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  • Irina Ketkin, author of #adventuresofthelearner

To grow or not to grow?

When I was in university I kept wondering why would people pay so much money and not go to lectures or learn anything. Then when I joined I wondered why are there some people who are content with not progressing their careers and their personal development. Then I met people from around the world and still asked myself why aren’t people interested in furthering their current knowledge.

And then I did a coaching and NLP qualification courses and finally got the answer to that. Values.

Everyone has them and they are different for everyone. Some people seek serenity so they spend every free minute mountain climbing, others value family, so they too strive to spend as much time with theirs as possible.

I value learning – life-long, brain-hurting learning. I spend a lot of resources on looking up ways to better my knowledge and help others (another value of mine but that’s for another time). I rely on myself to learn as much as I can about what I do. Sometimes it’s by trial and error, other times by learning from others’ bad examples, but overall I learn whenever and whatever I can (even trivial things like the fact that the human eye can see up to 100 km in perfect weather conditions).

That may not be everyone’s thing. And that’s ok.

“If you stand still, the world will move without you.” That was something I heard recently and it really stuck with me. Why would anyone want to stand still while the world is moving away?

Because people would have other priorities. And that makes sense. But what are these other priorities?

I remembered the old Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. And that’s when it dawned on me. You need to have some basics before you can strive to self-actualise. You need to have food on your table and roof over your head before thinking of pursuing Ph.D. And that also made sense.

But then does that mean I have everything in life? Sure, I am a generally happy person but I too am missing some basics (again, not the point here). So how come I want to develop myself even if some steps on my way up the pyramid are missing?

May be the truth is somewhere between values and needs. May be there’s a lot more I can learn from life to be able to answer that question.

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