I recently read an article by David Perrell titled Learn Like an Athlete. David is a podcaster, writer, and business advisor. I assumed the article would be something along the lines of, put in the hard work to get the results you want. A great message, but certainly not new or novel.
We all know that success doesn’t happen overnight, but what I enjoyed about Perrell’s article was the action plan he ties to learning and growth. He goes further than just saying you need to put in hard work, he explains how to do it.
Perrell uses Lebron James as his training example. But I’m 5’2’’ and have lost every game of HORSE I’ve ever played, so that example didn’t exactly resonate with me. But, I’ve been a runner for all of my adult life so I’m familiar with training. You don’t toe the start line without putting the miles and months of preparation in. Well, I suppose you could, but you’ll be hurting.
When you sign up to run a race, you generally stick to a training program. The program has designated benchmarks, and a plan to help you toward your goal of completing the race. As Perrell points out:
Athletes train. Musicians train. Performers train. But knowledge workers don’t.
Knowledge workers should train like Lebron and implement strict “learning plans.” To be sure, intellectual life is different from basketball. Success is harder to measure and the metrics for improvement aren’t quite as clear. Even then, there’s a lot to learn from the way top athletes train. They are clear in their objectives and deliberate in their pursuit of improvement.
Knowledge workers should imitate them.
It’s an interesting thought – are you on a training plan for knowledge and growth? We might set ambiguous goals about getting better, learning more, or growing – but what are the steps we are taking toward achieving that goal?
I encourage you to read Perrell’s article. He dives into creating a learning plan and implementing it. He provides actionable steps and a guideline because, as he explains, “Even the longest
projects are simply a collection of short-term tasks.”
So, whether you’re training for a 10k, learning a new language, or starting a new project at work, ask yourself, are you learning like an athlete?
Until next time…we are Advoco, make every minute count.
About Molly: Molly Hallman is our Digital Content Manager, helping the marketing team with all things writing related, websites, social media, and events. When she’s not telling the Advoco story, she’s spending time with her dogs and her husband in pursuit of Greenville’s best hot dog (current favorite: the mac and cheese dog from the Greenville Drive Stadium.) Got a question for Molly? Send her an email!