Several members of an organization gathered to discuss an upcoming trip to Canada being sponsored by their organization. The individual in charge of coordinating the trip had traveled extensively to Canada and thoroughly explained to all who were present that it was essential that everyone intending to travel to Canada as part of the sponsored trip would need to be in possession of a valid passport. Abruptly, and without reservation, another individual in the audience interjected that no passports or travel documents were needed to travel into Canada from the United States if you were a U.S. citizen. The individual went on to explain that they knew this because they had personally traveled into Canada from the U.S. 20 years ago and no travel documents, other than personal identification, were required.
Any recent adult traveler abroad, or to a country contiguous to the United States, knows that travel regulations have become more restrictive within the past 20 years. As a side note, since 2009, people from any country arriving in Canada by air, land and sea must possess a valid passport or equivalent travel document.
What is the relevance of mentioning the individual who traveled to Canada from the U.S. 20 years ago when travel documents were not required? As a human being in possession of your mental faculties, it is essential to strive continually to remain relevant with the times in which you live. Often, you may hear someone proclaim he or she has 20 years of experience doing a certain job, or providing a particular service, when, in fact, they may have far less experience. This is akin to having one year of experience and personal growth used for 20 years.
Your continual self-improvement is essential for personal development in life. A healthy child does not stop progressing after learning to crawl. He or she goes on to walk, and ultimately learns to run within his or her capacity. Depending on your personal intellect, each day is an opportunity to learn something new and to pursue knowledge about areas of interest and purpose in which you are passionate. There is valuable wisdom within sound experience, but it is not recommended that you always totally rely upon what you may have learned or experienced eons ago. In every area of life, improvements and changes are continually taking place.
Below are four simple points to keep in mind for daily self-improvement:
1. Read books, trade magazines, journals, blogs and research articles pertinent to your area of interest.
2. Network and socialize with diverse individuals who share your interests and passions for living to keep abreast of new trends and areas of thought surrounding your interests.
3. Take courses available to you to advance your field of knowledge in your area of expertise or field of interest.
4. Travel internationally to learn about different customs, cultures and traditions surrounding your area of interest; but by all means be mindful of travel restrictions and remember to be in possession of a valid passport, or equivalent travel document, prior to entering another country.
© 2012 – 2013, H. James Williams. All rights reserved.