Feeling stuck? Here are 3 ways to remain proactive about your personal development

Quote from Always Improving: Lessons from the samurai

If you have been out of school for a few years at least, you have probably figured out that learning new things is now up to you.

It is necessary to take a proactive approach toward continual learning, if you don’t, it simply won’t happen. Your employer will likely only provide mandatory learning around things that are compliance driven.

When you receive your reviews from your boss, there is most likely cryptic language embedded in there around what you need to do in order to improve. Seldom is there any kind of suggestions and road maps for you to actually figure this out easily.

And so, given this truth, I have taken a much more proactive approach to my own #personaldevelopment. I do my best to always be learning something new, #alwaysimproving upon my current situation.

When we aren’t moving forward and learning new things, it is common to start feeling stuck in your current situation. You feel like there is no way out of where you are at, the feelings of doom overtake you.

But, there is a few simple things that we can all do to keep the learning journey going and to help us stay unstuck.

1) Take time to regularly reflect on your current situation

There is a practice that I like to use called #hansei. It is a Japanese word that when interpreted in English means “reflection; reconsideration; introspection; meditation; contemplation”.  We need to take time to regularly reflect on how we are moving through each day. This will allow us to look for ways to improve upon the next one, and we set ourselves up for future success.

2) Be intentional about taking breaks

Working without taking regular breaks can leave us feeling stuck for sure. It blinds us from other opportunities that are around us. Consider the metaphor of a man cutting down a tree. He is swinging his ax furiously at the trunk of a tree. 

Seeing that he isn’t making much progress his friend walks over and says “Maybe stop and sharpen your ax to make the job easier.”

The man responds by saying “I can’t stop, I am too busy chopping down this tree.” 

Schedule regular breaks in your days, weeks, months and years to ensure that you open your mind up to different ways of doing things.

3) Don’t just focus on problem solving, consider problem prevention

I have lost count of how often employers reward their employees for solving problems and going to heroics to meet a deadline or milestone. What I don’t hear a lot of is, being rewarded for finding ways to prevent problems from happening in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, I have spent the last two decades of my career solving problems and mentoring/teaching others how to solve problems. 

But the instances where we find opportunities to prevent future problems doesn’t get enough attention in my opinion. When we do this we are looking for different ways of doing things as well. The focus is a little different than 2), but the overall goal of learning new things is the same.

These are just a few of the ways that I am intentional about my learning. Sometimes it opens up my mind to the possibility that I need some focused learning like a course or coaching. Other times it shows me that there are some books that I need to read. 

If you would like to read a book that talks a little bit more about this topic of continual learning, consider my new book “Always Improving: Lessons from the samurai” available on Amazon in paperback and ebook formats. Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B9HR5V92

Maybe you are looking for some coaching around this topic or around the topic of Work:Life Harmony, reach out I may be able to help you.

I’m looking for 5 individuals who want to be a part of a Case Study where you will learn how to build more #worklifeharmony with me.

Step by step we’ll walk through the process together. It’s simple and it works. This isn’t a DIY self-paced course, this is going to be live 1:1 and group calls. We will be using my book “Always Improving: Lessons from the samurai” as a reference and a text book.

We start on Oct 3, 2022 and will be finished before American Thanksgiving. Reach out to me for more details.

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