If you’re hunting high achievement, motivation is what gets you into the game, but learning is what keeps you there.
Whether your interest is capital “I” Impossible, doing what’s never been done, or small “i” impossible, doing what you’ve never done, both paths demand that you develop expertise.
In his classic book on decision-making, Sources of Power, psychologist Gary Klein makes exactly this point, identifying eight types of knowledge that are visible to experts yet invisible to everyone else:
- Patterns that novices don’t notice.
- Anomalies or events that didn’t happen or events that violate expectations.
- The big picture.
- The way things work.
- Opportunities and improvisations.
- Events that already happened (the past) or will happen (the future).
- Differences that are too small for novices to detect.
- Their own limitations.
Without all the knowledge on Klein’s list, the impossible remains impossible because the items on Klein’s list are literally the ingredients of the impossible.
They are the requisite knowledge base. But developing this base requires learning.
A ton of learning.
Lifelong learning is the technical term for this ton.
Lifelong learning keeps the brain sharp, both preventing cognitive decline and training up memory.
It also boosts confidence, communication skills, and career opportunities.
These improvements are the reasons psychologists consider lifelong learning foundational to satisfaction and well-being.
But for those interested in peak performance, there’s also flow to consider.
If our goal is to stay in the challenge-skills sweet spot to maximize the time we spend in the zone, then we need to be constantly stretching ourselves to the edge of our abilities.
This means we are constantly learning and improving and, as a result, constantly increasing the size of the next challenge.
But to meet these greater challenges, we have to acquire even more skills and more knowledge.
Lifelong learning is how we can keep pace with the moving target that is the challenge-skills sweet spot.
It’s the bedrock foundation of a high-flow lifestyle.
So, make sure to dive into a new topic today!