feedback on your performance. Get advice from your peers or colleagues who have observed your work. Ask them how you can improve and what are your strengths. After this, ask yourself what you’ve learned so far.

Do you know any other useful advice to become a better learner? Share in the comments below.

How to become an intentional learner for never-ending growth

The truth is having a fixed mindset as the name implies, increases the limitations you have in your life.

Optimists believe the glass is half full whilst pessimists believe it’s empty. The same can be said for those with a fixed mindset vs a growth mindset.

The expert in mindset is Dr. Carol S. Dweck, a Stanford University psychologist. Dweck tells us that those with a fixed mindset firmly believe that intellect is static whilst those with a growth mindset strongly affirm that intellect evolves.

In Dweck’s book: ‘Mindset – Changing the way you think to fulfill your potential’. She explains the differences between the lives of those with a fixed mindset and growth mindset.

Developing A Growth Mindset

One’s mindset stems from our own set of powerful beliefs. Thankfully, beliefs can be changed when they no longer serve us or enable us to achieve our goals.

After decades of research on the mindset, Dweck explains that:

‘The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life’.

I would like to share with you the 8 tremendous techniques for developing a growth mindset.

1. Create A New Compelling Belief

Create a new compelling belief by believing your talents and skills can be honed by applying oneself.

It is your consistent effort and enjoyment of one’s chosen path in life that illuminates the road to mastery.

2. View Failure In A Different Light

Failure is the time to apply extra effort to significantly improve your results. Failure is what you do and understanding what you can learn from it. Remember, it is not who you are as a human being.

This quote says it all perfectly, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, a track and field athlete and Olympic gold medalist explains:

‘I derive just as much happiness from the process as from the results. I don’t mind losing as long as I see improvement. If I lose, I just back to the track and work some more’.

3. Sky Rocket Your Self-Awareness

Become acutely aware of your many gifts and talents. Fully comprehend your key strengths and weaknesses.

Ask others for feedback such as your closest friends, family members, boss and colleagues as they can offer slightly different views and give you an overall perspective on what to focus on and areas for development.

4. Become A Curious Learner

Act like a child does on a daily basis, live in wonderment and discover the beauty of life. Decide today, to continually focus on learning and growing.

Begin by asking more questions and being more curious about everyone you meet, the journey they have been on and what they can teach you.

For every person I have met, every experience I have had teaches me about the world, myself and others. It is one of the many delights within this world for the unquenchable thirst for knowledge helps me to move forward with undeniable gusto, unbounding love and provides the deepest sense of appreciation for those who have touched my heart.

5. Challenges Are Your New Best Friend

As in life, it is the never ending mountain ranges like the highest mountain in the world, Mauna Kea.

When one chooses to climb the mountain, they must overcome the insurmountable challenges in order to get to the top. They choose to risk their life, help others in their journey, and become indestructible in body and mind.

Those with a growth mindset excel with challenges. Challenges propel them forward towards their goals, it is the fuel that inevitably helps them rise to the top.

It is all about learning and taking positive action time and time again. No matter how far they fall, they continue to get back up to begin playing the game once more.

6. Love Takes You To The Top

Those with a growth mindset whom naturally love what they do, rise to the top more organically.

With some of them having no aspirations to go there, it is purely a spin-off from doing what they absolutely love and continuing to do so with all of their heart and soul even when faced with adversity and challenges.

7. Tenacity That Ignites

The tenacity forms part of their character and is an essential ingredient in becoming unstoppable. Giving up is not part of their vocabulary, they have a goal and won’t stop until they arrive.

Their tenacity is an essential ingredient to one’s success, without it one will falter, slip and inevitably fall to the lowest levels. This is what separates a novice from a champion.

Champions simply keep going, the man whom immediately springs to mind and defied all odds to become a 3 time Formula One Winner – Austrian born Andreas Nikolaus Lauda. Rush is one of my favorite movies for this very reason.

