Growth as a person is something I perceive that we as a society (at least in the UK), seem to stop doing as soon as we leave University, or finish our further education studies. I had a presumption after I qualified with my accounting studies that I didn’t need to learn, develop or grow as a person anymore.
I thought I knew it all and how wrong I was.
The wake up call came a couple of years ago, when I discovered some YouTube videos on growth and learning. During this period of time I have discovered how invigorating learning again has been. When I question why I wasn’t proactive in pursuing growth I realise a couple of things:
I thought I knew it all, and I thought going on those courses was a sign of weakness;
I didn’t know where to look for courses;
I didn’t know what I needed to work on; and
I felt overwhelmed at all the options out there.
These questions just delayed my proactivity and stopped me getting started.
I just needed to start.
About a year ago I started reading properly again. I was never an avid reader at school or at university, but I found some books a year ago that started to open my eyes to the joy of reading (excuse the pun).
I’ve covered it here, but “Man Kind’s Search for Meaning” was a wonderful, life changing book. This book was the spark to get me started again on reading.
Similarly, discovering Audible made “reading” so much more accessible. Listening to my books while commuting, exercising and on work breaks allowed me to consume so much more information. Since I discovered Audilbe I’ve listened to over 16 books so far. 4 times more than last year.
I’ll cover the books I love in a later post.
Finding books has always concerned me, but through asking colleagues what they read and why, and I googled the top 10 non fiction and fiction books to start me on what literature I might like.
Engaging on the visual senses, I discovered YouTube channels that provided me with insight and enjoyment. MindValley, whose mission is to “unite the world by teaching wisdom and transformational ideas that our education system ignores” sparked a lot of joy in me. Spiritual, physical, mental transformations are the content they cover with world experts.
YouTube’s “recommendations for you” also opened up a wave of channels I enjoy watching. One series of episodes I enjoy that I found vicariously is Tom Bilyeu’s “Impact Theory” channel. Tom Bilyeu interviews key leaders in motivation, optimisation and mental strength, and I’ve always learnt so much from these videos.
Sometimes growth needs to be aided through verbal and prompting means. I have always freely spent money on coaches. Some have been great, and some not so great but all I have learnt from. One of my favourite coaches was a lady called Kate Salsburg; she trained as a coach after 40 years in the theatre business. She needed “guinea pigs” to time qualify for the coaching course. Over the course of 6 sessions, we had monthly Skype sessions where I poured my heart out on a number of topics, predominately work related. Kate provided me with the tools and frameworks to analyse my thinking and make reasoned decisions. I suggest trying career coaches and life coaches.
Myers Briggs is probably the most famous, but I tried Gallup’s Strength Test, as recommended by a coach I worked with. The test allows you to determine what your top 5 strengths are and how they can be used in your life. My core strengths were achievement, competition, focus, wooo (i.e charming people) and futuristic (visionary). It means I’m a list-making, ticking off machine who will compete heavily with you if you have a similar list…Subconsciously I knew I had these strengths but reaffirming them provided more clarity around career choices.
The final one is online courses. I purchase quite a few of these. The most recent one I bought was Sam Ovens Uplevel Consulting here. I tried his Accelerator Course here, a year ago, and it was brilliant so I purchased his next course as well, which has also proved good so far, although I’m yet to put his suggestions into action.
Growth means different things to different people, and the way you learn and grow is very individual. The one key thing I’ve realised is not to get caught up in choosing “the right” thing. Start small with something like a YouTube video and see where it takes you.