When we are young we went to school. It was structured, regimented, methodical. It was, for all intents, a ritual.
When we get older, graduate school and start living in the “real world” learning fails to become an automatic part of our day. We no longer have a final to study for, no longer have to do research on subjects outside of our own comfort zone.
We tell ourselves we are too busy, too tired, too whatever…but the truth is we can find 10 minutes to learn something, anything, new everyday. A few days ago I wrote about Zero Hour, and how that can help you get into a learning mindset.
I love learning that’s structured in a portable format. Books are nice, but I also love apps that are designed to teach you something. I find on the weekend I enjoy my time learning new things with my children.
My oldest has an interest in medicine, and we found a game online where you can practice surgery on patients. There was all sorts of “Eww! gross!”, when your kids are saying that – there is a good chance they are learning something new.
On weekday mornings after my run (or walk as the case may be) I will do a lesson or two on DuoLingo, or watch a video or two on Tree House. When I’m feeling particularly inspired I may take a free course on Coursera or Udacity.
Learning has never been as easy, or inexpensive as it is today.
I find it sad when someone loses their job due to offshoring, or automation. They may have been doing that line of work for 15 years or more. They often say it’s all they know, and wonder what the future holds for them and their family.
In our new economic reality, we cannot afford to be comfortable with what we already know. We have to grow it, stretch it, and challenge it – often. We are going through a renaissance, and in order to thrive we are going to have to be renaissance men and women.
Being educated is great, but formal education pricing either puts it out of reach, or forces you into indentured servitude. In addition to the cost, there is certainly no guarantee that you will find employment once you graduate. In fact, if you look at school as an investment, you may be surprised to know that taking out a loan to start your own business has a better return on investment than getting your BA.
Some people learn by doing – if that’s you, feel free to experiment. This blog in some sense is an experiment of mine.
Today’s take-away: Give yourself a little structure to learn something new every day