Doctors of optometry and ophthalmology attend classes either online or in person to keep up with the latest advances in eye care. These classes reward attendees with the continuing education units they need to keep their certification.
In addition to CE, what others kinds of learning or just reading do you do? Like most people, work takes precedence over everything else—that includes reading. Yet, people such as Benjamin Franklin and Warren Buffett would take time out of their day to read.
“Reading?” You must be saying now. “That’s so low tech.” Yes, it isn’t as flashy as learning the latest treatment or diagnostic technique. Still taking the time each day to read, either the newspaper or a book, doesn’t just make you a well-rounded person. It allows for what chess grandmaster and world-champion martial artist Josh Waitzkin calls “empty space”. This allows for thoughts other than those related to the business to develop. From those thoughts you can improve both your life and your business.
Personal study can lead to good outcomes. Take Benjamin Franklin, he made it a point to invest an hour of deliberate learning and here is what he was able to accomplish:
• Invented the lightening rod and glass armonica (a musical instrument that makes music through rubbing your hands over the rims of wet glass)
• Was postmaster of the 13 colonies
• Author of Poor Richard’s Almanack and his autobiography
• Was a delegate to the Continental Congress
• Founded the American Philosophical Society, an organization dedicated to cultivating knowledge in order to improve the colonies
• Founded the Philadelphia Contributionship, a property insurance company that is still in business.
• Just to name a few.
Could he have done all those things without allowing for time to seek knowledge and to reflect upon it? There is more to life than just crossing off items on a To Do list. As Stephen Covey urged in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, take time to sharpen the saw. One way to do that is to set aside time for learning, reflecting upon what you learned, and trying out new ideas based on what you learned. While not every new idea will work, testing them out is another way to learn. Even if an idea is unsuccessful, if you understand why it did not work, you will learn something.
Yes, it is possible to keep doing the same things over and over and not suffer any ill effects. However, if you want to improve your life and business, you need to take time to learn.