Your Mission, If You Choose To Accept It: Never Stop Learning

Adult StudentsAlbert Einstein once said, “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”  I could not agree more.

Over the past three weeks, I have been taking an online class associated with Coursera.  If you are not familiar with Coursera, it is a social entrepreneurship company that has partnered with the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.  They envision a future where the top universities are educating not only thousands of students, but millions.  Their technology enables the best professors to teach tens or hundreds of thousands of students.

The class I am taking is Computing for Data Analysis, taught by a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  The class focuses on the “R” statistical language.  Now I will have to admit I am not a programmer.  Nor have I really had any class in programming in any language (well a BASIC class in high school does not really count).  But, I will have to admit the class is kicking my butt.

So who would I intentionally put myself through this torture?

Because you always need to keep learning.

Now the learning does not always need to be a professional skill like programming.  It could be learning a new hobby that is challenging or getting involved with an organization that stretches you like Toastmasters (if you are not comfortable with speaking in public).

However, you should always be looking at improving yourself professionally, too.  Look at areas just outside your profession or skill set and see what might be out there to learn more about.  It does not need to be as formal as a class either.  Reading books and literature on the subject may also be something to evaluate.  Over the past two years I have read a dozen of professional based books and e-books.  That is, likely, more than the total number of books I read since I have been out of college.

For me, the class I am taking ends next week.  I will likely retake it just so I can get a better understanding of the fundamentals of programming and R.  However, I started a new class yesterday that the programming class is a recommended prerequisite for.  So, I have another 8 weeks of a new class.

What comes after that?   We will have to wait and see.  But one thing I know, it won’t be very long before it comes up.

What are you learning to improve yourself?

–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “The Rhino Crash Blog…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at

About J. Nolfo
Well...there is a lot to know. #Cx, #Analytics, #SM, Specialty #AgChem, #StL sports, & more. FT @BASFAgProducts. @Mizzou Alum. Supporter of the #Rhino. Tweets my own. #SMMW17 attendee....Dad...Hiker...Scouter...and so much more.

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