Why Just Keep Learning?

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This episode will help you own your big dreams by removing imposter syndrome. 

Now bear with me. This one might be a bit of a beast. I mean, it makes sense. Because this concept will be an entire book someday. But I’ll do my best to keep it short.

We may or may not achieve our dreams. We can’t control the results. But what we can do is refuse to give up on our dreams. No matter how many things happen. No matter how much time passes. 

No matter how close, or how far we are to the finish line, we can keep going. We never know when it will come true. So in the mean time all we can do is follow the path and Keep Learning. 

So Why Did I Create Just Keep Learning?

Take a moment and think about what learning is. Not just for one second, give yourself maybe a minute to think of what learning means.
Close your eyes and think about everything that comes to mind with the term learning. What is the definition? How does it work? More importantly, what does it mean to you? Do you like it? Do you hate it? 

I would be interested in knowing what you actually think about. So if you can, please share.  Learning is a huge part of my life and becoming a bigger part every day.

By using the concepts and values of Just Keep Learning we will be better off in everything we do. But, it all starts with asking ourselves that one question. What is learning?

Thank YOU, Next

We can learn from everyone and everything. We’ll never have it all figured out. Our goal could be to build a massive company. So we get started, build it up to a $2 Billion exit and celebrate. Then, what do we do next? We take on the next thing, we keep learning. On the contrary, maybe we failed. Maybe it didn’t work out, we lost all of our money and had to lay everyone off. After we are finished, the world doesn’t stop. It’s just time to say thank you, what’s next? All that is ever left is to keep learning. Funny as it is, we can learn a lot from Ariana Grande’s song ‘Thank You Next’. Considering it’s a break up song, t’s a sneaky good wisdom track too.
Not to bore with all of the lyrics, but check out a few to see what I mean: 

She taught me love

She taught me patience 

How she handles pain

I’ve loved and I’ve lost 

But that’s not what I see

I’ve learned from the pain. Thank you, Next

We could classify something “good” or “bad” if we need to. But we don’t need to.
The belief that every relationship and interaction is a great opportunity to learn is the right attitude. Thank you for what you taught me, now who will I learn from next?

Being open to that next failure, that next relationship, that next opportunity to learn. What her song does to take it further is show that self-reflection is important. Ariana makes it even better by being brave enough to share it with the world.

Maybe it’s about just not growing up!

There is a tremendous upside in the concept of “I don’t know”.
As children, we are constantly figuring things out. I have this in front of my face daily with my own children. What’s incredible to witness is how they just continue to learn. Literally falling down nine times and getting up ten. Or asking question after question with no fear of being judged. Kids are scientists one hundred percent of their days.
So when, and why does that stop?

Either way, the more we can adopt a child-like mindset throughout our life the better we will be. Being a kid releases all of the tension in our muscles. It removes that low-grade anxiety we feel when we’re not sure if we are making progress, or if the competition is beating us. Ultimately it affords us a sense of wonder to say “I don’t know, but let’s keep figuring it out”. It may seem silly to think of this idea of never growing up, as though we’re preaching like Peter Pan, but it’s true. The more we can bring ourselves back to those days of play when it comes to our current desires, the more effective our learning will be.

Why do we learn compared to why we need education?

Learning is not finite in any sense, but education is. This is one of my biggest concerns with school today. Even great, well-versed teachers can become hyper-focused on things like goals, curriculum, textbooks, and reports. To say “school is broken” might be “sensationalizing the concern”, but there is definitely a lot of wasted time and energy. When I think of being an “educator” it was something that used to make me proud. Now I want to get as far away from that term as possible. Education as an institution has proven time and time again to take agency away from students, which is the opposite of learning.

We need to focus on learning far beyond the walls of a classroom, or school. It is better to think of learning as a massive interconnected process between phenomena, subjects and personal abilities. We need to think of learning as a process, but we are at a point where talking about it is no longer enough. We can learn anything, from anyone, anywhere, at any time, so the thing to figure out then becomes how? While I’m a bit stuck on the practical next steps, I do know that it starts with one big question. It starts with getting together with anyone who cares and asking what is learning for?

Now how does this help to eliminate imposter syndrome? If one person has achieved what you want, then it’s possible for you too. When this topic comes up I love to point people to the life of Eric Thomas. Long before he became a multi-millionaire and brought inspiration to the world, E.T The Hip Hop Preacher was a homeless teenager who didn’t know how to read. Once he unlocked a growth mindset his message, his learning, and his business went straight to the moon. 

Recognizing how many people are learning in this world is fascinating. It is also a great way to appreciate that leveling up ourselves is where we should focus our energy.

It’s always gotta be you vs you. Seriously, it’s true. Try this short exercise:

There are 8 Billion People in the world. Think of anything you would like to learn. It could be fitness, poetry, or sleeping. It doesn’t matter. Now, shut your eyes and picture a massive ladder with 8 Billion Rungs. The top rung is for the best person in the world. The bottom rung is for the worst. At the very bottom of the ladder is no expertise and at the very top is the super skilled, best in the world. 

Where do you think you sit on that ladder? Which rung are you on? How many people are well below you? Hint: the answer is a lot. Now, how many people are above you? Believe me, the answer is also a lot. Most of us are somewhere in the middle, and waiting until we are at the end, BUT, this end will never come. So, if we are thinking, hmmm when will I have made it? When am I a great filmmaker, or athlete, or musician, we will always have that wondering. Instead, understand that working toward the end of the continuum, literally forever is the actual goal!

Adam Sandler won’t stop.
Kobe didn’t stop.
Taylor swift won’t stop.

Three legends who will never reach that end goal. And neither will we. There will always be people stronger, and people weaker than you. So just keep working wherever you are.

This is even more interesting is if you do think of it for multiple skills. Every one of us is climbing a ton of different ladders. I’m getting better at fitness, parenting, podcasting, storytelling, business and music to name a few.

Say you are an auto mechanic, who would love to play guitar but has never tried. When you shut your eyes and think of working on cars you are somewhere in the upper range of the world ladder. When you shut your eyes and think of playing guitar you probably picture being lower on the ladder. There is only one person who is the best in the world, and there is only one person who is the worst in the world. Everyone else, all the rest of us stand somewhere in between. Like Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi popularized, the more often we get into a flow state the quicker we climb this ladder. The key is to get lost in the process, as opposed to results. No Past, No Future. Just what I need to do now. And you will begin to climb past people on that ladder super fast, without even noticing.Begin to appreciate learning, without any focus on results. Use feedback, data observation, and reflection AT specific times. Oh, AND, Just keep learning.

Send In Your Questions

If you have any topics you’d love to discuss on the show, just let us know.

So there ya have it, here is the first solo show, I just wanted to lay the foundation for why these exist and what they will be.

Stay tuned for the next episode where we take a deep dive into what “Just Keep Learning” means, how it came to be, and why living the JKL Mindset is the most important life shift any of us can make.
It can be kind of fun to keep up with this from the beginning, so if you know anyone who may like these style episodes, please do pass it along.

All the best, and remember, Just Keep Learning!

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