“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The process of learning is a life-long experience because things around us are constantly growing and evolving. This is why we need to constantly learn new skills and new ways of doing things to keep up with our changing environment. If we suddenly stop learning and sit back, content, with the attitude that we no longer need to learn any more than we are setting ourselves up for a big fall.
I like to picture our lives as having a series of walls we must climb to see what awaits us on the other side and as we learn new things we get to climb over another wall to see what new experiences await us on the other side. That way we can never feel tempted to sit back and say “that’s it, I think I know everything now” because we know there is a wall right in front us with things to be discovered right on the other side.
It is important to take a look over the wall because it is our curiosity about the world around us and our desire to discover new things which drives us on and keeps us mentally alert. It also helps keep us humble because there is nothing more arrogant in suddenly declaring one day: “I know it all now.”
Even if we have successfully grasped every opportunity which has come our way and built up a successful business for ourselves we cannot risk never seeking to go beyond what we have already mastered because standing still is not an option. If the world around us is constantly growing and evolving then by standing still we are actually moving backwards. Successful businesses stay successful because they adapt and innovate. These owners are always mastering new skills to keep one step ahead of the opposition. All it takes is for one of your competitors to be hungrier for success than you are and they will grow and prosper while you remain trapped behind a brick wall which you cannot even see over.
Moving beyond what we have already mastered is a life-long commitment which keeps us mentally alert and ready to face the new challenges which are presented to us each and every day.