“Learning is not a spectator sport.”
“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
“It is not that I'm so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.”
Last night on my way home from work I was listening to The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. This was my third time listening. I listen, or re-listen to about a book a week. I think it’s a great way to use my driving time. I probably get in a couple of hundred hours of study time per year, simply by listening to books on my iPhone or iPod while driving. The following, in no particular order, are among my favorites:
· The Power of Now
· The War of Art
· The Art of War
· The Bible
· Eat That Frog
· Loving What Is
· Tao Te Ching
· The Richest Man in Babylon
· No Man Is An Island
· The Practice of the Presence of God
· Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
· Good Luck: Creating the Conditions for Success in Life and Business
· Wherever You Go, There You Are
I also listen to podcasts and iTunes U for discussions on history, motivation, job search tips and other topics. I think it’s a great way to use my time and I’ve been doing it for about four years now.
The questions that occurred to me were these:
· Will I always need to study and learn? (Yes.)
· Will I always need to keep being motivated? (Yes, again.)
· Will I ever get to a point where I have enough knowledge and/or wisdom that I won’t need to study? (I hope not.)
One of the reasons I like writing is because there’s an almost infinite variety of topics and subjects on which to write. That means there’s also an infinite variety of things about which to learn. People have told me I’m smart and sometimes they say this with admiration or awe, but I’m really not any smarter than most people; I just read a lot and I try to use my time well. I have a brain and I have a gift for synthesizing what I’m reading. I also speak well and I have a few other gifts, but everyone has gifts. My gifts are wonderful, but so is everyone else’s.
With regard to gifts I believe most of us have four or five we’re born with and maybe a few more we can develop. It’s a whole world out there and I believe we have far more choices than we realize. Tonight I was thinking about what direction I’d like my own life to take and I chose writing. But I also know I could choose any of the following:
· Career coaching
· Teaching U.S. History at the middle school, high school or community college level
· Public speaking
· Acting or standup comedy
Any of these jobs, as well as my current one as an Adult School teacher, would be ways to be happy and contribute to the world. They would also each have their own peculiar struggles and difficulties, but in the end those wouldn’t matter because I would be doing something meaningful and fun.
I feel fortunate and grateful to be blessed with so many choices. I feel grateful for the person I am and the person I’m becoming. I’m a lucky learner. I feel fortunate that I have the ability to Get Started and Keep Going.