What You Learn After You Know It All Is the Best Knowledge You Will Acquire

Members of my career mentoring site will tell you that I am a big believer in the poser of lifelong learning.  Check out this article.  It echoes my thoughts.  I love the idea that “genius is iterative.”


Tweet 81 in Success Tweets, goes to this point. “Become a lifelong learner. The half-life of knowledge is rapidly diminishing. Staying in the same place is the same as going backward.”

If you want to create the life and career success you deserve, you need to become a lifelong learner. One of my favorite quotes on lifelong learning comes from Louis L’Amour, the great American writer of stories about the old west…

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.”

I know a lot about career and life success. I’ve written several books on it. I give lots of talks about it. I’ve coached hundreds of people – helping them build the life and career success they want and deserve. I write this blog. At one point, I thought I knew it all.

And you know what? Every time I write about life and career success, every time I speak about it, every time I coach someone offering my career advice, I gain a deeper understanding of what it takes to create life and career success

I begin anew every day, doing whatever I can to learn about life and career success so I can pass on this knowledge and wisdom to others. I choose to keep learning. So should you.  I’ve learned that if you don’t keep learning, you don’t stand still – you fall behind in the game of life. I’ve also learned that what I learned after I knew it all was some of the best and most important of my learnings.

Thomas Carlyle once said, “What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books.” He lived in the 19th century. If he were alive today, he might have amended his statement to say, “Books and the Internet are the greatest university of all.” Today, all of the great books — and a ton of other life and career success information — are available on line. It’s all there for you, but you have to go after it.  The important thing is to keep learning – how you do it and where you get your information is secondary.

I have a huge collection of books on a variety of subjects. These books are the first place I turn when I am looking for information to post on this blog, when I am working with my career coaching clients, when I am preparing a speech and when I am designing a training program. When I can’t find what I’m looking for in my books, I go on line.

If you want to become a lifelong learner you have to read. Read technical journals. Read trade magazines. Read business publications like “The Wall Street Journal,” “Business Week,” “Fortune” and “Forbes.” If you think they’re too stodgy, read “Fast Company.”

Read your company’s annual report. Read your competitors’ annual reports. Read your local newspaper and “The New York Times.” Read news magazines like “Time.” Read business and industry blogs. Read ezines and eBooks. Read books.  Reading is the best way to stay up with what’s happening in business, in your industry and in the world.

There are other things you can do to keep learning. Attend seminars. Join the major groups or trade associations for your industry. Attend their meetings and participate. Volunteer for committee work. Become known locally in your field. Take a class at your local university. Use your company’s tuition reimbursement program to get a free undergraduate or Master’s degree.

Your education doesn’t stop when you graduate from college or get an MBA, it begins anew. There are many ways to keep learning. Decide which ones work for you, and then follow through. Outstanding performers are competent. They stay competent because they are lifelong learners.

I agree with Albert Einstein who said…

“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong learning attempt to acquire it.”

James Kenly makes much the same point in the article above.

The common sense point here is simple. Successful people are lifelong learners. They treat each new day as an opportunity to learn. They stay open to new people and new ideas. If you do this, you’ll come to realize that you are never finished learning and that what you learn after you know it all is the most valuable knowledge you’ll develop.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to www.BudBilanich.com/join to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.


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