8. Massively Inspired By Others

Those with a growth mindset love to see others reach the echelons of success.

This add more fuel to their blazing fire that is alight within and helps them continue their journey. Watching others succeed liberates their soul as to the possibilities of life.

Their genuine happiness and excitement for others unwittingly attracts and returns success back to them. For one can never receive what they resent.

The bottom line is like all wonderful things in life it takes time just as day moves into night, the moon shines bright and the stars light up the sky.

In similar fashion, developing a growth mindset is based on your willingness and commitment to change your most powerful beliefs to wake up to become a new, better version of yourself. It is now your time to make that decision, so you can lead an incredible life tomorrow.

How to become an intentional learner for never-ending growth

Personal development is crucial to success. Success is not what you get but who you become. The only way to become more is to develop yourself through action and self-education, sitting around dreaming and wishing for success will not bring about change into your life, you have got to make a determined effort to grow as an individual. May these quotes inspire you to develop yourself as an individual by engaging in personal development on a daily basis so that you can make your dreams a reality.

1. “Personal development is the conscious choice to improve one’s life to become a better person and to grow as an individual.” Anonymous

2. “Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” Robin Sharma

3. “Look in the mirror that’s your competition.” Anonymous

4. “What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

5. “Income seldom exceeds personal development.” Jim Rohn

6. “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Gandhi

7. “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

8. “Personal development – the never ending chance to improve not only yourself but also attract opportunities and affect others.” Jim Rohn

9. “You will never influence the world by trying to be like it.” Anonymous

10. “The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday.” Anonymous

11. “Your job is to be the best that you can possibly be.” Brain Tracy

12. “Personal development is essential for a positive mindset, self-motivational, increasing self-belief and raising your standards.” Anonymous

13. “You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.” Henry David Thoreau

14. “Every time we push personal development aside, we invite personal struggle into our lives.” Hal Elrod

15. “Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” Jim Rohn

16. “Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.” Robin Sharma

17. “Personal development seperates you from the crowd.” ATGW

18. “If you want to get more, you must become more.” ATGW

19. “Life gets better whern we get better, life changes when we change.” ATGW

20. “Set a goal so big that you can’t achieve it until you grow into the person who can.” Zig Ziglar

21. “To grow yourself, start from knowing yourself.” Anonymous

22. “Personal development is the belief that you are worth the effort, time, and energy needed to develop yourself.” Denis Waitley

23. “An investment in your personal development is the best investment you can make.” Jim Rohn

24. “The best investment you can make is in yourself.” Warren Buffet

25. “Personal development is a major time-saver. The better you become, the less time it takes you to achieve your goals.” Brian Tracy

26. “Without continuous personal development, you are now all that you will ever become.” Eli Cohen

27. “You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight. If you want to reach your goals and fulfill your potential, become intentional about your personal growth. It will change your life.” Jim Rohn

28. “We can’t become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” Max DePree

29. “People don’t grow by accident, they grow by design. Design yourself. Design your future. Success never just happens.” Anonymous

30. “Personal development brings forth your greatness from within.” ATGW

31. “The greatest gift you can give to somebody is your own personal development.” Jim Rohn

32. “The longest journey is the journey inward.” Dag Hammarskjold

33. “If you want to become successful, you must first become the person who can be successful.” Anonymous

34. “To double your income and success, triple your investment in personal development and professional mastery.” Robin Sharma

Designing a mid-career talent development program.

Designing a mid-career talent development program.

Trainee programs for new recipients of bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD degrees have been around for years. Each year, organizations race toward campuses and grab hold of the recruits they consider best for their talent pool. Once in the program, the newly minted graduates are rotated through various functions and departments, interspersed with periodic training and mentoring. By the time people complete the one- or two-year program, they are expected to be fully ready and cultivated for the long haul within the company.

