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A Habit of Continuous Learning

Thomas Huxley talks about learning as I talk about continuous learning

Dear Reader,

January is on the downhill slide into February. For a lot of us – yes us – that means that New Year’s Resolutions have been abandoned like so many empty Ben & Jerry’s containers. I’m 51 years old now and have yet to have a New Year’s Resolution last longer than the end of February. Maybe I’m just doing them wrong, but if I am, I know a lot of people who are as well.

This year though, I have a goal – not a resolution – to learn something new every month. My goal is to start a habit of Continuous Learning.  Honestly, this isn’t just a vanity thing, in our industry, if you aren’t continuously learning then you are quickly left behind.

Here is how I am developing my habit of continuous learning.

 

Read more

When I was growing up, Jr-high through the end of highschool I read around 300 books. 6 years, 52 weeks a year, that’s roughly one book a week. Ok, so most of them were pulp science fiction, I read them none the less. These days life is a bit more hectic than when I was in school, reading however, is still important to me. I’m not sure who said it but I saw a tweet once “Great writers read a lot”. (I tweeted that recently, but I do not claim it as original)

More than just to improve my writing though, I learn a lot by reading. So I’ve set myself a goal of 1 book per month. I just finished January’s book “The Lost Tribe of Cony Island”. Most of the books I read are not software or marketing related. (My two favorite business topics) I do  lot of research during the day on two two topics, my reading is to diversify my thinking and broaden my horizons.

 

Nomad*

No, this isn’t an ad for Nomad PHP or Nomad JavaScript, but they are an important part of my plan so I’ll mention them. I will attend – and pay attention – at each meeting. Nomad* meetings give me a chance to learn from the best in the industry. I have a bad habit thought that I have to break. When attending a Nomad* meeting, I tend to tune out and work on email or something until it’s my turn again. Part of my habit of continuous learning will be to pay attention during these meetings.  To help me do that, I am going to take notes about what I learn. I find that I retain a lot more of what I learn if I write it down at least once.

 

Get involved locally

I am part of the leadership of Nashville PHP. Nashville however, has 30+ tech groups. Each of them can teach me something new. So it is my goal to attend a different User Group here locally each month in additional to Nashville PHP.

 

Continuous Learning

All of these activities are designed to do one thing, help me learn more and help me learn continuously. Doing them regularly will help me develop my habit of Continuous Learning. That habit will carry my career farther than just about anything I can think of.

 

Until next time,
I <3 |<
=C=

Photo Credit:
Kathy Schrock

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