3 Actions To Take To Learn Something New Each Day

It’s guest post Monday! This post is written by Brandon Jones who writes at Leadership Done Right. He has a passion to help people see leadership in a new light. You can connect with him on Twitter and Facebook. If you would like to be featured on my blog click here.

There is the saying that, “You learn something new everyday.” Many people say that as if it is a proven fact and it is inevitable, however, I believe that learning only takes place if you proactively chose to learn. There are people in the world that fail at the same thing over and over and over again and yet they approach everything exactly same each time. They are not learning from their experience when they are repeating it over and over and not changing their actions. Sure everyone goes through a new experience everyday, but does that mean that they are learning everyday? Not necessarily.

To learn everyday, you must actively seek learning by study and by faith. There are many ways that you can study. You can study in organized education or you can study by another means. Once you have studied, you must have the faith to practice what you are learning. An example of this is that if you go through a class and you learn many new principles about leadership only to not put them into practice, do you really have faith that what they are teaching and what you are learning is a true principle? When you learn something, you must put it into practice if you want it to work.

The principles of learning are very important! In the first two paragraphs, I explained some of the principles behind why you should try to learn something new, but I didn’t mention how or where you can begin your learning. So, how can you begin your learning? There are three important methods below that explain how you can learn each and every day.

Three Steps You Can Take To Learn Daily

1.  Learn from the best books/literature. There are so many books as well as other forms of literature in the world today. Some are high quality while others are not even worth your mental energy. It is very important to spend your time and energy learning from the best books and forms of literature. As a leader, your time is extremely valuable. Find the books that give you the most value for your time and don’t be afraid to stop reading a book if it is not worth your time. There are also many other forms of literature that exist including blogs, newspapers, magazines, review journals, etc. These are good sources of information and learning, but just as with a book, you shouldn’t be afraid to stop reading if something is not worth your time.

2.  Learn from people. In addition to books, you have interactions with people on a regular basis. Each person has a different perspective on life and how things work together. Take each interaction that you have with someone as an opportunity to learn whether it be a teacher, doctor, coach, employee, boss, coworker, family member, supermarket cashier, or any other person you come in contact with. Each person has had a different experience in life that can give you insight on how to live your life as a leader. There are so many lessons to be learned from the people around us that would be beneficial if we just take a moment to listen and understand.

3.  Learn from reflection. In addition to all the people that you come in contact with, you also make many choices on a regular basis. Some of those choices are good and some are not. Take time each day to reflect on the choices you make and the lessons you can learn.  Also, reflect on how your choices are affecting others. As you reflect, identify what you can do to be better and differently in the future so the outcome is more desirable. In addition to looking at what didn’t go as planned, reflect on what went well and why it went well so that you can duplicate it in the future.

As a leader, learning is very important and vital to your success. If you do the three things mentioned above each day, I promise you that not a day will go by that you will not learn something new that is valuable.

Questions: How have the above mentioned points helped you to learn something new each day? What habits have you changed in your life to make time to learn as mentioned above? 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • DS

    You can learn something, but that doesn’t mean that you’re applying what you’ve learned. We can learn an almost unlimited amount of things, but if we never apply it, will all that knowledge matter?

    The point about not being afraid to stop reading if it’s not worth your time is an important one. If it’s not adding any value, cut it out.

    • You make a terrific point here. Does no good to learn something new if we don’t apply it. That’s something I’m really working on, especially with what I read. John Maxwell talks about that in his recent book on growth too. We can’t forget this point!

      • DS

        I know I’m an information junkie, so I have to be careful and deliberate, about what I consume and actually apply it. It’s something I struggle with daily.

        • Me too. I am working on systems to help me get better at this.

          • DS

            I have to slow down, and be more careful in what I consume.

            • Yeah, that’s a big one for me too. I also need to purposefully reflect on what I take in as was suggested in the post.

  • I’m currently reading books that are helping me learn more about blogging, social media, and feature writing for my job. I’m going to be teaching and creating some new classes this summer/fall.

    • That’s great Dan! Reading books on our niche areas is so important. I’ve read Platform by Michael Hyatt and am currently listening to Unique (A branding book) by Phil Cooke which is good so far. What books have you found helpful? I’m looking to read more in those areas as well.

  • Good post. I like the reflection aspect, it’s highly underrated. I also think by watching and paying attention to what other people are doing in a specific market and of course experience itself tends to give us a heads up on when something new has arrived.

