Leonardo Da Vinci once said “Learning never exhausts the mind” — a wise insight from a famous artist and inventor.

Some days, it may even seem too exhausting to learn anything. We’ve all had those days right?

However, it is our approach and our mindset for learning that determines how much we actually learn. So today, how are you going to show up as a learner?

Will you show up as “blocked learner” – closed to learning new skills, not open to feedback, lacking curiosity (“there is nothing I can learn here attitude”). Recently, I met someone like this who believed there was nothing new they could learn. Between you and me, they really came across as a ‘know it all’ and it was a conversation peppered with a ‘comfortable-with the-every-day-not open-to-new-approaches attitude’. I found it difficult to listen to. They came across as rather narrow in their ability to challenge themselves and the excuses for lack of performance in a certain area seemed to be always linked to someone else. ‘Not my fault’ –Interesting.

However, I can’t say I’ve never had a day like that either.

What most of us don’t realise is that when we show up as blocked in our learning we are actually self-sabotaging our career and our personal brand in our careers and at the very least our connections with the people around us. If we have a poor attitude to learning, then how can we possibly expect to be promoted /to grow our business/to be understood or to be recognised as someone who is an expert.

Alternatively, will you show up as someone who is eager to learn no matter the agenda for the day or the activities. Will you seek ways to improve yourself today- what will those ways be? Will you look for and encourage positive criticism? Are you trying to learn to have multiple perspectives from your team, colleagues, customers? Are you really listening?

Another famous inventor, Albert Einstein said “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned at school” – Wise. Education is lifelong and we can learn something every day if we apply ourselves.

Well I know which learner I am going to try to be today!

Some questions to get you thinking about how you are learning?


Question 1:

Are you in a comfort zone (or as Bear Gryllis calls is a comfort pit)?

You say things like “It’s what we have always done” – you feel stuck, bored almost. Time to get uncomfortable – it’s where the learning is.

Question 2:

How are people reacting to you today?

Do they look bored? Apathetic? Too quiet?

Tuning in with emotional intelligence will help you understand if the audience is tired of your message. Suggestion: Change it up. Listen more. Get challenged. Try a new approach.

Question 3:

Are you world class at engaging people?

I find when I am fully engaged I fully learn. How are you engaging people in conversation to learn more, what is the quality of your questions and more importantly how would you rate your listening?

Question 4:

When was the last time you read anything from something you wouldn’t normally read?

Be it a business journal, book, newspaper etc. When was the last time you challenged this?

Recently I read Edith Eiger’s “The Choice” – what a read! And it really challenged me personally and professionally to reframe some ‘challenges’.

I’ll leave the final word to Edith who said:

The 3 C’s in life: Choice, Chance, Change. You must make the choice, to take the chance, if you want anything in life to change.” – Words to live by.

Keep it real.


P.S. What are your thoughts? Would like to here your comments.

Are you ready to shift gears?

Sign up to receive articles exclusive to our subscribers!