Entry-level programs are an integral part of talent-development strategies and often are the only effective bridge between academia and the business environment. They work quite well. But let’s say you are growing geographically and are struggling to hire enough people who align with your culture and expectations; or you have recently acquired another company and need to bring their leaders into your fold; or you are hiring a lot of people at mid-career who have not had the advantage of going through a formal entry-level program.

At GE, we have created mid-career leadership programs as one answer to these challenges. They support the growth of our talent pool, broaden the skill set, and shorten the promotion cycle.

Consider Jim Smith (not his real name) who joined GE after 10 years as a top-gun pilot in the U.S. Air Force. While he had his BA and MBA, he did not have business-world experience. Too senior for an early-career program, Jim was nominated to the Corporate Leadership Staff, one of our mid-career accelerator programs. For the first year and a half, he drove sales under the guidance of a veteran sales leader. He then spent a year in product development and after that, served on the shop floor as an operations leader. Each step of the way, he was given feedback and his next assignment was based on his biggest skill gap. At the end of three years, Jim had the knowledge, connections, and skills to be successful, and several business leaders were clamoring to hire him. He finally became a key account manager for one of our biggest clients.

We’ve learned several lessons as the Corporate Leadership Staff has evolved:

The employee’s development plan must be customized. An entry-level program can afford to treat everyone equally since most of the participants need the same set of skills. While mid-career programs possess common elements, they must also reflect a personalized approach so assignments can be crafted carefully to address each participant’s individual needs. For instance, one participant may need an international assignment because he or she has never experienced another culture, while another participant may need a shop-floor experience so that he or she learns to manage a large group of people.

Identifying the right “raw material” is essential. Prospective participants should already show signs of promise. Additional assessments and reference checks are needed beyond the regular talent review process.

Sponsorship of the program must come from the highest level. At GE, each of our eight big businesses has assigned a very senior leader who either heads a function or a business to be the sponsor of the mid-career programs. The sponsors ensure that the right candidates from the business are hired into each program, and they play a key role in ensuring that the participants get the most challenging assignments. They also see to it that the off-program assignment for the individual does justice to the investment in the individual. Such sponsorship ensures visibility and credibility of those in the program and positions them well with assignment leaders.

Development results from assignments, continuous 360-degree feedback, and close assignment coaching. Selecting the job the individual will benefit from, ensuring that there is constant feedback (often a 360), and coaching to shape the proper behavioral development makes the program an integrated, experiential opportunity for development in a short amount of time.

There are no guarantees. We have had some participants discover that the program is simply not for them and opt out. This is perfectly OK in our system; our company still continues to view such people as very valuable. When we feel that a person is not likely to graduate from the program into an executive role, the sponsor will still try to make sure that the individual is promoted into a key role in the business. That way, the person can still look at other options to grow and advance in his or her career.

Leadership is a never-ending growth opportunity, which is why we must always look to extend development in an intentional and deliberate way. As the world becomes more complex, accelerating the development of mid-career employees in a more intentional, structured fashion ensures that a company always has a bench of ready, trained, motivated, and high-performing talent at all times.

How to become an intentional learner for never-ending growth

Scott Barkley’s story about Jerry Vines’ enrolling in Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Ph. D program has inspired and motivated me – not to enroll in a Ph.D. program (it is doubtful I could be accepted), but to be a lifelong learner.

Dr. Vines graduated from Mercer University in 1959, the same year I enrolled at the school, and I am sure he must have graduated with honors. I graduated by the grace of God and with a great sigh of relief.

On a recent trip to the Blue Willow Inn, Dr. Vines told me about his venture back into academia. It did not surprise me, because I know he faithfully and consistently spends his mornings in study and is quite proficient in systematic theology, homiletics, ecclesiology, Koine Greek (the language in which the New Testament was originally written), and very likely in many other disciplines.

