And how it can help you socially and professionally!
Growing up in a priest family with a father that was always reading books, keeping up to date newswise, and constantly learning new things. Looking back I see that my father affected me more than I knew, in fact, I didn’t realize it until he was gone. But I treasure his legacy and I know I have passed on some of to my daughters.
It all falls to four simple things you also can do to improve yourself:
- Always have a book at hand. Reading is proven to improve your memory and helps prevent cognitive decline among many other things.
- Always be curious. My father was always looking up things in encyclopedias to learn new things.
- Never be afraid to discuss things you are no expert on. This way your learning fast tracks in a surprising way.
- Be social and engage with others.
Today it’s easy to always have a book at hand, we can have it on or phones or tablets. But having an actual book in your hands means the distractions are down to more or less zero and you can focus on the story or subject. I also find that an actual book makes it easier for me to build my pictures of people and environments in the book. Plus the bonus when you have read a book is the accomplishment of it.
Curiosity is what drives us as humans, if there’s a solution to a problem we want to find it. And if we can’t with our ingenious minds figure it out, there’s always someone that has had the same problem and maybe found a solution. Today we don’t use actual encyclopedias, we have the Internet where we can find endless sources of knowledge and information. Of course, we have to be more careful and understand that some of the information can be wrong and even hurtful, but it’s still an amazing and endless source. I can’t think of a day when I’m not looking up something on the net, can you?
I have throughout my career found myself in situations where I have discussed things I have little or no knowledge on, and I know that my father did too but it didn’t stop him, or me for that matter. Why, or rather how can you do that? The important thing is listening and sucking in the information. Mirroring is another technique that is used, we all do this almost every day/time we interact with others. In short, we mimic behavior and choice of words of the other person/persons and then use it back.
Socializing is a survival skill that is in our genes. We thrive from social interactions and grow as humans from it. We learn from you age how to separate friends from strangers, but also who we want to socialize with. Hanging around people with skills and knowledge makes you smarter also, so learn from others and never be afraid to ask questions. That signals both that you are interested in and that you want to learn more.
Simple right? Or is it too complicated? If you look at yourself, I think you will find that most of these things you already do to a certain degree. And if you don’t do it, maybe you are a person that doesn’t want to learn new things or is just generally uninterested which to me is just sad.
Someone once called me a chameleon and maybe in some ways I am. Due to bullying I had to change myself many times when I was growing up, and I thank that in part, that I now can adapt to new environments and surroundings. Maybe you have experienced problems communicating or connecting to others, in that case, I hope this might help you.
Originally published on Medium