I have always been one of those people who loves to learn. As a kid, I had good experiences in school and I was blessed with teachers who cultivated my curiosity. Sure, I got my creativity smushed sometimes, but my overall relationship with learning has been a fun one. To this day, I enjoy the challenge of wrapping my brain around something new and I’m always reading a book, or taking a class, or picking up a new hobby.
My love for learning is why I initiated a mid-life career change recently. I just started my new job last week as the Director of Learning and Development for lynda.com. I will be responsible for designing and implementing a variety of programs to help their employees grow and develop. It’s related to work that I have done before but the corporate environment and this fast-growing company presents a great opportunity for me to learn.
Each day brings new discoveries and pushes me to explore topics and ideas that are fresh and interesting to me — it makes me feel energized and invigorated. I think learning can have this effect on each of us, which is why I encourage you to explore your own love for learning. Even if you are someone who did not like or do well in school, you can still be someone who loves to learn.
Maybe you have always wanted to learn how to play the guitar or make chocolates — well, why not now? Or maybe you have an interest in improving your photography skills or learning how to make a movie on your computer? Let’s get started! Or perhaps you have always been fascinated by politics and international relations. An election year is the perfect time to jump in.
Your curiosity is an important part of your soul and it deserves to be honored. It can lead you to some pretty awesome experiences and opportunities, so give it a little free reign to see what happens.
Ironically, my daughter started kindergarden this week — the beginning of her journey in school and hopefully a time when her love for learning will also be nurtured and tended. She is over the moon with her excitement about school and all the newness it brings. For example, she had her first school hot lunch today (remember those?) and to hear her talk about it, the tacos must have been made out of gold they were so amazing. It’s been two days, and she already is sharing her discoveries — like how she can compare sizes of objects to figure out which is bigger or smaller.
To see her face light up reminds me that we all have that excitement for discovery inside of us. We just need to give it some place to play and help it through the stumbles that are a natural part of the learning process.
So where is your place to play? How can you cultivate your love for learning? Some things to consider might be adult education programs in your neighborhood. This is where I learned to make chocolates a few years back. There is also the offerings of your local community college — you’d be amazed at the great courses that are available to you every term. And there are amazing services out there for online learning. Online learning is awesome because you get to learn at your own pace and set your own schedule. My two favorite sources for online learning are:
- Khan Academy — really amazing videos on science, math, economics, finance and humanities.
- lynda.com (yes, my new company) — mindblowing video courses on a huge range of topics including any computer software you can imagine, video, business, photography, and everyday stuff like using Google or Facebook — if you’d like a free 7-day trial, just shoot me an email at Britt@SoulSchoolOnline.com
I hope you will take some time to think about your learning wish list and then choose a couple of items to get started on. I promise you, you will feel an excitement that rejuvenates you and that alone is worth it. But you may also come away with some new friends, some new skills, and even new opportunities for your highest and best self to express itself.