We are all works in progress, this is important to understand when we are looking to develop ourselves in one way or another. Sometimes, life can get in the way, and the dreams we have, either in a professional sense or in a personal sense, to expand our horizons can be met with obstructions at every juncture. In other words, life gets in the way. When it comes to the idea of developing ourselves, we are always going to encounter difficulties along the way. For busy parents, the idea of doing a course on the side of a job as well as parental duties can seem like an impossible task. Other parents want to start a side hustle or a business from home, and all of these dreams that we harbor require the one thing we don’t have, time. So, when it comes to developing yourself professionally, what are the secrets to doing it effectively?
Learning How You Learn
If you want to learn a new subject, or you are trying your hardest to aim for a new career, the building blocks of any of these approaches is the ability to learn and retain information. For a lot of busy parents, this feeling of having to sit down in front of books and cram extensively can send shivers down their spine. But, the big issue a lot of people have when it comes to learning new information is that they think it can only be done in one way. Because the school system of yesteryear was all about learning by rote, you might have felt that you were learning things because you had to, and as a result, this information never stuck. Or, if you found yourself preparing for an exam, you might have found that your short-term memory was amazing, especially the night before the exam, but you lost all this information shortly afterward.
If your experience of education is this, then you’re starting off on the wrong foot. When it comes to learning new information, the important thing to get set is that if you have a burgeoning passion for a specific subject, this is going to give you the motivation to learn. But also, having an inherent knowledge of what your learning style is will help you to bypass a lot of the problems you might have had in school. You might not have benefited from reading information, but rather you are an auditory learner, but you can find out what your learning style is by taking one of the many tests online. As soon as you learn how to learn, this is a lot of the battle fought.
Embrace Being an Autodidact
This is just a posh term for learning by yourself. An autodidact is someone who already has this knowledge on how to learn information quickly and effectively. But it can take a while to gather the necessary skills to do this properly. There are some fantastic examples of autodidacts in the world, and these people didn’t always fare well with the school system. So if you feel that you are at a disadvantage because you didn’t pay attention in school, it’s time to throw these misconceptions out the window! The great thing about being an autodidact is that it’s a skill that you can continually develop throughout life, and you don’t need anybody to help you retain this information.
Although, getting to this road can be a long process, but once you’ve got there, it makes the whole struggle worthwhile. Whether you are starting a side hustle from home and you’re trying to learn the ropes as far as running a business is concerned, having not gone to business school, or you are trying to research the best career for your skills, the advantage of being a self-learner means that you can rely on yourself to get you through.
But, there are always resources to see you through. Companies like ej4 provide learning materials for business owners and employees. The benefit of being an autodidact is that you know where to get reputable learning materials. Rather than overloading your brain with information that may prove irrelevant down the line, by using the best resources to give you the information you need, this is what will benefit you on your journey of self-improvement.
Planning Your Time Carefully
Of course, learning how to learn and becoming an autodidact are things that require time. Time feels like a luxury you don’t have, so what is the solution to this? It’s very simple, it’s about being strict with your own time, and setting aside a specific chunk every day or week for the purposes of self-development. You have to be strict with this because it’s for your benefit. If you are a parent who doesn’t have time to themselves, doing something like this is the perfect excuse to set aside a few hours a week to benefit your life. It’s important to have this perspective because it gives you the motivation to work at your dreams.
If you don’t have time in the traditional sense, can you split an hour of learning into more manageable chunks? It’s possible to learn a language in 20 minutes a day, and something as momentous as a foreign language can feel like such a difficult task, but the idea of having a perspective of the task and breaking it down into manageable chunks is the way you will accomplish your goals. Much like those people who want to get fit, they mark it down in the calendar when they’re going to the gym and stick rigidly to it, it’s exactly the same when it comes to exercising your brain.
Never Losing Faith
It’s difficult, and you know that if you ever want to learn something new, there are going to be times when you will feel perplexed, puzzled, and pained. You will think that something’s too difficult, so you are tempted to give up, or there are days when information is not sinking in. But, it’s important to remember, from a scientific perspective, your brain can change its neuroplasticity. In other words, you can alter the structure of your brain and build new connections. When a task is difficult, because it’s new, this is when you’re actually exercising your brain and working at building these new connections. So if you ever find yourself frustrated, or you’re thinking that nothing is sinking in, you have to be aiming for these moments of frustration, because that’s when the cogs are turning. And on the topic of frustration and mindset, if you feel that you’re never going to be able to learn something, you will have embraced the self-fulfilling prophecy.
In other words, you won’t learn anything new. It’s important to change your mindset and to go in with the motivation and attitudes necessary to accomplish these tasks. There’s no such thing as being too old to learn something new, but this is still something a lot of people tell themselves. We seem to think that children learn faster, but they only learn things better than we do because they don’t have mental blockages. We can create new connections in our mind and change the plasticity of our brain at any age, so it’s not something that’s a lost cause, however “old” you think you are.
Whatever your goals in life, whether it’s to change careers, or developing yourself, emotionally, professionally, the fact of the matter is that there’s always going to be a lot of hard work involved. Learning how to develop yourself so you can read the benefits of life and feel happier is all about understanding your own attitudes to learning. Now, there are more people changing careers halfway through their lives, and this was seldom done before. Use these people as inspiration, because there are so many people out there that think it’s too late to do something with their lives.
But if you’re reading this and you’re a parent whose children have flown the nest, or you’re feeling dissatisfied with life for whatever reason, you can learn how to improve yourself so you can reap the benefits of what is out there. The great thing about realizing that you need to develop yourself is that it’s a great investment in you!
You might not have thought about your skills and abilities to get by in the world, because you had other duties in life, such as parenting. But it’s important to consider yourself as an investment because you will then take yourself seriously and think you are worthy. Because if you want to develop or improve yourself, it’s something we all have the right to do with our lives. And whether you felt that education passed you by, or you have woken up and realized that, at the halfway point in life, you want to do something that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning, the benefits of educating ourselves and developing ourselves in a professional or personal sense isn’t just going to benefit this in one area of life, it’s going to improve all areas of life.
Posted with much love,
P.S. I have teenagers who eat constantly so you will find affiliate links to products and services throughout this site. It enables me to feed the bottomless pits or buy myself a glass of wine to keep my sanity intact.