I remember about 4 years ago attending some training and we were asked to discuss with someone beside us, what our goals for the future were. I have one goal that rarely changes even if the specifics of it do and that is to continue to study. I mentioned that I wanted to go back to study and do a Masters. The person was incredulous and couldn’t understand why I would do something like that for pleasure and not because I had to.
I have been engaging in some form of study every year since 1998. I realise that love of learning is one of my strengths and as a friend and colleague says, ‘it’s my drug of choice’. What I learn varies but there is a common thread, I am continually learning about myself and about they way in which people engage with the world and deal with each other.
According to Martin Seligman’s PERMA Model of Wellbeing, having a purpose and feeling in flow with what you do it an integral part of happiness and wellbeing. People who don’t have goals or who aren’t trying to improve themselves are less likely to feel their life is worthwhile. The great thing is, it doesn’t matter what you learn.
The internet is such a wonderful resource that you can fulfil your preference for learning and find out about pretty much anything. I love to read, I am not so good with videos or podcasts, although I do a daily yoga practice using video instruction. My husband prefers videos and talks, which gives us great insight when we share knowledge about the same subject as we often get slightly different perspectives. If you are into more academic learning you can download any course from Harvard University and study their course modules, although you won’t get any accreditation for it. The opportunities for learning are endless.
Another way I love to learn is through my meditation practice. As I teacher I find most people come to meditation to relax or de-stress. The reality is that meditation was actually for the purpose of self-awareness and is an essential tool if you are trying to develop your Emotional Intelligence. Time spent in silence can surface all sorts of thoughts and ideas about yourself and the world. It can also help you to identify the patterns of thinking that are most destructive to you and others. Additionally, meditation can improve inspiration. If you haven’t already checked it out, look at my earlier post about the ‘Eureka Factor’ by John Kounios. He explains how open awareness can give us ‘aha’ moments and help with problem solving.
As we start the academic year again next week, it may be time for you to set some goals. Perhaps it’s time for you to develop your strengths of ‘Love of Learning’ or ‘Curiosity’. You can find out more about strengths at www.viacharacter.org. When we are passionate about something it gives us the drive and momentum to keep going and it fill us with a sense of purpose. I know I am biased as both a teacher and a life-long learner but try it, you’ll be amazed at what you might learn about yourself.
Thank you for reading. If you want to get in touch or have any questions email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope our paths cross again in the future,