What Can You Learn Today?

Are you open to thinking and learning? “Wake up every day and look forward to learning something new.” 

So recommends Virgin CEO Sir Richard Branson in his blog, followed by the question, What have you learned today?  I like the notion of flipping the question around, and taking a few seconds at the start of yet another full day to ask myself, What will I learn today?

For the cynic or bemusedly flippant in some of us who must struggle in resisting the tendency to respond with a pithy suggestion on learning how to win the lottery, here’s another approach.

Ask yourself, What can I learn today? or How will I learn today?

It’s a fact that many among us live lives that are ridiculously hectic at times, and assistants deal with multiple demands on our time, let alone energy, at both home and office. If this is a fair reflection of your reality, you may or may not have either the desire or capacity to engage in formal studies. Consider, though, the relative luxury implied in being able to start one’s day with an openness to learning rather than a struggle for survival. Keep in mind, too, that learning need not always imply a structured approach that requiresThe Thinker copyright Shelagh Donnelly solitary effort, a la Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker.

Learning can take multiple forms which may include reading, listening and application of critical thinking.  You just might choose to be the proverbial old dog learning a new social media (or other) trick or two from a colleague who is junior to you in more sense than one, or you may acquire new insights from your boss or a counterpart whose expertise you’d not previously considered relevant.

Whether it takes place on a personal or professional level, learning implies openness to considering and assessing new or opposing ideas; the outcome may be unchanged in that you may well discard another perspective, but after due consideration rather than by automatic rejection. If you’re receptive to this notion, it may be interesting to incorporate a new approach for the next week or so. Tuck  some variation of the question, What will I learn today? somewhere in your morning routine; see how that frames your day, and your openness to learning.

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