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Understanding Your Goal Is First Step to a Great Learning Experience

A lot of us have “ideas” as to what we need when seeking education. This goes back all the way to high school where you’re first asked, “What do you want to do when you get older?” Our answer to that question was, “I want to be a lawyer,” or “I want to be a mechanic.” We pinned ourselves to this broad thinking since each field has so many sub fields. I’m a lawyer, but not a trial lawyer; I’m a corporate lawyer. I’m a robotics mechanic not a garage mechanic.

If we knew exactly where we were going in life and with our careers, we would have an easier time deciding our learning paths. Often, though, we don’t know where we are trying to get to -- and that prevents us from getting there as quickly as we might. Our journey is delayed because we get spend time in subjects and topics that we don’t necessarily need.

When you hit the place where training or learning a new skill is needed, get decisive. Think about what you know and what you don’t know. Think about what you’ll need to learn in order to become as proficient as possible. You should be asking yourself things like:

-I need to learn…
-I need to understand…-
-Without X, I can’t do…
-With X, I can do…
-I can do X, but now I need to learn…

Get brutally specific about what knowledge bridge you need to cross. Find the content you need to master, and go after it.

We own our learning. We can be led to water, but no one can make us drink it. We have to want to do that ourselves. If you have only broad, general ideas of what you need to learn, you’ll never get to where you need to be in your career.

Get granular. Be specific. Learn. Achieve.

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