YKK Stories

2019-11-18 Issue 123 – Fundamental Behavior 21 – Be a lifelong learner

November 18, 2019
Author: YKK
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I’m a big believer in the importance of lifelong learning.  There is always something new to learn and our learning journeys should never come to an end.  To prepare for this opportunity to write this message, I read the previous four messages about this Fundamental Behavior.  All had great stories that made you reflect on your own life journeys.  I visited the internet to learn how others viewed this topic.  I found many powerful motivational quotes that people have shared for any number of reasons.  Many are placed on social media to inspire others and define our values.  Some end up on posters in our offices for a daily refresher of what’s important.  Everyone should develop a passion and willingness to learn. There are no time or age restrictions on learning.

Like most, I try to learn at least one new thing every day.  You would think that if I had accomplished this, after 60+ years I would have learned 21,900+ new things.  I should be a genius!  Although in today’s world, if you learn one new thing a day, you are falling behind.  Michel Legrand said, “The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”  How true!

As much as it should be enjoyable, learning can also be challenging. For example, if we fail, it can be hard to pick ourselves back up without help.   As far as our goals go, we even tend to underestimate ourselves and set the bar too low.  These things and more can hinder our development of a passion for lifelong learning.  Those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers, shakers and winners in our society.

At this point in my career, one of my main goals is to foster the desire for learning in those around me and give strength to overcome any of the challenges. One thing that I learned is that if you wish for others to learn, you need to involve them in the process.  Telling someone or even teaching someone in a classroom does not always work.  You don’t learn to walk by verbal instruction.  You learn by doing, and by falling over.  I have two sons who have had and continue to have both enjoyable and challenging learning experiences.  As a parent, I may have picked them up when I should have stood back and vice versa.  You can always second guess any decision.  This is where the other 24 Fundamental Behaviors surface.  They are all linked together.  For every challenge that comes around, there are Fundamental Behaviors that can help to ensure that the right lesson is learned.  Let’s all commit to foster those around us with the behavioral tools needed to make good choices. Lifelong Learning is much more enjoyable when the right lessons are learned.

Jim Maguire
YKK Canada Inc.