A Guest Post by Claire Adams
Whether you are a college student eager to advance or an aspiring entrepreneur about to embark on an ambitious journey of growth, the idea of self-actualization is far from a new one, but still very important for fulfillment and success. When the famous psychologist Abraham Maslow created the pyramid of our most fundamental needs and driving forces, the idea helped people understand what needed to happen for them to feel successful and fulfilled.
Today, things haven’t changed that much, as we all still need to maintain our most basic physiological needs, the need for safety, love, accomplishment, and ultimately, combine them all into self-actualization.
What’s vital to remember is that this idea embodies lifelong learning and our ability to evolve beyond individual accomplishments. For that to happen, and to help you achieve your goals and actualize yourself throughout different stages of your life, you need to be eager to learn and adapt – and here are the most useful learning practices you can employ.
Expand your reading list
If you are, for example, building a business of your own, you might be tempted to stick to literature that only covers the specific topics vital for your industry. As a fashion designer, you’ll read about the most powerful brands today and their histories, and as a writer, you’ll look for Hemingway’s and Tolstoy’s finest work.
However, try reading something unrelated to your field of work, such as short stories, fiction, poetry, philosophy, scientific literature. You’ll be surprised how many invaluable lessons you can pick up from the unlikeliest of passages in these books. Reading is one of the most effective and powerful tools at your disposal for self-development and professional growth.
Diversify your learning material
As a medical expert, for instance, you might imagine that all you need to rely on are intricate and detailed medical textbooks. Naturally, a nurse wanting to get certified in pediatric advanced life support methods would stick to these books only. However, in these unfortunate circumstances, more medical students actually use printable PALS flashcards to learn on the go and rely on other online material to make the process easier.
Why not apply the same logic and turn to printables easily found online, as well as video tutorials, infographics, and podcasts? You’ll find that there are many experts out there happy to share their ideas and actionable tips to eager learners – use them for your own self-actualization journey, too.
Take up online courses
In the middle of this pandemic, so many people have not given up on their dreams to finish a course or obtain a degree in their field of work. To circumvent the difficulties of the pandemic, many have turned to online learning as the best way to get the credentials they need to find work, or to apply for specific jobs that require industry-approved qualifications.
Whether you just want to improve your creative writing skills, or you need an accredited course in your industry, you can look for online courses to give you what you need. Studying medicine might be a big challenge, though. Video lectures, like the ones Lecturio provides, can help you learn even the most difficult subjects in a concise and easy-to-follow way, with the help of prominent educators from your field of study.
Find a mentor in your field
When, for example, you want to explore a completely new opportunity such as investing in real estate or the stock market, you shouldn’t merely follow your gut or rely solely on online sources. These specialized fields call for deeply specialized knowledge, and that means that you can benefit from dedicated mentorship to learn from a professional and develop your skills in that way.
A mentor can help uncover your best traits and your weakest links so that you can work on yourself. Or, you might discover that this is not something you’d be good at, and perhaps stumble upon an entirely different field that captures your attention. As much as you actively look for learning opportunities and expert help, keep your eyes peeled for unexpected opportunities, too.
Learn new skills every once in a while
As a nurse, for instance, you not only need to understand how the human body works and how the emergency room procedures should be implemented, but also the fundamentals of human behavior. You need to know how to talk to people, calm them down, but also take the lead, and step up to a challenge in stressful situations.
That simply means that a single skill doesn’t benefit you in isolation exclusively. You can develop skills that are complementary to your field of work, but useful in your personal life, too. For example, you can learn how to negotiate, pick up a martial art, or start meditating and writing a journal. All of these skills will come in handy for your entire life and help you become more fulfilled with everything you do.
Learning is often about stepping outside of your comfort zone, asking questions, exploring your boundaries, and ultimately finding new ways to enrich your existence. Through your profession as well as your selfhood, you can actualize your goals by embracing the idea of lifelong learning. Use these methods to achieve professional and personal self-actualization and to add new dimensions to your life with new knowledge and skills every day.
Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. She enjoys life to the fullest in the healthiest way possible and loves to share her insights into education, and entrepreneurship. Feel free to reach her on Facebook and Twitter or read her posts about a healthy lifestyle on Ripped Me.
Also published on Medium.