A friend at work reminded me about my own vision. I told him about the Biz of You concept a year or so ago. He digested the idea in his from his perspective and reflected it back onto me. He thinks it’s something everyone can apply to their own lives. He followed up his positive feedback with, “Why aren’t people applying what they learn in their careers to their own lives?” Pick your industry and job function, there’s something you can probably apply to your own life.
The Biz of You is about observing the world around you and applying what you learn to make your life better. It’s not a single solution or set of steps to success but rather a mindset of adapting to our environment with the information available to us. Whether you are an engineer, manager, clerk or barista, there’s something in your job function applicable to your personal life. The key is to open ourselves to learning from our observations. Instead of just applying knowledge at our jobs, we can also apply the principles to our own lives. Engineering is the practical application of science to solve problems with electrical, mechanical, software and biologic items. The process of designing a widget can be used to design the life you want. Management is about working with others to achieve something greater than going it alone. Management is about leadership and achieving purpose. Management principles can be applied to yourself. You are the employee and the manager. You are the leader of your life. A clerk in a store not only makes sales to people but also may help stocking shelves and ensuring the store is profitable. Your future self is the product of your current decisions and actions. Just as a clerk tends to the store, we have to tend to our lives in order for us to be profitable in our actions and deeds. Every interaction you have with others is an opportunity to learn and thereby profit in the expansion of knowledge. A barista like a clerk tends to the coffee house but also crafts individual orders to the needs of the customer. You are the customer of your prior self. You receive the services you provide to yourself.
We only have ourselves to blame for our current situation. Our personal situation deteriorates when we act in ways making things worse for others. Thus, it is up to us to learn and interact in ways making things better not just for ourselves but those we interact with no matter what our personal business is. The same holds true whether we work or not. If we are not growing, we are deteriorating. Whatever your project is at work, in retirement or in school, there’s something to learn and apply to your life. As we change jobs voluntarily or not we can use this mindset to learn as much as we can about our new opportunities. New employers are impressed when we have specific questions about their establishment. It shows we research and prepare. It shows we take an active interest instead of idle entitlement.
I don’t know why some people are not learning. I’m wrapped up in my bias for action and improvement and have trouble seeing otherwise. I clash with those who don’t like to improve or get lost in paralysis by analysis. Perhaps it’s ego. Perhaps it’s thinking we “know.” We’re all biased in some way having experienced what we have. One thing is for sure, we come out of the womb absorbing information. Why stop? Perhaps we need to ask ourselves questions like, “What can I learn right now?” And if we have any desire to have a better life, we need to follow that question with, “What can I do with what I learn?”
If there’s one thing I’ve learned attempting to put into words a response to the question posed in the title of this post is that the question itself is flawed. I think we are learning all the time but don’t apply what we learn to what we do. A better question for the title would have been, “Why are we not applying what we learn in order to make our lives better?” That’s where things can get personal. Only you can speculate on that one.
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