Philosopher and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, once famously stated; “Life is a journey, not a destination.” Indeed, the journey is what provides us with such rich and valuable memories – we learn along the way.

When individuals and organisations place extrinsic motivations upon their learning activities – passing an exam, achieving a degree, meeting a job requirement, etc. – they are placing the focus more on the destination than the journey.

Take a moment to reflect on your school years. What memories are most vivid? What life-lessons did you take from this period of your life? I’m confident it wasn’t a certain math formula or the de-mystifying of a chemical compound. Your memories – and in-effect your learning – are more likely to incorporate people, personalities, emotions and special moments which are now securely embedded somewhere in your grey matter.

The teaching and coaching profession has historically been more of a monologue than dialogue. Teachers taught and students learned. However, recent shifts in this paradigm have seen more young professionals take control of their own learning – they’re effectively coaching themselves!

While this doesn’t make the trainer, coach or mentor obsolete (fortunately) it does provide them with greater insights as to what learners are seeking out – what they need.

According to recent findings from the World Economic Forum, 65% of children entering Primary School will secure a place in a job that doesn’t yet have a name or title! And for this reason, learners and coaches are reminded of the need to develop the skills and competencies which will always be in demand.

Whether it be leadership, emotional intelligence, communication, decision-making or time management, learners and leaders are encouraged to build their competencies in the realms which will always be essential.

More recently, the competencies and disciplines of resilience, adaptability and agility are proving to be necessary to those who wish to endure and strive.

While you may not be ready to adopt the label of Lifelong Learner just yet, take the time to weigh up the benefits of enhancing and improving your competencies and understandings of the (working) world around you.

And, enjoy the journey!


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