What was the last new thing you learnt? We are creatures of progress, with a lifetime’s hunger for improvement. The very fact that we continue to evolve over the course of our lives is evidence of our ongoing need for growth and learning.

Yet as we get older, the chance to discover new approaches, new ideas and new wonders often fades away in the everyday business of life. But without opportunities to stretch ourselves, we soon stagnate and plateau into lives of boredom and disappointment. So, what are you learning?

I find that I learn best by listening, so I’m a big fan of audio books and podcasts. Truth is, it doesn’t matter what form your learning takes, whether it’s reading books, attending a formal course or public lecture, taking part in a conversation or observing an informal life lesson. The point is simply to seek opportunities that stretch us just beyond our comfort zone and offer new challenges that help us grow.

That’s right: it’s not enough just to absorb information, we actually need to apply what we learn to our lives to enjoy the true value of our discoveries. One of the easiest ways to do this is to think about the questions that new insights might prompt us to ask about the lives we’re living.

How could I experiment with this idea in my life?

Here are some of my favourite questions to fire up my brain and get me stretching a little further:

  • If there was one thing I could do based on what I’ve just learnt, what would it be?
  • If I lived my life by this lesson, where would I be three years from now? Is this what I want?
  • How might this lesson have an impact on my vision for the year ahead?
  • If there was no chance of failure, what things would I be willing to try?
  • What would it take to master this part of life? Am I up for it?
  • Where can I learn more about this idea? Who could I talk to about it?

Going further

Here are some more questions I like to ask myself to stretch my life vision further when I feel things have become too comfortable:

  • If I were to fully live my life and feel a holistic sense of wellbeing, what could I do right now?
  • How would I feel about adding five daring goals that really would be a stretch?
  • How can I be more specific in each area of my life?
  • What makes my heart sing?
  • If I had all the money and success that I desire, what would I do with it?

You can download free screensavers for motivation and receive a free printable vision board here.

(Extract taken from The Life Plan, by Shannah Kennedy. Head over to bookdepository.com to order your copy or get in touch with Shannah here to find out about executive coaching options.)