How to Become a Continuous Learner
If you're not learning, you're dying.
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I had the opportunity to hear Derek Downey, director of the Open Source Database Practice at Pythian, share his thoughts on Adopting a Habit of Continuous Learning at Percona Live.
Derek is a proponent of, "If you’re not learning, you’re dying," and strongly recommends making learning an ingrained habit. Why a habit? Because a habit is when your brain automates the tasks you do on a regular basis like brushing your teeth or working out.
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If you have a desire to learn rather than needing to learn, you will be more likely to do it -- and enjoy it. Adopt outcome-based habits and identity-based habits where you think about what you want to become and how you want to be identified. Put systems in place to achieve the outcomes you desire. Do things as a learner, be curious, be inquisitive, examine new things with "fresh eyes" rather than preconceived notions.
You don't have to do this all of the time, but you need to do it the majority of the time so that is becomes ingrained in your daily practice. Set aside a few minutes every day to accomplish your learning goals.
- Make it obvious – cue
- Make it attractive – craving
- Make it easy – response
- Make it satisfying – reward
If you are able to accomplish each step in the habit loop, you have a much greater probability of taking daily actions and activities toward your goals.
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