During what have been some of the most uncertain times in recent history, the COVID-19 pandemic has handed us a crisis of a lifetime. In fact, at times it feels like that Aerosmith song Livin’ on the Edge where we are not quite sure what will happen next even if we wanted to know. And while it is going to take time to get back to some sense of normalcy, we should not wait until then for continued personal development. It may seem like a good thing to do; let’s wait until things settle down and then I’ll get back to working on myself. Taking the easy way or kicking the can down the road should not and cannot rule the day, not now, not ever.
Now is the perfect time to add to your skill-set, add to your breadth of knowledge, broaden your horizons network outside of your comfort zone. Just as you are or have been investing in your retirement accounts, you need to be investing in yourself which is your most powerful future wealth building tool. When was the last time you sought out to learn a new skill that wasn’t required of your current job? When was the last time you read a book that wasn’t a requirement of your current job? Or when have you networked with someone outside of your current company? If your response to those 3 questions is that it has been over a year or even worse you cannot remember, then it is time for you stop that trend in its tracks. Today is the day you are changing your past philosophy and breaking the habit of status quo! Even if some or all of those activities are part of your ongoing personal development, maybe it is time to formalize a sense of purpose around each advancement activity.
If you read a new book each month on a new topic whether it is fiction or nonfiction, then a year from now you will have instilled 12 new books into your memory bank. Or if you join a professional industry association like the (American Marketing Association Northeast Ohio) or group and network with 1 new person each month, then a year from now you will have 12 new contacts outside of your current company. And if you sign-up for a training course that is of interest to you and is outside of your current responsibilities at work, then in a year you also have learned a new skill to add to your resume. The difference between you and I now and 12 months from now are the new people we have met, the new skills we have learned and the content and knowledge from the books we have read. All of which independently help us to keep our edge professionally and personally, whether or not we have been living through a pandemic.