Make Learning a Lifelong Pursuit

Cynthia Tidwell

There are several guideposts I have drawn upon throughout my career to keep me grounded, build relationships and become a leader others will follow. One of those guideposts is to make learning a lifelong pursuit. It is one of the most valued gifts I give myself every day.

Since becoming your president in 2005, I am amazed at what I continue to learn about our industry, our members and their communities…and myself. The more I learn, the more I realize there is always more to learn.

You, too, are most likely a life-long learner already but may not even realize it. However, if you are interested in challenging yourself and ramping up your efforts, here are some reflections that have held me in good stead through the years.

Continuous learning is beneficial to our mental and physical health. It keeps our minds sharp and our bodies active. It is how we reach our full potential and helps us make wise decisions. It can lead us to personal fulfillment and set us on a path to professional success.

Open your mind to new ideas, not just when you are at school or on the job, but when you are grocery shopping, at a sporting event or even reading an article. You never know when you will see or hear something that resonates and gives you pause for thought. Strive to continuously learn and grow. If you’re not growing, you’re dying.

In today’s world, I’ve found it imperative to keep up with the ever-changing world of technology. I like to surround myself with fellow learners and people who have knowledge I don’t possess. I listen, really listen, to what they have to say. I may not always agree, but I definitely learn from them.

I also read voraciously, everything from business journals to fitness magazines, blogs to biographies. I gain insights from them all. If reading isn’t your passion, check out audiobooks at the library or watch a variety of news, history and entertainment channels.

Learning is a personal journey, one that can take us as far as we want to go. Wherever that journey leads, remember, we are never too old to learn or too young to teach.

I encourage you to make learning a lifelong pursuit. It will enhance all the days of your life.

Your President and CEO,