Never too Late to Learn

“It is never too late to learn to be on time.”

—Author Unknown

Image of a swirling clock

Image from Flickr by cea+

Time seems to fly these days, whether or not you are having fun. The pace of life has quickened, jamming our calendars, and stretching our schedules to the limit.

Unfortunately, these challenges come with some negative consequences in the form of emotional, physical, and social stressors.

How do you feel when you expect to be late, or miss an important commitment or deadline? How do you feel when family, friends, or work colleagues keep you waiting or don’t fulfill their promises? What does it cost you, and is it worth the price?

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you simplify your personal and professional worlds by reducing or eliminating the commitments that are simply not a priority? How can these changes provide you the added buffer to not only be on time, but fulfill virtually all of your personal and professional commitments?

The Things We Know Best

“The things we know best are things we haven’t been taught.”

—Luc de Clapiers, 18th Century Marquis de Vauvenargues

My first career, fresh out of college, was as a teacher. It was my belief at the time that it was my job to literally pour my knowledge of life science into the minds of 25 sixth grade students. What I discovered was that very little got in, and even less of my brilliant lessons stuck for more than a week or two.

One of my fascinations over the years, and particularly since I began my career in coaching, is what some call the “stickiness” factor. It turns out that most of life’s greatest and enduring lessons occur through experiential learning, in which the student is fully engaged, even lost, in their own inquiry.

EXERCISE:

What areas of personal or professional development are you and others in your world most open, interested, and excited about? How can you structure a deep and meaningful learning experience in these areas?

The more that you read

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

-Dr. Seuss, pen name of Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel

Image of The Cat in the Hat reading today's quote

image from Dr. Suess Entrprises

Dr. Seuss really knew what he was talking about with this quote!

According to DoSomething.org:

  • 2/3 of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of fourth grade will end up in jail or on welfare.
  • One in four children in America grows up without learning how to read.
  • Students who don’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times likelier to drop out of school.
  • Nearly 85% of the juveniles who face trial in the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, proving that there is a close relationship between illiteracy and crime.

EXERCISE:

How will you, in this new year, make a greater commitment to reading and continuous learning, to support yourself and those you care about going to more wonderful places?

Friday Review Learning

FRIDAY REVIEW: LEARNING

Are you learning something new or better every day? Here are a few learning-related posts you may have missed. Click on the link to read the full message.

QC #1110a

 

“To teach is to learn twice.”

 

 

 

QC #1110b

 

“Education is not something to prepare you for life; it is a continuous part of life.”

 

 

QC #1110c

 

“Don’t think of it as failure. Think of it as time-released success.”

 

 

 

Optimism is essential to achievement

“Optimism is essential to achievement, and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress.”

-Nicholas Murray Butler, 20th Century  president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Image from questionpro.com

Image from questionpro.com

Would you like to live a longer, happier, more fulfilling and successful life?

Over the past two decades, I’ve conducted an unscientific, subjective assessment which indicates that my more optimistic clients are more successful and fulfilled during and beyond their coaching engagements.

Other scientifically verified sources attribute a number of benefits to optimism, including:

Having greater purpose Increased coping skills Increased productivity
More satisfying relationships Reduced frustration & worry Decreased stress
More vibrant health Improved problem-solving Enhanced self-esteem

EXERCISE:

Consider taking the 15-minute Learned Optimism Test, adapted from Dr. Martin Seligman’s book, Learned Optimism, as a step toward your own more rewarding life.

another mind in your hands

“When you read a book, you hold another’s mind in your hands.”

-James Burke, British broadcaster and author

image from cntraveler.com

image from cntraveler.com

Throughout my childhood and into my early adult years it was rare for me to read anything but an occasional comic book. My mother, Rose, meanwhile, was a voracious reader, often consuming 10-12 books every three weeks—the maximum allowed by our local library.

Although her formal education ended when she graduated from high school, she was more highly intelligent, articulate, and “in the know” than most college graduates. I greatly admired this quality in her and adopted her practices to a good degree throughout my various careers. This is especially true in my work as a Coach, in which I often get to share the minds of others through their wonderful, world-expanding books.

EXERCISE:

How would a good book related to your existing interests, challenges, or priorities provide a mind-expanding contribution to your world?

Consider the practice of always having a good book handy, so your mind is always expanding.

Click THIS LINK to see some of the world’s most amazing and beautiful libraries. They clearly demonstrate the honor given to books and learning.

When the Student is Ready

“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

-Gautama Buddha, on whose teaching Buddhism was founded

image from kevingcook.com

image from kevingcook.com

When people say, “perception is reality,” they often mean that the way we perceive something makes it real. What if we don’t perceive an issue, challenge, or lesson to be learned, simply because it is invisible to us?

As a student, we must first see a situation and determine that there is value, opportunity, or benefit in it. Only then is there the potential to hear the teacher and see how they might assist us in understanding the lesson.

EXERCISE:

Where are you stopped or stuck in your life? Where are your efforts to move forward being thwarted? To whom could you go with the challenge you face, to determine your readiness and receptivity to the lesson?

Who Looks Outside

“Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside awakes.”

—Carl Gustav Jung, founder of analytic psychology

Image from zdnet.com

Image from zdnet.com

I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of exploring new worlds. I was a fan of Mr. Wizard as a child, and dreamed of being an astronaut. The Discovery Channel is one of my favorites, and my first career was as a science teacher.

As I aged and pursued adventure, personal growth, and my current career in coaching, I found new excitement in taking frequent journeys into the land inside of my mind and heart – without the assistance of a rocket or a space suit.

EXERCISE:

Chose a practice such as meditation, prayer, journaling, or reading insightful, thought-provoking books and blogs to explore the worlds inside of you, and engage in new journeys of self-discovery.

“The best teachers are those who…”

“The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.”

—Alexandra K. Trenfor

Photo from bats.blogs.nytimes.com

Photo from bats.blogs.nytimes.com

I have been an active and engaged member of the ICF (International Coach Federation) for almost 20 years. Today, this organization has well over 20,000 members in more than 100 countries. The IFC has been one of the most active in establishing the ethics, standards, competencies, and credentialing criteria for the industry.

Fundamental to the value and impact of the coaching process is how it engages the individual in a variety of learning experiences requiring personal inquiry and self-discovery.

A phrase I like very much that describes this client-centered educational effort is “Coaches let their questions do the heavy lifting.” Although teaching experiences that “show and tell” can be a part of the learning process, it is perhaps when we help others to see, discover, and learn from within that even greater benefits are realized.

EXERCISE:

Think back to the teachers, mentors, and coaches in your life who have made the most significant impact in your life. Examine how many of them helped you discover and believe in your own potential and greatness.

How can you be this teacher or coach for those you care about in your professional or personal life?

Should you have the interest to learn more about coaching and the ICF, please visit www.coachfederation.org

“It wasn’t a waste of time if…”

“It wasn’t a waste of time if you learned something.”

—Author Unknown

Photo from thebusyba.com

Photo from thebusyba.com

Rarely do I hear people complain that the way they spend their time is wasteful. Rather, when these individuals have little or no say or influence on their time, their complaint level rises dramatically.

What we perceive as “time well spent” is often viewed by those around us—particularly in our professional worlds—as wasteful. The same thing occurs with most of us when others are orchestrating and influencing our days.

EXERCISE:

As you begin your day, please consider putting on a pair of “Learning Lenses.”  As you discover and appreciate the wide variety of teachable moments and lessons learned, examine the fulfillment and satisfaction available because of this more productive and empowering perspective.