Are You Really Learning Much?

If you learn something, and then do it, and keep doing it; and then you learn something else, and then do that, and keep doing it, and then you keep repeating this pattern… I just want you to know I come really close to envying you.

For those of us who are native non-techiesyou know, born in time to see the Beatles live on Ed Sullivan the night it actually happenedwe have a disadvantage. We did not learn while we were still young how to keep doing new things, tackling new technologies.

I, like so many others, never did learn how to program my digital video recorder. If I wanted to record something, I had to be in front of the television, and hit record as the program started.

A few months ago, my wife’s coffee pot died.  She gave me very clear instructions: “Find me a pot with an on-off switch. Nothing else. No digital timing programming thingy – just an on-off switch.”

In other words, we learned how to do something, and then it pretty much never changed on us. Life was so much simpler… so easy to manage.

Not anymore. About the time I get used to one operating system on my iPhone, they (the evil “they”) change it… again!

I think that the younger digital natives kind of learn to live this way: learn something, do it, keep doing it, now learn something else new; repeat.

Now, my problem is kind of the classic “knowing-doing gap” problem.

I have presented synopses of many business books, and I probably look for a quote or two from a specific book handout nearly every day.

I have had a humbling realization lately. I will be scrolling through my book handouts and see one for a book that I “remember.” And, time after time, this is my discovery: “You know, I read this. And I was going to do ________ after reading this book.  And, I never quite got into the habit.” 

In other words, I did not truly learn what I thought I had learned.

This hit me recently as I glanced at my handout for the terrific book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. He wrote:

Sticking to the people we already know is a tempting behavior. But unlike some forms of dating, a networker isn’t looking to achieve only a single successful union. Creating an enriching circle of trusted relationships requires one to be out there, in the mix, all the time.

And I remember thinking, “I’ve got to get out there and meet people more. Network more. Get in the mix.”

I presented this book in 2006.  That “decision” to get out there more had fallen by the wayside.

In other words, I read it.  I can tell you why it’s important. But I haven’t done itcertainly not enough.

What have you learned that you have allowed to fall by the wayside?  Time to get back at it!

So, get back at it!

Randy Mayeux

Contributed by:
Randy Mayeux
Professional Speaker & Writer
Co-founder, First Friday Book Synopsis

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