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G.R.O.W.

Doing the customary brisk 4-5 km walk every evening I try to learn from things I sense – people passing by on foot, silent and brooding when single or garrulous when in company; the folks who go by in cars, honking incessantly as if to announce to the world that they have arrived, unmindful of the irritation caused – each event a message, a lesson!

Then there are the silent sentinels who have stood witness to such spectacles much longer than I have and will surely outlive this tragicomic biped creation.

The trees – mute, tall, green and abundant! They deliver the message of peaceful coexistence – how they adapt to the surroundings, how utility of water, nutrients and sunshine is optimized and most importantly the bounty they share with others in return for what they have gained – by way of flowers, fruits, leaves, those invisible tones of oxygen they generate to make this Earth a hospitable place for all the other creatures and the cool shade they provide – you would agreed that this list is inadequate and can go on some more.

– How long is the list of benefits we offer to friends, family, co-workers and the community?

– How long is the list of major lessons you have gained in this life? Ever thought of recording them?

As we learn and grow and (hopefully) learn some more and grow further (in stature and wisdom) it’s important to realize that learning (for growth) comes from acquiring, using, retaining and sharing knowledge.

Let me list down a few ways we can augment our own skills and knowledge … to benefit ourselves and the world around us.

1.       Keep a diary

Make it a habit to note all the major lessons learnt – record your success and failure and what caused them. Keep note of all the training you have received and what you gained by implementing the lessons learnt.

Create a history and lessons learnt for all the projects you have been a part of, make a profile and critical information dossier of all the clients you have dealt with. You and the organisation would benefit from it.

2.       Find a Mentor

Find a senior at work or an experienced personal from your circle of acquaintances – someone you are comfortable with. Ask the person if he is willing to mentor you. There are times when you hit a roadblock in personal and professional life – sharing the situation with an experienced and wise person can help in finding a way ahead. Sometimes just sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone impartial and not related to the problem will help to break new ground.

Dealing with a colleague or a senior and finding ways to tackle office politics can all come in the ambit of the discussions with this individual. Some organisations have a regular practice of mentoring new recruits – but such support is as important to experienced hands as they are to new employees.

3.       Get Coaching

I have said this earlier, we are oblivious to our own lapses or errors – either we make allowances for them or we simply aren’t aware – we may even ignore them. But if someone in the know of things can observe you at work a lot of those blind spot can be brought to light and corrected. At no age or at no position are you above being coached – the highest executives, the best players and the most proficient in every field get coached.

If you wish to reach greater heights in your chosen line of activity, get coached – and you can coach others too!

4.       Get Updated

Join a course on new technology or other innovations in your line of business – if you are an MBA you can pick up some additional qualification of usage of Net or Social Media for marketing.

Even attending 1 or 2 day long seminars by senior professionals in your business can help to give new insights and change the way you think. I attended a seminar on Marketing and another on Negotiation Skills – had written regarding both at my blog – those interactions with Ivy League School professors gave me a lot of useful inputs.

It helps to pick and choose: don’t take anything that comes your way, but pick and choose after deciding what’s best for your growth as a professional.

5.       Conduct a class / Present a paper

Wise folks have said “You teach best that which you wish to learn the most.”

Teaching a group of youngsters is not a joke – they are inquisitive, unafraid and unfettered in thinking. They would challenge you and get your brain to work hard in search of the right answers. So teaching students at a college will be a great way to learn something new or to get refreshed in your own subject area.

If you are dealing with an special subject as a part of your job – you may be a criminal lawyer dealing with cyber crime or you may be a marketer using mobile telephony as the platform to spread the message – write a paper on the work you have done. It’s a great way to be seen as an expert in that domain.

6.       Write a blog

Look who’s talking! 🙂

Honestly! When you write on the subject you would have to think, structure those thoughts into logical structures, present them with uncomplicated words and illustrate the message with anecdotes and support material. You may even do some research to add more substance to the article you are presenting. Just make sure that credit is given to the source if any borrowed material is presented.

This ideating, writing, research and structuring process helps you – the brain gets activated, loose connections are rewired and revitalized and your own body of knowledge grows; and that of those who read it.

Let me repeat an oft-stated and hopefully not trite truism – Knowledge grows when shared!

Get started …. Learn, Do, Seek, Write, Teach ….. Grow!

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  1. May 20, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    nice one JM 🙂 am sharing this .!

    • JayadevM
      May 20, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      Pleasure is mine, Jithin! Go right ahead.

  2. Jamy
    May 21, 2012 at 1:28 am

    Great read Jay!! Keep it up pal!

  3. May 21, 2012 at 1:57 am

    “Then there are the silent sentinels who have stood witness to such spectacles much longer than I have and will surely outlive this tragicomic biped creation.” A humbling thought expressed with such beauty! If only we could learn from trees. But then I have been reading your posts and have this illusion grasping the message most of the times!

    • JayadevM
      May 24, 2012 at 6:55 am

      Hi Umashankar

      Thank you for stopping by … Birds and Trees have fascinated me all my life! Birds for obvious reasons … I dreamed about becoming a pilot – first my folks bombed the idea and then I found out I have colour blindness. But I did do a bit of power-gliding and relished the thrill of flight.

      Coming to what you said … A huge thanks for appreciating my words. There is a secret wish to write non-technical stuff too and that surfaces occasionally in such thoughts! 🙂

      Trees, most times I feel they are must more amazing than us humans …Sublime! So generous and always willing to share its largesse, they stand in sharp contrast to human greed.

      Look forward to reading more stories written by you!

  4. May 21, 2012 at 2:00 am

    What is more – learning new skills and applying them keeps you and your brain younger, fitter for longer.

    • JayadevM
      May 21, 2012 at 4:28 am

      Shoba: Yes, that path would keep all professionals fit and young for much longer

      Jithin/Jamy/Umashankar/Tim: Thank you!

  5. May 21, 2012 at 7:49 am

    An eyeopener Jay…makes me realise i need a mentor too…..i am also stuck on crossroads like you mentioned….keep it going jay…you are an inspiration…..

    • JayadevM
      May 21, 2012 at 11:03 am

      Catherine,

      Thank you! And I hope you find a mentor soon! Best wishes.

  6. vijayenggster
    May 22, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Good One ..!!! I want to add one more points on the above list: “Read some good blogs & give your comments”.

    • JayadevM
      May 22, 2012 at 5:06 pm

      Like you have being doing, Vijay. I stole a compliment from you. 🙂

      Thank you, for visiting regularly and for contributing.

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