Class Is Always In Session
I remember finishing my final stint of education like it was yesterday. I had imagined receiving my degree would be synonymous with the moment I would arrive. Everything I needed to know about life and learning would be summed up in my post-graduate work, as evidenced by the diplomas in hand. No more studying, no more tests, and no more sleepless nights of homework. I was no longer a student and had officially learned it all. But I was wrong.
Had I known that the classroom would only set the stage for the learning that was to come, I would have approached those degrees differently. The reality is that what takes place in the classroom is only meant to serve as a framework. The classroom taught me how to think, life teaches me application.
Graduating from an academic setting does not mean you are no longer a student. In fact, I've discovered, it's just the opposite. If I want to be a great leader, a great friend, and a great co-worker, then learning never stops. Learning is limitless and can happen at any time, any place, with anyone.
If I want to keep growing and moving forward as a leader, or even as an individual interested in other peoples' lives, then I can never stop learning. The moment I think that I've gotten it all together (whatever "all together" means), I will be writing the beginning of my own downfall. What do I mean by that? No matter how many diplomas or years of experience, I don't know everything. And neither do you. One of the greatest dangers of any leader, myself included, is thinking there is no better way than their own. Sometimes that might be true, but more likely than not, it won't be.
With every conversation and situation, I want to consider that there is something new I can learn. Not for the sake of learning, because I do appreciate that, but because there is probably something better than what I am currently thinking and/or doing. And being open to that will serve me well. It will serve you well too.
Class is always in session.