How to become an intentional learner for never-ending growthIndex Editor Gerald Harris wasn’t surprised when informed by Jerry Vines during lunch recently that the former First Baptist Jacksonville, FL pastor would begin Ph.D. classes at Southwestern Seminary. JERRY VINES MINISTRIES/Facebook

One of Dr. Vines’ first assignments is to read 5,000 pages of material as one of the requirements for his advanced degree. Since he is an avid reader, he is well into accomplishing that responsibility. And I agree with Southwestern President Paige Patterson who said, “I will be the most surprised man on earth if he does not write one of the finest dissertations ever.”

Dr. Vines has become a lifelong learner, which is not only the ongoing pursuit of knowledge for personal and professional reasons, but for believers a holy curiosity about the issues of life that really matter. Continuing to learn not only enhances personal development and receptivity, but mental alertness. My personal care physician has said to me that mental exercise is as important as physical exercise.

Albert Einstein once said, “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.” Industrialist Henry Ford commented, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.” Chef Julia Childs once remarked, “You’ll never know everything about anything, especially something you love.”

That is particularly true about things of a supernal and eternal nature, because now we see through a glass darkly. The earnest student is just getting his mind ready for the multifaceted vistas of knowledge that await him in glory.

For Christians teaching and learning are at the very heart of our faith. To be a “disciple” means to be a “learner.” In fact, God designed the church to be a community of lifelong learners and those who teach or preach must discipline themselves to be the best learners possible.

Learning is a never-ending process for the Christian. When the Apostle Paul wrote the epistle to the church at Philippi he was not a young man chronologically and he was a doomed man circumstantially, but in that letter he expressed his continual desire to “know Him” (Philippians 3:10). He wanted to learn all that he could about Christ and have an intimacy with Him.

I am convinced many Christians spend too much time in mindless trivia. There is a time for sports and certain television programs and surfing on the computer, but to permit those things to take up a significant amount of time militates against true learning.

On May 9, 1961 Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton Minow referred to American commercial television programming as a “vast wasteland.” If it was a “wasteland” then, it is a “cesspool” now.

According to the Daily News, the average American watches five hours of TV each day with those over 65 watching more than seven hours a day. Incidentally, that translates into three-and-a-half months a year of television viewing. When you add the time spent surfing the Internet and talking on smartphones, you have basically squandered a huge portion of your life in those mindless pursuits.

On the other hand, if you become a lifelong learner of biblical truth you will not be duped and deluded by the philosophies of this world. The Apostle Paul urged us to be “rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith … lest anyone takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:7-8).

Furthermore, a Christian who is a lifelong learner will live in spiritual contentment, for Christ said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29).

Finally, Proverbs 9:9 says, “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.”

How to become an intentional learner for never-ending growth

The truth is having a fixed mindset as the name implies, increases the limitations you have in your life.

Optimists believe the glass is half full whilst pessimists believe it’s empty. The same can be said for those with a fixed mindset vs a growth mindset.

The expert in mindset is Dr. Carol S. Dweck, a Stanford University psychologist. Dweck tells us that those with a fixed mindset firmly believe that intellect is static whilst those with a growth mindset strongly affirm that intellect evolves.

In Dweck’s book: ‘Mindset – Changing the way you think to fulfill your potential’. She explains the differences between the lives of those with a fixed mindset and growth mindset.

Developing A Growth Mindset

One’s mindset stems from our own set of powerful beliefs. Thankfully, beliefs can be changed when they no longer serve us or enable us to achieve our goals.

After decades of research on the mindset, Dweck explains that:

‘The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life’.

I would like to share with you the 8 tremendous techniques for developing a growth mindset.

1. Create A New Compelling Belief

Create a new compelling belief by believing your talents and skills can be honed by applying oneself.

It is your consistent effort and enjoyment of one’s chosen path in life that illuminates the road to mastery.

2. View Failure In A Different Light

Failure is the time to apply extra effort to significantly improve your results. Failure is what you do and understanding what you can learn from it. Remember, it is not who you are as a human being.

