Are you a learner?

Have you ever had one of those conversations with someone and you just see a light bulb go off in the middle?

Earlier this week I was talking with a patient about their job. We were discussing two employees, who were both competing for a promotion to a managerial position. They had both been with the company for a couple of years. One of them was a little older, had been there a couple of years longer, and held a slightly higher position. My patient would have the final say as to which of these two candidates would be promoted to the new management position.

We talked for about 10 minutes, weighing the pros and cons of these two candidates. It seemed to me that the separation between the two was razor-thin. Both were hard workers. Both were reliable. Both were great leaders. I, honestly, could not tell which way she was leaning...

Then she said "They are both great... but I know who I have to pick." I was surprised. Obviously, she had already given this a lot of thought, but I was curious. After our lengthy conversation, I had no idea what the determining factor could possibly be.

So I asked her... What made the decision so clear to her?

This patient looked me in the eye and told me that the younger candidate, with fewer years on the job, was a "learner." Every day when the younger, less experienced employee comes into the office she is carrying a book. When she is eating her lunch, she is reading. She is constantly sharing interesting things that she has read. This employee is constantly making progress. She is constantly working to improve herself, which will in turn help everyone around her. 

This conversation reminded me of the quote (in the image above) from Epictetus -

"Devote the rest of your life to making progress."

It doesn't matter what area of your life you are focused on. Just focus on moving forward in some way, every day.   

Movement is my medicine,

Dr. William "Chip" Bleam

Dr. William "Chip" Bleam


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