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Pick up one new thing each day

One of the best books I’ve read in the last few years is Atomic Habits by James Clear. If there’s one overarching lesson to be learned from it, it’s that small progress (getting 1% better each day) compounds over time to result in big improvement.

One of the ways I try and exercise this is through learning one new thing each day. It could be a new word in a foreign language I’m studying, a new strategy from a business article, a new thought from a book, or something interesting that I heard and wrote down. Most days finding one new piece of wisdom is easy. If it’s been a light day, making sure to go out and find “one new thing” makes that light day still a success.

Here’s where I struggle: I don’t often share these things except at home. My kids have learned to groan whenever I start a sentence with “you know, I read something recently…” because they know I’m going to share one of these gems with them.

Outside of my family I don’t share them often. Maybe that’s OK. The point of learning, at least for me, is not necessarily to share. It’s to learn. Over time I’ve become more comfortable with the fact that I’m wired to want to learn but not necessarily share or teach what I learn. I do wonder, however, if by not sharing the things I pick up if I’m leaving value that could help others.

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