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  • Hassan Mustefa, University of Colorado, Denver

Do we ever implement the lessons we've learned into our everyday lives?

We are all constantly learning inside and outside of our professional lives, whether it's a lesson from a professor’s lecture or a piece of advice your mentor has given you. Each lesson we've learned is an invaluable piece of information that can better the way we maneuver through life.

"It is easy to recognize the value of learning a lesson in the moment, but how do we truly move them from realizing their value to having them become a habit? After that, how do we adapt these habits so they become part of behavioral change? How many times do we find ourselves saying, 'Wow, that is a really great method,' and then not actualizing that behavior?"

One of my mentors recently gave me this piece of advice. It seemed like simple advice but when I first read it, I began to realize how often this happens. I hear lessons or practices that I know will help me in my everyday life, yet I fail to make these lessons a habit. There is a distinction between learning a lesson and speaking about it rather than implementing it into a habit.

For instance, a lesson I have heard before is to listen to understand rather than listen to respond. This is a piece of advice I would always hear from my peers, but I never adapted this behavior for myself. I began to experiment and implement this method into my life, and I soon saw how special this quality is and how open-minded it can help you become.

To be able to progress, you need to hold yourself accountable. This is why I continue to take the lessons I've learned and turn them into habits.

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