Monday, May 25, 2015

What Have You Learned Today?

Internal Auditors are expected to provide advice on best practices, consulting services, and opinions on a wide range of issues. To be able to do so and achieve the status of a "Trusted Adviser", I believe they need to learn new things on daily basis! And "by new things", I am not only referring to necessary technical knowledge, but to any other useful piece of information. Such information may prove to be useful to them in providing their services and/or as a door opener in establishing relationships with their customers. Not to mention, improving their business acumen.

Don't confuse this with continuous professional education (CPE), these are two different things!

I have been literally doing just that (learning a new thing every day) for a long time. I would like to think this approach has helped shape who I am today. Needless to say, modern technology has made it much easier to achieve this goal compared to the past!

What Did I Learn Today?
It is very simple and basic: I have learned the difference between " what did you learn today" and "what have you learned today"! I was debating which sentence is more appropriate to use. I have learned that both sentences are grammatically correct. The former is past simple and the latter is present perfect. This is useful information for someone whose English is a second language like myself and for improving my vocabulary &  communication skills!

Why Learn New Things?
An article published on lists the following benefits :
  • Learning across a wide range of subjects gives us a range of perspectives to call on in our own narrow day-to-day areas of specialization.
  • Learning helps us more easily and readily adapt to new situations.
  • A broad knowledge of unfamiliar situations feeds innovation by inspiring us to think creatively and providing examples to follow.
  • Learning deepens our character and makes us more inspiring to those around us.
  • Learning makes us more confident.
  • Learning instills an understanding of the historical, social, and natural processes that impact and limit our lives.
I can't agree more.
Practical Approach to Everyday Learning!
  • First and foremost, you need to have the will and commitment to learn! Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way!
  • Chose the right information source. Social media does not necessarily provide correct and accurate information! 
  •  Pay attention! You will be surprised how much you can learn by paying attention to people and your surroundings.
  • Be curious. Albert Einstein once said, "I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious". 
  • Combine entertainment with learning! I often find myself googling a word, a term, or a piece of information I have heard while watching my favorite TV show or reading a fiction book!
  • Make reading part of your daily ritual. Joseph Addison said," Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body ".
  • If you are a disciplined person, set aside a specific time of the day for quick learning ( i.e. first thing in the morning, bedtime, during commute, or during breaks).
  • Don't be shy or embarrassed to learn from younger people. I still learn a lot from my children!
  • Make your smartphone work for you. Set up an alert for your topic of interest to keep you up-to-date.
Do You Have The Time?
Absolutely! There is no excuse for not learning a simple thing a day. It only takes a few minutes, this is equivalent to one social media status update!

So, What have you learned today?

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