Does your musical taste define when you stopped learning new things?
We’ve all heard the phrase “never stop learning”. I can’t imagine that anyone would argue that learning is a bad thing. But it seems that at some point we all naturally hit a wall so to speak where we just aren’t as open to new things. I realized this in a round about way the other day when I was looking at the artist line up for an upcoming music festival that we are taking my daughter to.
My daughter is 19 and it’s the BUKU Music + Art Project in New Orleans. I’ve been told that apparently, it’s kind of a big deal, and if the local hotel rates were any indicator, then it is.
As I looked over the list of performers there were only four or five that I recognized and only one that I could name any songs.
When I was her age I was very into music and not just the music that I liked. I knew artists and songs across genres and knew what was going on with everything that involved music. I always said to myself that I wasn’t going to turn into my parents and be listening to the “oldies” station one day. I was always going to stay up on what was current with music because I cared so much about it. I still care a lot about music and listen to it every single day while I’m working or while I’m cooking or basically doing anything. But if you look at my playlist it’s basically a time capsule from the 90’s and early 2000’s. The only “new” music on there are new songs released by artists that were around back then.
So, what’s this all really mean? It’s not just a symptom of the fact that I’ve gotten older and my musical taste is stuck. I think it’s because we naturally stop evolving as we get further along in life and must push ourselves more and more to learn and absorb and to change. This is true in our personal lives but also in our professional lives as well.
When you are first starting out in your career path there is so much to learn and absorb and most times everything is new, so we are kind of in this constant state of learning. Over time it’s not that we stop learning, but we have learned a lot, so it become more of a struggle to learn more because those are going to be much more complicated concepts. It’s also very easy to get stuck in doing things a certain way and falling back on “We’ve always done it this way”.
It’s one thing to enjoy listening to the classic rock station (fun fact, Pearl Jam and Nirvana are now classics), but you don’t want your business to be stuck on the classic rock station. This happens without even realizing it and that’s when business starts to stagnate. It becomes harder to grow and to get new customers because the old way isn’t always applicable to the current way.
Just like those quintessential bands of the 90s, some things never go out of style like making quality products and having excellent customer service. But then some things like ripped jeans and flannel shirts do go out of style, and so should manual business processes and always doing things the same way.
The best way to make sure you are continuously learning, and evolving is to start doing small things in your personal life and since you aren’t in that constant learning mode set small goals for yourself. Personally, I’ve began doing the three things below to get my brain back into learning and evolving mode:
1. Listen to one new artist every week
2. Try one new recipe every month
3. Learn one new skill, no matter how basic each month
When you start doing those things in your personal life, that translates to your professional self as well and promotes constant learning.