What do you think about when you hear the phrase, “Back to School”? I can’t help but remember a few, very vivid times in my education. It is amazing what triggers our memories. When they were little, I used to shop for school supplies with my boys. I would pick up a pack of crayons and the smell would thrust my mind back to elementary school. Later, as they grew, we were found shopping for electronic devices like calculators and laptops. This shopping experience brought me back to my prehistoric days of the pencil, the pad of paper, and the Trapper Keeper (showing my age a bit here), way before mobile phones, tablets, and email. But one thing I believe is timeless is the desire and need to continue learning. I didn’t rush off to college after high school. It wasn’t until 10 years later that I earned my undergraduate degree and my Master’s Degree a couple years later. But the important thing is, I kept learning and continue to learn something new everyday.
With our lives as crazy as they are, our schedules bursting with more events then we seem to have time for, and our energy levels depleted from the exhausting work we do every day, it is easy to end one day and start the next, just to repeat this process over and over again. Someone once said that it take seven days to create a habit. That is, do something for seven days in a row and it is now something we expect to do and may even look forward to doing. I started one of these habits some time ago and I wanted to share it with you.
Every day, I make time to learn something new. Yep, I am now my own school. ZU–Zuccarello University. Nice ring to it, huh?! My classroom can be behind my desk in my home office, in a comfy chair at my local coffee shop, on an airplane at 37,000 feet, or on my patio with a glass of wine. There are many more classrooms, but these are some of my more frequent venues.
My class times are usually pretty short, typically lasting less than an hour. That’s pretty funny since my attention span back in school was just about as long. My teachers are books, podcasts, online videos, conversations, and good old observation. My classmates are my closest friends, family, colleagues, and sometimes strangers who I meet that have something they share during a conversation sitting next to each other on the airport parking shuttle. My lessons are self assigned and often impromptu. For example, there are many things we can learn by watching others do their jobs. Some do their jobs with excellence, and we make a note of what impresses us, while others struggle in their work and we make a note of what we want to avoid. My homework is scribed in an old fashioned, spiral bound steno book. I probably have a dozen of these laying around. In fact, I keep one by my bedside, just in case my dreams serve me a lesson worth listening to! It’s been known to happen. I once work up at 2:30am and rattled off nineteen chapter headings for the book I am going to write one day. I know…I’m weird that way. I have accepted that my Zuccarello University graduation will never happen. I will never know all that I could know and I will certainly be caught sleeping while life lessons pass me by, just like in Mr. Holstein’s History class my Sophomore year.
One thing is for sure. I have completely accepted the role of the “forever student”. I encourage you to do the same. Find (make) time in your day to learn something new. Whether it is literally a special hour of the day you assign as “class time” or if it is little bits and chunks of knowledge you see or hear throughout the day (it only counts if you write these down so you can remember them later). One easy way to learn is to have lessons delivered to you every day. Blogs (like this) are a perfect example.
There will be some really cool new learning opportunities coming your way soon! I am making it my mission to bring my experiences, my lessons to you. Click here to be notified of upcoming events and materials I am developing that I know you will enjoy. Let’s learn together.
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