I bought a wooden feeder that was designed to test the intelligence of my gerbils. They had to learn to slide the covers to reach the food or treats beneath. It sounded like a good idea but I wasn’t sure what to expect. I tried it on the elderly gerbil Stewie who just thought it was all too much effort. However, young Dave worked it out quite quickly and is now able to demonstrate his skills in beating the test.
Watching them trying to work it out reminded me how important it is for us all to test ourselves on a regular basis. It is easy to get stuck in the daily rush of work and the demands of home life which can mean we stay in a comfortable groove. When we are young we learn new things on an almost daily basis but why should we stop when we leave education?
I think it is important to continue to try new things and test yourself. This doesn’t have to be through education; it can be by trying a new hobby or pastime. Push yourself to take up something new, learn a new language, try to play a musical instrument, or take up a sport. All of these can push ourselves beyond the accepted boundaries we have.
Alongside this we can always look to accept a new challenge at work. We can get stuck within the detail of our job description, and the view that this is what my role is. Perhaps it is time to break out of that and try something new. Expand your horizons by stepping into a linked but different discipline that will mean you need to adapt your thinking and learn new skills. Whatever you do it will benefit your development and increase your skills and experience for the future.
I was very proud of my little gerbil learning something new and putting himself to the test. It has made me want to push myself and do something that takes me outside of the comfort zone. Watch out as I grab a new challenge.