New ways of learning
To say I’ve been on a steep learning curve since launching These Are The Heydays would be a hysterical (the haha sort) understatement. And believe me, hysterical (the other sort) is what I’ve definitely felt at times, faced with the challenge of building this project from the ground up.
Has that been daunting? Of course. But has it been invigorating and fascinating too. Abso-bloody-loutely! Because what I’ve learnt so far and what I’m learning pretty much every minute of every day, about myself, the audience I want to serve (that’ll be you), the sort of enterprise and community I want to build and how to do that, is showing me I’m capable of more than I ever thought possible.
If, for example, you’d told me even six months ago that I’d be (mostly) confidently running a website with all the content uploading and management that involves, I’d have politely sniggered and wondered at your sanity. But here I am, doing exactly that. And when things don’t work, there’s no IT department to call, I have to figure out what to do to fix them by myself (even if sometimes that means sending up a rescue flare to someone who’s technical knowledge far exceeds mine. See my recent life-lessons post for why that’s as important a lesson to learn as any.)
That’s the thing about learning, though, isn’t it. However much you know, or think you do, there’s always something new to learn. And in the case of taking a leap into a whole new career/job/way of life, there’s so much to learn it’s almost overwhelming. Then, of course, there’s the challenge of putting all that new-found knowledge into practice. See what I mean about the hysterical thing?
What has been almost the most rewarding lesson of all for me in this particular learning journey though, is the discovery of just how many different sources of information and ways to learn there are.
It goes without saying that there are books (and books, and books) that are useful, instructive and inspiring. That’s a pile of my most recent ones in the pic above. There will be more to come, I’m sure.
Another source of hugely helpful learning is on-line courses. I’m currently doing a really terrific six-week course on understanding and getting the most out of Instagram (thank you meandorla), and I have a couple of other courses lined up to follow that.
And at a more specific, day-to-day level, I’ve yet to have a problem that I haven’t been able to find a possible solution for by googling it and rummaging through the suggested links. Of course the biggest shout out where this kind of learning is concerned is to YouTube. Whatever did we do without it? (Even if I haven’t always been able to fix the issue as a result, at which point the aforementioned rescue flare approach comes into play.)
Then there are podcasts. What a revelation they’ve been for me. It’s not just the scope of what there is to discover and learn (it’s HUGE) but the fact that a) they’re free and b) I can do that learning….well, anywhere. When I’m in the bath (with my handset at a safe distance from the water, obviously. Been there with the whole oh-my-God-that’s-my-phone-under-the-water thing. Never want to experience that again thank you), cooking, or, most usefully, when I’m out and about. I’ve discovered the train or tube is the perfect place for me to tune into whatever my latest podcast passion is (I’ll be doing a post about my newest discoveries next week, but these are my most recent top five picks). And I’ve long stopped caring what people think when they see me walking down the street with my headphones on (that is those of them who are looking up from their screens long enough to notice. But that’s another rant for another time).
The last of my new-found fab learning resources is social media. And specifically Instagram and Facebook. Social media takes a lot of, often well-deserved, flack for being a time-sucking rabbit hole, where unpleasant behaviour and views run rampant, but it can also be a force for good in many ways, and learning is one of them. I’ve found so much inspiration and information from people I’ve discovered and followed, and I’m continually amazed at how willing they are to share so much of their wisdom and expertise for free. Have a look at Lucy Sheridan, The Comparison Coach (yes, you read that right) or liveinfitnessretreat on Instagram to see what I mean.
The strap line for These Are The Heydays is ‘Inspiring and helping you to live life to the full’ and I do believe learning is a key part of living a full life. Whether that’s learning a new skill, finding out about a place you’ve never been, discovering how to fix or work something, or studying for a qualification. Whether you’re learning for a specific reason, or just for the pleasure of uncovering something you never knew.
I certainly hope I never stop learning. How about you?
PS Those lists of words on the wall in the picture at the top are from a coaching exercise I did (another hugely illuminating learning experience) to identify my personal work and career motivators.
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