Remember the days when you were a kid on the last day of school? Do you recall the level of pure excitement you had? I know I remember exactly how it felt to release the stress of homework, tests, and projects. Once summer began we could leave all that in the past.
Of course, those innocent feelings of fun and adventure filled our souls, and these are great memories to look back upon.
Don’t you wish sometimes you could just walk away from all your challenges for a few months, like that? Wouldn’t it be amazing to live in that carefree state? Many people want to walk away from the hard stuff permanently and many students feel that way at the beginning of summer break.
The bigger concept I find it interesting to ponder is how when we left school for good upon graduation, the level of freedom most of our classmates felt as they exited the stage with that diploma in hand.
“Never again will I have to study!'“ - said someone, probably.
“Thank God, I can now get rid of these books!” - exclaimed someone else, most likely.
And it was truly how they felt.
There’s a statistic that says that 1/3 of all high school graduates never read a book for the rest of their lives. Another 42% of college graduates never read a book for the rest of their lives.
A staggering 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.
Additionally, 70% percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
That’s almost unfathomable!
Of course, there’s other ways to learn than just to read a book. Certainly experience, mentors, failures, podcasts, seminars, conferences, relationships and more all teach us something valuable to take our lives to a different level.
But what these statistics do indicate to me is that there’s a lack of intentionality and desire to grow and learn beyond the basic education system. And don’t even get me started about the quality of curriculum that our education system provides.
In my opinion, to survive and thrive in today’s world, we must to be continuous learners. One of our core values at our company is to “Never Stop Learning,” for good reason - we must continually redefine ourselves and be prepared to adapt to continuously evolving conditions for our clients and for what conditions presents themselves in the marketplace.
Further to that, continuous learning keeps life interesting. I can’t imagine how life would be without feeding curiosity, expanding perspective, and gaining a deeper understanding of a wide range of topics. Not only does it pay to embody a constant and never ending improvement mentality, but to me it makes life worth living. It also makes those challenges a lot easier to handle when you equip yourself with the necessary knowledge and wisdom.
So join me, as summer begins, to begin now on your new philosophy of constant and never ending improvement. Never stop learning. If you haven’t picked a book up in a few years, don’t beat yourself up. Just start a new today. Today and tomorrow is what you can control, not what has already come and gone.
Learn, improve, learn more, and have some fun!