    • I agree, taking time to think and reflect is often uncommon, especially for busy people like our self’s. Observing people is a great addition. I really enjoy going to a busy mall or shopping area (Like the Carlsbad outlets:) and just watch people. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  • Your post reminds me of what I just read about in “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” by John Maxwell. Learning new things is essential to growth, and we have to be deliberate about cultivating that in our lives. As my step-dad says “You can’t lick it off the grass.” (He’s from the U.P. of Michigan… they say stuff like that.) I make a point to read daily and to spend time reflecting not only on what I read but what I feel the “themes” are in my life. I struggle with learning from others, but I am improving there as I deliberately choose to do so. That in itself is a part of learning something new every day. I have greatly simplified my life in the past three years and am able to not on have the time to learn but to be more focused on how I do that learning. Great reminder of what’s important for growth.

    • That’s a great book Kari! Great saying from you step dad:)

      It’s so essential that we grow and learning on a daily basis, it allows us to become better and move toward our potential. Keep learning and growing!!! Thank you for sharing.

  • I totally agree Trevor! Observation and our experiences can greatly allow us to grow and learn. Great point about nature, thank you for reading and adding it.

  • I love learning from others because the knowledge that others have is so valuable to Leadership. I love Dan and the guest posters like yourself and many of the commenters on this blog because I learn from each individual in how you write and post. Thanks for sharing this great message.

    • Learning from others multiples our growth! It’s great taking with like minded people (like yourself) because I become better and grow during the conversations. Glad to feature other leaders and guest post on here. Thank you for always reading and commenting.

      • Wouldn’t want to learn from any other great guy Dan like you. Your guest bloggers are always awesome and I never want to miss who you are featuring.

        • Thanks man:) I’m glad we can sharpen each other.

  • I love learning from others story. Their story helps me to make better decision and it also gives me instruction on what to do and not do. I also gain a wealth knowledge reading and studying books, blogs and other literature. I don’t want to just learn more, but I want to be intentional about putting in to action what I learn. I want to be a user of my learning and not just a receiver. Excellent post.

    • Same with me:) Great point about putting it into action, that’s essential. Thank you for reading and adding to the conversation.

  • we live in a very self centered world. Learning empathy and/or sympathy can be difficult. I like what you say about learning to reflect on how my actions impact others- “reflect on how your choices are affecting others”.

    Life isn’t all about ME! What I do, or don’ do, affects others. Am I building them up or tearing them down?

    • Great perspective TC Avey:) Thank you for adding to the discussion. I appreciate you.

  • All three have had a huge influence on my life but books are the reason I’m where I am now. I have learned so much and taken action on what I’ve learned, it’s a killer combo. Great post Brandon.

    • I hear you, I can say the same thing about book in my life. Thank you for reading and taking action on your growth and dreams. Keep at it bro!

  • When i was high school i was encouraged to learn new word every day. But then that moved on to other experiences and I can truly say I live a rich life just by gathering little bits of wonder every day

    • That’s a great David! It’s amazing how different experiences can change us. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  • I learn a lot from people, especially from my kids! They are learning every day and as they learn they also teach me and challenge me with their questions. Sometimes I have to tell them I don’t know the answer and then we investigate it together.

    • That’s great! Children can defiantly teach us a lot of things. Thank you for sharing.

  • I liked what you said about not being afraid to stop reading a book if it’s not worth your time. Once in a while I’ve done that instead of trudging through something I don’t connect with.
    Also, reflection. This reminds me I need to start journaling more to try and document my victories and mistakes. There is something about writing things out on paper that helps me reflect and think.

    • Hello Sutton,

      Great thoughts. I’ve stopped reading several books due to the content not being good or not worth my time. Having a journal is a great idea. Thank you for taking time to read and add to the discussion.

  • Brandon, I have found that books are often great mentors! One thing I do is to read before work everyday. It has been a habit for over a year now, and when I’m not able to take that 30-45 minutes, the rest of the day feels off.

    For your #3, as John Maxwell says, “Experience isn’t the best teacher, examined experience is.” You make a great point, we must pause and reflect if we are to grow and learn.

    • Reading on a daily basis is great Ellory! I have a 30-45 minute commute and usually listen to audio books (Through audible.com) while driving. Most days I’m able to listen to either audio books or Podcast for over an hour.

      Great quote! Thank you for reading and adding to the topic.

      • Audible is fantastic! I too listen to podcasts using Stitcher.

    • Ellory,
      Like you, I started the habit of reading every morning about nine months ago. As you mentioned, there are major benefits to making reading an everyday part of your life. I wish I started doing it a long time ago because I feel like I am a little behind the curve and have a long ways to go. In my short time reading early in the morning, I have experienced significant benefits and have learned a lot.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insight!

      • I wonder, on the path of personal development, if it is possible to be behind the curve. I think it is more a case of other people being further along than we are. But that is one of the greatest aspects of a community – we are all here to help one another! Thanks Brandon!

  • Brandon, all the 3 areas you’ve mentioned have helped me grow as a person. I wasn’t always good at learning from other people (those in in my inner circle) cos I was always trying to teach them something, trying to woo them to see things from my point of view. What you’ve said about taking time to listen and understand, that’s made all the difference now in how i interact and learn from others.

