The Need for Continuous Learning

Bill Abbate

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How often do you study since you left school? Do you give it much thought? If you are like most, the studying stopped as soon as you graduated, except for specific needs, such as learning something required on your job, or perhaps for a personal interest like a hobby.

Few people choose to study

Why do so many seem so anxious to leave the books behind once they finish school? Some highly paid professions require ongoing learning, but they are the exception, not the rule. For most, further study is not on their radar. At all!

For example, let's look at the sales profession, which employs more than 13 million people as of 2020. That means nearly one of ten people work in direct sales. In reality, the number is much higher! Check out the following brief article to learn how you may be in sales regardless of your title:

4 Lessons in How to Succeed in Selling Anything to Anyone

There is a great deal of opportunity to learn and improve in such a significant profession. Yet how many professional salespeople bother to pick up a book on sales? A common statistic often cited is "90 percent of salespeople have never read a book on selling." This is not only astounding; it is downright shocking!

Other than understanding the specific product they sell, very few take time to learn and grow their abilities and skills. I am thankful most medical professionals are not in this group, especially our doctors! As someone who has had heart issues, I want my cardiologist to be up on the latest and greatest in his profession!

Separate yourself from the crowd

I learned firsthand early in my career to use the well-worn fact that few continue to learn after school to my advantage. After going through a Dale Carnegie Human Relations and Public Speaking course, my awakening came.

I started spending a good amount of time reading and listening to cassette tapes (and later CDs) in my car while driving. Covering an area of three states and driving about 50,000 miles each year, I had plenty of time to learn! Why so few of my fellow employees and competitors didn't do the same has always baffled me.

Within my first year in sales, having outsold everyone else on our sales force, I was offered the job of sales manager. Initially, I turned it down because it meant uprooting my family and moving to Atlanta. As my sales continued to grow, the president kept after me, and I finally accepted his offer. After another year, I became VP of Sales and Marketing for North America. All of this happened because I took time to study my profession, a habit that continued throughout my long career.

It is such a straightforward process it is difficult to understand why more people do not separate themselves from the crowd. All it takes is consistent reading, listening, and watching to learn while developing and sharpening your abilities and skills.

But unless you are willing to make an ongoing commitment, why waste your time? Some will, and some won't. Such is life!

"Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow." Richard Baxter (1615-1691)

Final thoughts

What led me to write this article is a quote from more than two centuries ago that fully applies to life today:

"There is no business, no avocation, whatever, which will not permit a man, who has the inclination, to give a little time, every day, to study." Daniel Albert Wyttenbach (1746-1820)

Remove the words "I can't find time to study" from your vocabulary! When we say such things, are we not lying to ourselves?

What we are really saying is it is not that important to us. Yet it is! If you are happy stuck where you are with your value slowly dwindling, keep doing what you are doing. If you are not happy where you are, find, no, make time to learn and grow. I promise you will never regret it.

I leave you with the profound insight of one of the most intelligent men to have ever walked the earth:

"Never regard study as a duty but as an enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later works belong." Albert Einstein *1879-1955)

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA
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