Learning Curves

April 2008 216The way and nature of how we learn; how fast we learn

Learning is an active process. We learn by doing. Only knowledge that is used sticks in your mind. Dale Carnegie

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. Einstein

If our learning curve does not always slant upward, we are not growing.  Randall Burkhalter

A learning curve is a useful concept. We all have one. Our learning curve tells much about us. Some have learning curves that are very steep. They seek knowledge and go after it. Others have learning curves that are more horizontal than vertical. If theirs was any flatter, they might expire. The adages that we are never too old to learn and should never let a day go by without learning tells us we need to keep on doing and learning.

If we do not continue learning, it is questionable how alive we really are. Zombies are fictional creatures that are animated corpses. They are not really living and breathing; only going through the motions. Life challenges us to be dynamic and involved. We must stay on top of our “game.” Life should be filled with activity and learning at all ages. Too many of us are more like zombies than someone who lives life with gusto, vim and vigor. We have to actively put effort into life to get the most from life.

The wisdom of the ages tells us over and over again, that we get out of live in direct proportion to what we put into it. “No pain, no gain,” “Nothing ventured, nothing gained,”  “It is better to attempt something great and fall short than attempt nothing and succeed.” There are many truisms advocating that life should be lived with effort and energy. Many of us have our throttles turned down too low. We miss too much of life’s great ongoing learning adventure. In many ways if we are not actively learning and seeking we are dying.

Learning curves portray the effort expended and the growth resulting from the effort. Children have tremendous learning curves. They hunger for life. If we were to get quarterly reports measuring our learning and growing, many of us would be disappointed. Laziness, complacency, fear, limiting beliefs, status quo and too much time in comfort zones do not foster upwardly climbing learning curves. We must want to learn.

If we were to mentally picture the learning curves of those who are succeeding, those who are active and dynamic, those who seem to be on top of life and getting the most from life; what would they look like? We are responsible and accountable for what we do or do not do with our lives. We must put something into the effort.

Challenge: You have heard that life is what you make it. You are the conductor of your own orchestra, the architect of your own cathedral, and the biographer of your own life’s epic journey. The effort and passion with which you perform your responsibility has everything to do with the end result. You get what you pay for. Life tries to live up to your expectations. It is up to you to have high enough expectations. Be proactive and learn.

Wisdom: Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can – there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.

Sarah Caldwell

Spiritual: (NIV)

To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness. Ecclesiastes 2:26

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

His God instructs him and teaches him the right way. Isaiah 28:26

We are here to experience this life fully. It should be a great adventure. We should be actively seeking, learning and growing. Many believe we are serving an apprenticeship for something greater in the next life. The Bible is full of teaching and parables about being good stewards, sowing good seeds, doing good things for others, and in making a difference. We are here for the purpose of allowing God to develop and grow us to use our potential.

Prayer: Help me to put myself into your hands. Mold me and make me into what You designed me to be.

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