At a certain point most of us stop seeking out opportunities to learn. We become complacent in our jobs, our families, our hobbies (if we have any) and simply let life happen to us.
It's not to say that we stop learning altogether. Kolb's Model tells us that learning happens by experiences. By simply experiencing life we are learning, but there is a difference between letting life happen and intentionally seeking out experiences that will help us grow.
Bob from Target was definitely an experience seeker. He had been working at Target for 38 years when I met him. He had gone through every training and employee development program Target had to offer. Heck, he probably helped create most of them. It wasn't enough for Bob.
He approached Target's C-Suite board as a 60-year old man and said, "I want you to send me to Harvard." They laughed. When they saw Bob, a normally affable man, wasn't smiling, they quieted down. A few months later, Bob was enrolled in Harvard's summer business leader program along with 100 other eager, 22 year old graduates about to start their first job.
Bob loves to learn. A love of learning isn't unique to Bob, it's in our human nature. For most of us, we simply shroud that nature with the comfortability of routine and structure. We forget what it felt like to go twenty feet on our bicycle for the first time, bake a dessert we've never seen before, or Google a question about outer-space we know there isn't an answer to.
Stop letting life get in the way of your learning. Start letting learning give you life again.
Make a "to learn" list. Tackle one thing a week.
Do you self-identify as a "learner?" If not, what is preventing you from making that a part of your identity?
"As the area of our knowledge grows, so too does the perimeter of our ignorance."
- Neil deGrasse Tyson