By Scott Mautz

The following is an excerpt from Find the Fire

No one overtly chooses to stop learning and growing again, it just kind of happens in the deluge of daily responsibilities (and life). And if it were easy to just kick it into gear again, you would have already done it.

I can help.

I offer research backed insight on how clarity of intent – a specific set of intentions in fact – can serve as ignition to get you over the hump. Here are some powerful prompts to get you gung-ho on learning and growth again, thus opening up inspiration as a joyous by-product.

  • Seek conscious growth (becoming who you are) versus growth for the sake of it

The latter is a hobby; the former is a homecoming. Odds are if you really love learning and growing, as if it were a hobby, you probably don’t need my insight to recommit to it. Lack of time or other common factors are simply getting in the way, or you’d be doing more of it, because you love it. If merely reading this reminds you of how much you love it and you recommit to it accordingly – fantastic. But I’m offering something more compelling. View the process of pursuing growth as a critical step in the journey of becoming who you really are, what you were meant to be. We’d all like more time for our hobbies. But we all simply must make time for becoming the best possible version of ourselves. Not to do so is a travesty, not a mere sidetrack. Raise the stakes.

  • Dread obsolescence

I shared in Make It Matter that pioneers of learning organizations believe that the rate of change in many industries is now so great that the only competitive advantage left may be the very rate at which its constituents are able to learn, grow, and change. So, future-proof yourself and slap back stagnation like the drunken frat boy that it is. Recognize that the need to up your skills is central to maintaining your livelihood, and to feeling like you are contributing your best effort. We are more likely to self-inspire when we are more self-assured.

  • Let your values vault you forward

The values we hold sacred can deeply motivate us. Frame your learning and growing as an opportunity to better serve your values.

For example, perhaps a core value of yours is servitude to others. What can you learn to better serve? Or perhaps you hold dear the value of kindness. What might you learn or who could you study that would help you more consistently show up as kind and caring (other than Hello Kitty)?

Value-incentivized learning is some of the most powerfully motivated and inspiration inducing learning we can muster. Give it a try.

  • Work on your life versus in your life

What if I told you that recommitting to learning and growth could feed a sense of greater control in your life?

When you do so, it gives you a sense you’re working on a better life for yourself and are escaping the hamster wheel of daily life we can all so easily get caught up in.

Some of the best employees I’ve ever had, a) picked up my dry cleaning, and b) worked on the systems they labored in (to make them better), versus just in them – it’s no different for us with our own lives. We can work on our best lives by learning and growing throughout, and basking in the significance of so doing, rather than just looking back one day and realizing we’ve merely been living in our life as it was happening to us.

To assist in this, it’s critical to be disciplined enough to spend less time on the maintenance tasks in your life, and more time on the growth tasks in your life.

Research by K. Anders Ericsson, a leading cognitive science and performance excellence expert, supports this. Ericsson’s studies on growth and expertise, whose subject matters ranged from typists to elite athletes, indicated that rote repetition of a skill, no matter how much, clearly plateaued one’s growth. It was the deliberate practice, working on specific tasks that would grow and stretch, like technique, that lead to true growth.

And so, it is with all of us when we spend more time on tasks that we know will stretch us.

About Scott Mautz

Scott is the CEO of Profound Performance – a keynote, workshop, coaching, and online training company that helps you “Work, Lead, & Live Fulfilled”. He is also a Procter & Gamble veteran who ran several of the company’s largest multi-billion dollar businesses, including their single largest, a $3 Billion Dollar division.  At P&G, Scott consistently transformed business results and organizational/cultural health scores along with it.FindTheFire

Author of upcoming book, Find the Fire: Ignite Your Inspiration and Make Work Exciting Againand award-winning keynote speaker and author of Make it Matter: How Managers Can Motivate by Creating Meaning, a book that’s been named “The 2016 Leadership Book of the Year – First Runner Up” by Leadership & Management Books and a “Best 30 Book of the Year” by Soundview Business Books.

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