This quote says it all perfectly, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, a track and field athlete and Olympic gold medalist explains:

‘I derive just as much happiness from the process as from the results. I don’t mind losing as long as I see improvement. If I lose, I just back to the track and work some more’.

3. Sky Rocket Your Self-Awareness

Become acutely aware of your many gifts and talents. Fully comprehend your key strengths and weaknesses.

Ask others for feedback such as your closest friends, family members, boss and colleagues as they can offer slightly different views and give you an overall perspective on what to focus on and areas for development.

4. Become A Curious Learner

Act like a child does on a daily basis, live in wonderment and discover the beauty of life. Decide today, to continually focus on learning and growing.

Begin by asking more questions and being more curious about everyone you meet, the journey they have been on and what they can teach you.

For every person I have met, every experience I have had teaches me about the world, myself and others. It is one of the many delights within this world for the unquenchable thirst for knowledge helps me to move forward with undeniable gusto, unbounding love and provides the deepest sense of appreciation for those who have touched my heart.

5. Challenges Are Your New Best Friend

As in life, it is the never ending mountain ranges like the highest mountain in the world, Mauna Kea.

When one chooses to climb the mountain, they must overcome the insurmountable challenges in order to get to the top. They choose to risk their life, help others in their journey, and become indestructible in body and mind.

Those with a growth mindset excel with challenges. Challenges propel them forward towards their goals, it is the fuel that inevitably helps them rise to the top.

It is all about learning and taking positive action time and time again. No matter how far they fall, they continue to get back up to begin playing the game once more.

6. Love Takes You To The Top

Those with a growth mindset whom naturally love what they do, rise to the top more organically.

With some of them having no aspirations to go there, it is purely a spin-off from doing what they absolutely love and continuing to do so with all of their heart and soul even when faced with adversity and challenges.

7. Tenacity That Ignites

The tenacity forms part of their character and is an essential ingredient in becoming unstoppable. Giving up is not part of their vocabulary, they have a goal and won’t stop until they arrive.

Their tenacity is an essential ingredient to one’s success, without it one will falter, slip and inevitably fall to the lowest levels. This is what separates a novice from a champion.

Champions simply keep going, the man whom immediately springs to mind and defied all odds to become a 3 time Formula One Winner – Austrian born Andreas Nikolaus Lauda. Rush is one of my favorite movies for this very reason.

8. Massively Inspired By Others

Those with a growth mindset love to see others reach the echelons of success.

This add more fuel to their blazing fire that is alight within and helps them continue their journey. Watching others succeed liberates their soul as to the possibilities of life.

Their genuine happiness and excitement for others unwittingly attracts and returns success back to them. For one can never receive what they resent.

The bottom line is like all wonderful things in life it takes time just as day moves into night, the moon shines bright and the stars light up the sky.

In similar fashion, developing a growth mindset is based on your willingness and commitment to change your most powerful beliefs to wake up to become a new, better version of yourself. It is now your time to make that decision, so you can lead an incredible life tomorrow.

Last week we talked about potential, and how you can only reach it if you’re willing to grow. If you have dreams, goals, or aspirations, you need to grow to achieve them. But if you’re like most people, you have one or more mistaken beliefs about growth. These create a gap that keeps you from growing and reaching your potential. Take a look at the following eight misconceptions about growth that may be holding you back from being as intentional as you need to be.
1. The Assumption Gap—“I Assume That I Will Automatically Grow”

When we are children, our bodies grow automatically. A year goes by, and we become taller, stronger, more capable of doing new things and facing new challenges. I think many people carry into adulthood a subconscious belief that mental, spiritual, and emotional growth follows a similar pattern. The problem is that we don’t improve by simply living. We have to be intentional about it. No one improves by accident. Personal growth doesn’t just happen on its own. And once you’re done with your formal education, you must take complete ownership of the growth process, because nobody else will do it for you.

