I recently read The Third Door by Alex Banayan – his personal quest to uncover how the most powerful people in the world got their start. One of the interviews that resonated with me most was his encounter with Pitbull. In the book, Banayan quotes Pitbull as saying that the key to his success is his continual desire to learn.
Even at the height of his career, Pitbull volunteered himself as an intern to someone from whom he wanted to learn. He believes that we’re called to put education ahead of our pride, even when we think we’re at the top of our game. Pitbull tells Banayan that the moment we get comfortable is the moment we begin to fail.
For me, this was one of the most profound moments of the book. I’m a do-er. I’m highly focused on my own output: how much I’m writing, how much I’m selling, how much I’m creating. I talk a lot and forget to listen. I do, and I forget to observe. The fact that megastar producer and musician can prioritize time for curiosity and growth was a poignant reminder to me the importance of slowing down for the sake of self-improvement.
If you’re a do-er like me (or even if learning comes naturally to you!), here are five ways I’ve come to create space for learning in my life:
take an online course
I have recently become obsessed with online courses. I highly recommend doing your research about the teacher – read about their industry experience and previous customer reviews – but if you find the right person, I’m convinced that the best way to learn is from someone who is actually practicing the thing they are teaching. And – you can do it from the comfort of your own home! My friends at The Everygirl just launched their online courses centered around photoshop and landing your dream job. Check them out!
join an email blast
This is one of my favorite ways to learn a little bit each day. I love signing up for daily email blasts that offer a sliver of knowledge about a specified subject. If you’re an Enneagram fan, I’m currently subscribed to EnneaThought for the day. For vocabulary fiends, I love Merriam Webster’s Word of the Day. Email blasts are a microscopic way to build lasting knowledge in an extremely busy social climate.
listen to audiobooks
Like many people, I maintain (for better or for worse) a demanding schedule and a brisk pace during the day. I found myself having so little time to read – and then, I discovered audiobooks (okay, okay – I’m behind!). But seriously, audiobooks are a great way to learn on the go – as you’re walking, on a commute, on the treadmill. Audiobooks and podcasts can slide easily into a busy schedule. Here are a few educational podcasts.
shadow or intern
People who love what they do will typically love sharing it with others. I am a total advocate for approaching colleagues, friends, and family with the request to shadow for a day or the offer to lend your services as a part time/temporary intern. The do-er in me responds best to hands-on learning. Whenever I have the chance to participate or be around the activity, I’m thrilled. I love learning from and watching people who are passionate about what they do, and I love teaching people who are interested in what I love.
summits and workshops
Admittedly, I’ve yet to attend a summit, but it’s on my list! I have read about so many cool summits and retreats recently – they’re a great way to connect with like-minded people and learn from industry leaders. Create and Cultivate holds summits multiple times a year with top-notch speakers. Yellow Co. holds another great, socially conscious summit for female entrepreneurs. Whatever your niche or desired area of learning, there will definitely be a workshop or summit for you!