This blog entry is about getting SMARTER … and I take poetic license by stating that smart does not just mean intelligent. To me a smart person is “intelligent enough”, but they also have “street smarts”, they can read “between the lines”, they can bring “more” to the table than JUST knowledge. Having said all of that, it IS critical to work at increasing your knowledge. The world is changing around us, so if we stand still we are becoming less relevant every day.
So … what can YOU do to help yourself?
1. Read. My blog entry from 2010 just about says it all. Reading is a great way to stay current, keeps you a more interesting person and stimulates your brain.
2. Exercise Your Brain. Your job may exercise your brain, but like any exercise if you do the same thing all the time then you are not getting a “total brain” workout. Try doing crosswords, logic puzzles, sudoku etc. to push your brain in ways you don’t normally “exercise” it on a daily basis.
3. Invest in Education. Courses, certifications, advanced degrees etc. You are never too old to be learning, and the effort required to grow in this way will keep you relevant!
4. Online knowledge. Find and subscribe to interesting websites, blogs and sources of information. (1) Wharton’s free newsletter, (2) Executive Book Summaries, (3) the Ideas Database… are just three of the places I go to gather ideas, and knowledge and exercise my brain!
5. Mentors and Advisors. I have written a blog entry about ADVICE and perhaps sometimes you get what you pay for, particularly when most advice is given freely! With that in mind find people that you can learn from … Hint #1: one person will not have everything you are looking for; Hint#2 Age is not always an indicator of good experience, and that works both ways. I have met young people that have taught me a lot and older people who “don’t know nuthin'”!
Everything in life comes with a price … your decision is whether you are willing to make the effort (pay the price) to get smarter!
Learning is not a product of schooling but the lifelong attempt to acquire it… Albert Einstein.