2. The Knowledge Gap—“I Don’t Know How to Grow”

When I became aware of my need to grow, I asked everyone around me if they had a plan for growth. I was hoping that somebody had figured this out and I could simply learn from him. Not one person said yes. Nobody in my world had a plan for growing and improving. I didn’t know how to grow, and neither did they. Fortunately, a way to grow was presented to me, and I jumped at the chance to do it. Don’t let lack of knowledge keep you from growth. Resources are out there, if you take the time to look for them.

3. The Timing Gap—“It’s Not the Right Time to Begin”

American politician Frank Clark said, “What great accomplishments we’d have in the world if everybody had done what they intended to do.” Most people don’t act as quickly as they should on things. They find themselves subject to the Law of Diminishing Intent, which says, “The longer you wait to do something you should do now, the greater the odds that you will never actually do it.”

The reality is that you will never get much done unless you go ahead and do it before you are ready. If you’re not already intentionally growing, you need to get started today. If you don’t, you may reach some goals, which you can celebrate, but you will eventually plateau. Once you start growing intentionally, you can keep growing and keep asking “What’s next?”

4. The Mistake Gap—“I’m Afraid of Making Mistakes”

Growing can be a messy business. It means admitting you don’t have the answers. It requires making mistakes. It can make you look foolish. Most people don’t enjoy that. But that is the price of admission if you want to improve.

If you want to grow, you need to get over any fear you may have of making mistakes. As author and professor Warren Bennis asserts, “A mistake is simply another way of doing things.” To become intentional about growing, expect to make mistakes every day, and welcome them as a sign that you are moving in the right direction.

5. The Perfection Gap—“I Have to Find the Best Way Before I Start”

Similar to the Mistake Gap is the Perfection Gap, the desire to find the “best” way to get started in a growth plan. When we’re presented with the idea of a growth plan, we often go looking for the best way. But that has it backward. You have to get started if you want to find the best way. It’s similar to driving on an unfamiliar road at night. Ideally, you’d like to be able to see your whole route before you begin. But you see it progressively. As you move forward, a little more of the road is revealed to you. If you want to see more of the way, then get moving.

6. The Inspiration Gap—“I Don’t Feel Like Doing It”

When it was suggested that I needed to be intentional about growing, I had thousands of reasons not to do it. I didn’t have the time, the money, the experience, and so on. I had only one reason to do it: I hoped it would make a difference. That certainly didn’t feel inspirational. But I started. To my astonishment, after a year of dedicated growth, my reason for putting in the work changed from getting started to staying with it, because it did make a difference. After that, I didn’t want to miss a single day!

You may not feel inspired to aggressively pursue a growth plan if you haven’t started yet. If that’s the case, please trust me when I say that the reasons to keep growing far outweigh the reasons to start growing. And you only discover the reasons to stay with growth if you stick with it long enough to start reaping the benefits. So make a commitment to yourself to start and stick with it for at least twelve months. If you do, you will fall in love with the process, and you will be able to look back at the end of that year and see how far you’ve come.

7. The Comparison Gap—“Others Are Better Than I Am”

The first ten years that I was intentionally pursuing personal growth, I was always behind trying to catch up. I sought a lot of outside input, which meant I was spending time with people much farther ahead of me in growth. I often felt like I was in over my head and trying to swim. Despite that, I was encouraged. Why? Because I discovered that great people were willing to share their ideas. And I was learning so much. You can learn only if others are ahead of you. I had to get over the comparison gap. I had to learn to become comfortable with being out of my comfort zone. It was a difficult transition, but it was well worth it.

8. The Expectation Gap—“I Thought it Would Be Easier Than This”

I don’t know any successful person who thinks growth comes quickly and climbing to the top is easy. It just doesn’t happen. People create their own luck. How? Here’s the formula:

Preparation (growth)
+ Attitude
+ Opportunity
+ Action (doing something about it)
= Luck

It all starts with preparation. Unfortunately, that takes time. But here’s the best news. As Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” If you want to reach your goals and fulfill your potential, become intentional about personal growth. It will change your life.