Always, right after the fall, that’s when I have the energy to climb higher than I ever have before.
The Long And Winding… Path (Musings Of A Lifelong Learner)
Continual learning is a vital trait for a freelancer. We live in a world where new technologies and new methodologies are constantly being introduced.
The freelancer who refuses to learn, who refuses to adapt and update his or her business, is the freelancer who goes out of business.
I consider myself to be a lifelong learner. My habit of lifelong learning has taken me down some interesting and unusual paths that I never could have foreseen. It has also saved my writing business on more than one occasion. (I wouldn’t even be blogging here if I hadn’t decided a few years ago to learn everything that I could about blogging.)
Here are five crucial concepts that you should remember as you make learning a lifelong process:
- There is no such thing as failure as long as there is a lesson to be learned
Sure I’ve been disappointed and I’ve cried my share of tears as I’ve faced obstacles and setbacks. With each new setback, however, has come a unique opportunity – the opportunity to learn and to improve.
- You can always find a second chance
The idea that you have one shot to “get things right” is a myth. Don’t believe it for a minute. The only way that you’ll ever really “get things right” is to keep on trying until you’ve done it. I believe in second chances, and third, and fourth ones too.
- People are great sources of learning
Listen to people. No matter what type of freelancing you do, chances are that someone has done it before you. If you pay close attention to advice that others give and the lessons that others have learned, you can save yourself a lot of trouble and grief.
- Learn something new every single day
At no other time in history have so many sources of learning been available to so many people. With the advent of the Internet and other forms of media, we are all surrounded by multiple opportunities to acquire knowledge and new skills every day.
- The best learning in life is … free!
Yeah, I’ve got my degree (and I benefited greatly from the process), but some of the best learning in life happens outside of the classroom. Learning happens in those “aha” moments when you’re all alone and you have discovered something new.
As a freelancer, the habit of lifelong learning will not only enrich your life — it may also enrich your pocketbook as you learn new skills that you can apply in your freelancing business.
Since no one knows for sure what information may be available tomorrow, no one knows for sure where your lifelong learning path will take you. One thing that you can count on, though, is that the path will be interesting.
Are you a lifelong learner yet?
Why not get started today?
Image in this post: aaron schmidt
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August 7th, 2008 at 1:41 pm
August 7th, 2008 at 2:20 pm
As a wise ski instructor once said, “if you’re not falling you’re not learning”.
In general I try to learn something new everyday.
August 7th, 2008 at 2:44 pm
Funny, I was loath to join those social media places, like Twitter and Facebook, even though people said it was an excellent way to get exposure. I was never one to follow the crowd, but lately I’ve found that perhaps it’s better to take one step out than keep walking in the same spot. Even if nothing ever comes of it at least I’ve moved in a different direction and tried something new.
August 7th, 2008 at 3:52 pm
You want to know about endurance in the face of adversity? Just read my latest blog post.
August 7th, 2008 at 3:55 pm
“if you’re not falling you’re not learning”. Wow, Adam I really like that. In another life, I loved to ski. (It’s much too hot and much too flat in Texas.)
Writer Dad, it sounds like you’ve got the right attitude!
August 8th, 2008 at 10:19 am
I went to your site, but couldn’t find the post about adversity. Thanks for stopping by!
August 8th, 2008 at 6:39 pm
Thanks Doug! It’s a nice post.
Passion for what we are doing is a big part of being a success as a freelancer.
August 8th, 2008 at 8:25 pm
Yep, passion and commenting on others blogs [hint-hint]
August 8th, 2008 at 11:38 pm
Like any living things, we are dying if we are not growing. Learning is growing.
August 9th, 2008 at 10:14 am
This is exactly what I imagine Heaven to be like – somewhere where you can learn for free, there is no failure and you don’t have to worry about money. If I was rich, I would go back to school forever. I would really like to study Quatum Physics. My degree is in Psychology with a minor in Computer Sciences and I spent 30 years workng in Software companies coding, then managing/direting and then Project/Program managing. Now I am starting off as LIfe and Spiritual Coach.
Donna, Certified Coach and PMP
August 9th, 2008 at 10:18 am
I think you can never stop learning. If you do you are dead. And I don’t believe in failure – if you don’t succeed at something you are only learning by that experience. I also think we (as the USA) don’t allow people to take risks. Risks are how you learn. I think some people have learned more by their failures then by their successes.
August 9th, 2008 at 1:05 pm
Really great stuff, I think that has to be one of the best quotes I’ve ever seen:
“There is no such thing as failure as long as there is a lesson to be learned” – That really sticks out to me and makes complete sense. Another great post Laura, thank you.
August 9th, 2008 at 7:10 pm
Hi Vivienne, Donna, and Liam!
I’m so grateful to meet another whole group of people dedicated to continuing to grow and learn! I’m glad that this post resonated with so many people – thanks for the feedback.
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