Success and the need for continuous learning

Saturday, May 15, 2010 9:27
Posted in category Success Tips

We are living in exponential times. Technical information is doubling every two years. In just three years we are expected to have computers with processing capacity equal to that of the human brain.

Entire new industries and technologies unheard of 15 years ago are now regular parts of our lives. Technology, globalization, and the current financial crisis have left many of us reeling. It’s increasingly difficult to keep up with new developments, much less to understand their implications.

But with change, there are opportunities.

If we are to be practical about looking to the future, we must focus our attention on the trends and ideas that are shaping the world around us. What will these changes mean for you, your family, your career, your community and your investments?

The World Bank predicts that by 2030, the number of middle-class people in the developing world will be 1.2 billion—a rise of 200 percent since 2005. From now on, the main driver of global economic expansion will be the economic growth of newly industrialized countries.

This change represents opportunities. It represents opportunities to profit, to grow and to achieve things never before achieved.

Given all these changes however, there is one constant—and that is the ongoing need to learn. To learn you must become a good listener. And the art of listening or observing depends on your ability to know yourself, your filters or preconceived ideas that retard effective learning.

It is vital for you to ask yourself why you think the way you think. Learning to ask questions is a critical component of success—and also of a successful marriage. And frequently, it is not the answer that you receive that is important, but rather the answer you do not receive.

Lastly, I would like to leave with you two of my favorite quotes. I quote from Alan Simpson: “If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.”

The second quote is from Winston Churchill. I know for a number of you getting jobs this year has been difficult so this quote is not only appropriate for the future but most certainly for the present: “Never give in”—or in American English, never give up. “Never give in—never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty. Never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”

Excerpted from a keynote speech delivered by Mr.Merle Hinrichs, Chairman and CEO of Global Sources to the graduating class of 2010 at the Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management in Arizona. Mr.Hinrichs is a distinguished alumnus of the school and was conferred an honorary doctorate in law by the institution on the occasion.

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