When we do want to learn something, we focus on the positive—what we’ll gain from learning it—and envision a happy future in which we’re reaping those rewards. That propels us into action. Researchers have found that shifting your focus from challenges to benefits is a good way to increase your aspiration to do initially unappealing things.
Over the past decade or so, most leaders have grown familiar with the concept of self-awareness. They understand that they need to solicit feedback and recognize how others see them. But when it comes to the need for learning, our assessments of ourselves—what we know and don’t know, skills we have and don’t have—can still be woefully inaccurate.