Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever.”
Though he likely meant that this applied to everyone, the second part of this statement couldn’t be truer in business settings as constantly learning new things can help increase your professional success potential.
3 types of learning
Well-known business coach and motivational speaker Brian Tracy is an advocate of lifelong learning and states that there are three basic kinds of education. Additionally, the type of information you take in via each one serves a different, yet valuable purpose.
For instance, some fairly constant level of learning is required in order to stay up-to-date in your field, says Tracy. He calls this maintenance learning and shares that it’s much like exercise in that it “will keep you in shape.” Except, in this case, it is your mind that will stay fit versus your body.
The second type of learning, according to Tracy, is growth learning and involves expanding on your current skillset and knowledge. In chiropractic specifically, this could be by learning a new technique or discovering new ways to treat a demographic you don’t typically treat in your office (such as children, seniors, or athletes).
Tracy says that the third type of learning is shock learning and is when you learn a piece of information that is opposite of what you understand at the moment. This is sometimes the case when a new study reveals contradictory information to what you may have traditionally been taught.
All three types of learning are important and can help you become more successful as a DC. So, what can you do to become a lifelong learner, better utilizing all three kinds of education?
How to become a lifelong learner
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to constantly be in pursuit of maintenance, growth, and shock materials. Here are a few options to consider.
1. Subscribe to industry publications
Staying current in chiropractic (meeting your goal as a maintenance learner) can be accomplished simply by subscribing to any website, journal, or news-related publication that is likely to reveal any changes or updates in the field. Of course, Chiropractic Economics is definitely one to consider, but there are other options as well, such the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine or Chiropractic & Manual Therapies.
2. Read books…regularly
In his blog Rich Habits, Tom Corley, author of a book by the same name, reveals that, after studying self-made millionaires, he found that 85 percent of them read at least two books every month. Also, some of the books most read were career-related, self-help or psychological in nature, related to current events, or were biographies of those who have achieved higher levels of success. That’s why Corley suggests that you devote at least 30 minutes every day to reading.
If you’re interested in the self-help variety, some of the books on his recommended reading list include:
- The Power of Your Subconscious Mind
- Release Your Brakes
- 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth
- The Science of Happiness
3. Listen to podcasts
If you’re not really a reader or simply don’t have much time to sit down with a journal or book, you can also continuously gain knowledge by listening to podcasts. This enables you to take in information when you’re in the car, working out, or otherwise able to devote some brain-based attention to learning without keeping you from other, more physical actions.
For instance, Chiropractic Economics offers The Future Adjustment podcast series, but there are also several others as well. Do a quick search and you’ll likely find one that you’ll enjoy listening to over time.
4. Watch TED talks
It’s pretty difficult to watch a TED talk and not learn something new, even if it’s just a new perspective or different way of looking at things. There are literally thousands to choose from and you can easily search them on their website if there’s a particular topic you’d like to learn more about. Or, if you’re not sure what you’d like to see, you may also want to watch one of the top 25 most popular TED talks of all time.
5. Take online classes
Thanks to the Internet, we’re no longer limited by our geographical location as many educational courses are now available online. Even if they aren’t directed specifically to chiropractic, as long as it’s something that you’re interested in, you’re bound to learn some piece of information that can potentially help you later in life. One of the most well-known free online course providers is Coursera, but there are several, so just look around until you find one you like.
6. Attend trainings and seminars
Admittedly, this learning option is likely to require a bigger investment in both time and cost, but sometimes we learn best when we’re more hands on. Plus, this is one of the few options that also provides the opportunity to network with others in the field, making it more beneficial if your goal is to grow your practice along with your knowledge base.
Being a lifelong learner definitely takes a continuous commitment, but it is one that can pay off in dividends. Both now and in the future.