Most important thing I learned in 2016


Consider this your mid-week motivation—here we'll be sharing a new smarter secret from our authors, the people who you learn from and who inspire you to push the limits of your potential. So, we asked: What is the most important thing you learned in 2016?

My key takeaway from 2016 is to better recognize and embrace new opportunities. I've tried so many new things that crossed my path this year—from taking a flying lesson to a first multi-day backpacking trip, to authoring my first Pluralsight course... It all started with a "yes," rather than my usual, "Yeah, I'll think about it." –Sander Mak

The most important thing I learned in 2016 is to meet people where they are at. Don't assume someone understands your approach, your sentiment, your thought process without you first making an effort to understand theirs. If you can connect with people at their place in life or career, you will give meaning to the relationship both for yourself and them. As a freelancer, I meet different people every single day and I can never use the same approach or starting point for a conversation. –Lars Klint

2016 was the year of breadth for me. I had to get really good at managing a large plateful of a wide variety of things. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, I found that giving myself permission and time to dive deep helped me develop that breadth. Digging in deep really helped me become a more well-rounded professional. New information is easier to absorb when you can relate it to things you already know. I found those connections far easier to build when I had a little more depth. The depth made it much easier to broaden. –Floyd May

The most important thing I learned in 2016 is how difficult it has become to find true and objective information. Use of AI and tracking by sites to serve up content I am “interested in” means I am flooded with things I want to know and missing out on things I need to know. And it seems clear that some of that content is biased, distorted or outright lies. Finding accuracy and truth is going to take more effort than it has in the past. –Dan Appleman

I learned that my grand-kids seem to come pre-programmed to understand the interfaces of mobile devices (ages 1-8) more than I did five years ago. ;) I watched my 1-year-old grandson grab a phone and actually hit the home button and swipe to look at the pretty icons, then walk up to a TV and try to swipe....? I would have just drooled and chewed on it. This affirms to me that this next generation is gonna be so far ahead of my knowledge. Things that I had to learn will be second nature to I'm starting to sound like my grandpa! Cue story from Grandpa: "I remember back when I was a boy, we dealt with megabytes!" Grandpa, tells the story about when you got your first solid state drive and thought that was fast!...haha –Dale Meredith

The most important thing I learned in 2016 is to let go of the programming languages, libraries, and frameworks that I love and I'm comfortable with. And do this in favor of the bleeding-edge others because the best things aren’t always invented yet, and because learning about the design concepts of the upcoming technologies uncovers a lot of the bad parts about the current technologies we love. –Samer Buna

So, what’s your secret to being smarter?

Share it with us: #SmarterThanYesterday.



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