June 20, 2019

Unlock your inner strength through continuous learning

Start with mindset, then work on leadership, problem-solving and emotional intelligence

You may not realize it, but we are constantly learning new things. Whenever you meet someone new, you learn his or her name and a little bit about them. Whenever you need to fix something, chances are the first thing you do is look for how-to advice on Google or YouTube. Learning isn’t limited to simply acquiring theoretical knowledge or following precise instructions; it has evolved into something more.

We can no longer just classify learning as merely formal or informal. Even when you’re jogging, riding the train or driving to work, you can still learn something — many people do just that, by listening to podcasts.

You no longer learn just to accumulate knowledge and reach a certain level of expertise. The acquisition of knowledge is now a constant in many people’s lives, as they know that what is relevant today may no longer have any importance tomorrow. If you look at our world 10 years ago versus what it has become today, you’ll realize that if you hadn’t picked up some new knowledge along the way, you’d be redundant today.

Continuous learning is an important part of our lives today because it taps into our inner strengths and keeps us relevant. But in many cases, we have to think and act outside the box of the conventional classroom or training manual. Here are the elements of your inner strength that you can tap into and develop through continuous learning.

The first element is the mindset. Mindset is how you view the world around you, shaped by your experiences, beliefs, and values. It is also something you can control and shape in a world where so many other things are beyond your control.

Everything begins with mindset. If you don’t believe enough or constantly blame other factors for the problems that come up, you’ll never come close to unlocking your inner strengths. You need to take accountability and become more productive through action.

The second element is leadership. You don’t necessarily need to have a team to build leadership skills, all you need is yourself. Leadership skills account for taking responsibility, decision-making, taking initiative, and so on — all traits that even individuals must have to complete their own tasks and projects.

The third element is complex problem-solving. Simple problems today can be solved by artificial intelligence, as machines can learn new patterns through continuous human interactions. Customer service through chatbots is now a reality because of this.

However, technology still cannot tap into the human aspects of emotions to help people solve underlying root problems. This is where we, as humans, come in. We can use tools like design thinking to help dig deep into a complex problem and solve it.

The fourth and final element is your emotional intelligence. Having logical strength in the form of intelligence quotient (IQ) is important, but what’s growing in importance is emotional intelligence — the ability to control, be aware of and react to one’s own emotions as well as those of others.

In a similar way as complex problem-solving, machines still cannot tap into human emotions and lack a human touch. Well-developed emotional intelligence not only makes you better at solving problems but gives you greater ability to collaborate with others in the team and connect better with customers and other stakeholders.

These elements are just the basis of your inner strength. You might include more depending on what you’re focusing on, but these basics are what you’ll need to look at first before developing yourself even further.

Arinya Talerngsri is Chief Capability Officer and Managing Director at SEAC (formerly APMGroup) Southeast Asia’s Lifelong Learning Center. She can be reached by email at arinya_t@new.seasiacenter.com or https://www.linkedin.com/in/arinya-talerngsri-53b81aa. Experience our lifelong learning ecosystem today at https://www.yournextu.com/