No, it wasn't by wearing a silly hat.
As we're nearing the close of August, it's back-to-school season. That means there are a lot of disappointed adolescents as summer comes to an end.
While children (and let's face it, many adults) are loathe to see summer fade, it's a reminder that in our own professional lives, there's really no back-to-school season.
We should always be learning.
The company or industry you work for today is different than the year you started, and that means you need to stay up to speed too. You need training, workshops, conferences, books, articles, thought-provoking speakers.
My great-grandfather immigrated from Poland. He purchased hundreds of acres of land and set himself up as a farmer, raising 10 children (ostensibly to act as cheap farm labor). So when one of his younger sons announced his desire to go to college, his father, in a heavy Polish accent, said, "School don't buy bread. WORK buy bread."
And so my great uncle had to self-educate, eventually becoming a watchmaker.
There are so many more opportunities available to every single one of us today, from traditional universities to Udemy to anything you'd care to teach yourself on the Internet. There's no excuse for not improving your knowledge.
"Education never ends, Watson. It is a series of lessons with the greatest for the last."
– Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [Tweet this quote]
Knowledge doesn't always find us; we have to find it. And it may be in unexpected places. Sherlock Holmes knew this, as he created his own profession and educated himself to be the best consulting detective the world has ever known.
Seek out mentors. Find things that inspire you. Be a student of the world.
But above all, be a lifelong learner.
Image credit: "Shoscombe Old Place" by Frank Wiles (1927)
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