    • That’s good to hear, your growth is defiantly showing. Thank you for reading and adding to the conversation.

    • Ngina, the points you mentioned are a good reminder to focus on what others are saying and not just the your own response back to them. It is so easy to get in the habit of formulating your response to the point that you stop listening altogether. When I have focused on listening to others my learning has increased dramatically. Thank you for reading my post and sharing your thoughts!

  • Betty

    Excellent advice! I try to read a chapter a day with a goal of at least one new book per month. I especially agree with Brandon’s points on learning from others and yourself. Always be open to constructive criticism :}. One author in particular that I have gleaned a lot of insight from is Susan Spira. One-Liners For Life in particular is a great idea book to help self-edit one’s life to gain greater joy, happiness, and fulfillment. She has also written Happy Shorts and The Happy Tips Book. You can find the author’s website here: http://susanspira.com/

    • Glad you enjoyed this guest post:) Having goals for our growth and learning is so essential. Thank you for sharing about Susan S, I’ll check her site out. Do you have a site or blog?

      • Betty

        You’re welcome, Dan :-). I have not started blogging yet, but would love to in the future :-). But I do use Twitter. Would love to connect with you there @bookwormplace. Have a wonderful weekend!

        • I just starred following you and please let me know when you do start a blog. Feel free to stop by and sharing your thoughts anytime you want. Have a great weekend!

    • It is so important to be open to constructive criticism. I think that when you read or listen to others, it is important to internalize what you hear or read and figure out how it applies to you in your life. When you do that, you will begin to truly learn. Thank you for sharing Betty!

  • Great post, Brandon. I love learning from others. I learn a lot through walks with friends, people who comment on my blog, blogs I read (like this one!), and podcasts. I also learn a lot from reflection – I do something I call truth journaling which helps me both learn and visit with God about life at the same time. These are all things I’ve been doing for awhile, but lately I’ve been learning through doing hard things that I don’t feel like I can do. Getting out of your comfort zone is always a great way to learn.

    • Those are some great ways to learn and grow. It’s amazing what we can learn through the blogs and people online. Your blog is a great source of spiritual growth for myself and many many others. Oh, the wonderful things that come to us when we chose to get outside our comfort zones. Thank you for reading and sharing.

      • Thanks for that encouragement, Dan – I appreciate it.

    • Barb, I really like the points you mentioned for learning. I especially like that you mentioned truth journaling because it is a great way to reflect on your own life and where it is going. I have found that as I write in my journal, I recognize mistakes and challenges in my life far quicker than if I just learn after repeating the same mistake over and over again. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Hi Brandon,

    This was a wonderful guest post, indeed! Dan, thanks for having Brandon over!

    Brandon, what I appreciated the most about your post, is how you differentiated between true learning and making the same mistakes. You’re so right. By taking the same action again and again that isn’t getting us the results we want, we aren’t actually learning anymore. Sure, we learn when we try out one approach a couple of times at the start. But learning ceases if we continue to make the same mistakes.

    I loved your point about learning from people. These days the biggest source of learning for me comes from when I observe others.

    Thank you.

    • Thank you for sharing Hiten. Insanity is defined as “doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.” Some people are just insane:) They never move forward or truly learn and wonder what is going on. Thank you for adding to the discussion. I appreciate you.

    • Hiten,
      Thank you for showing your appreciation. It is so easy to fall into the trap of doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same bad results. The key is to do what you can to learn so that you get out of that trap. To do that it is important to seek those who have done it right and been successful and replicate their methods with your unique twist.

  • Can’t cut if we are not sharp! It’s inevitable that as leaders we keep learning and sharpening our tools every season…

    • So true Jorge:) Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

  • I agree that we shouldn’t be afraid to stop reading something if we don’t feel like we’re getting anything out of it. The temptation to continue just to finish is high. It’s like when I’m sitting in a terrible movie and I think, “only an hour left. I might as well just finish it since I’ve already invested an hour.” That’s not a good move. Just end it and start something else. If something isn’t worth our time, we should just end it. When you just keep going, it’s a waste of time. And I think leaders should consider their time more valuable than that.

    • Great point about not feeling pressured to read or do something that is not worthy of our time. I’ve had to stop reading several books because I knew they would not help me. Thank you for adding to the discussion.

  • You three points of how to learn everyday doe work. Everybody brings something to the table. You need to open your mind and listen. When you stop learning you are not alive. The cliche that if you don’t succeed try try again, doesn’t mean keep doing it over and over again the same way, but try to figure out something different to make it work.

    • Hello Arleen,

      Thank you for joining the discussion. I agree, those who learn will always be fully alive. I think that’s why we have to evaluate our successes and failures so we see what works and what does not. Hope to hear from you more.