Cognita Incessabiles

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I will save you the Google search, cognita incessabiles is Never Stop Learning!

Now this seems obvious, right? Yet so many of us do stop learning. It’s become almost clichèd to say “We never stop learning” but I think that this is all it is, a statement!

You see learning takes effort. Wrong! Learning happens in the simplest ways, just by listening.

We don’t have to study to learn. We need to be present in the moment and more importantly we need to shut up and listen. (For those that know me, this is probably sounding really sarcastic as I hardly ever shut-up).

But I will surprise you. Lately, I have been doing a lot of listening. I place myself in places where people are talking and its easy to listen, no I am not spying, I truly am learning.

I will give you an example. Go down to a co-working space and sit in the general area. You will see two things: A person sitting by themselves (probably with a headset on) working and two or more people sitting talking/having a meeting.

The person with the headset on is robbing themselves of an opportunity to learn. By switching off they are not experiencing the general energy of the room, but also the opportunity of hearing a conversation that may be relevant to them or inspire them to take an action.

Again. this is not some creepy spying game. This is actually the principle of Osmosis. By taking in the information around us we learn.

There are other kinds of learning going on here too. You learn that there are many others out there in the same situation as you. They too may be trying to solve problems or come up with the next big idea or even just find a gig to pay the bills. So what’s the learning here?

It’s simple, you are not alone and more importantly there are constant opportunities you just need to tap in to them.

I’m not suggesting that the traditional way of learning does not apply anymore, we do still need to read and study I am just pointing out that there are other ways of learning too.

Here is an exercise for you. Next time you are at a Meetup or networking function, when you find yourself in a group and the formalities/intros are over, instead of trying to tell everyone what you do and dominate the conversation to see if you can get the next sale; just listen.

It will seem hard at first, but I promise that what you will hear (if you really listen) and learn will have more value for you that the opportunity of trying to get a sale or promoting yourself. You will walk away with new thoughts and possibly even identify new opportunities that you could market to your existing customers or develop to take to market.

The opportunity to learn is around us all the time, you just need to take it in.

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