Joy of Learning…

We all know that thrilling feeling of learning something new — a new recipe, a new word in a foreign language, a new chord on the guitar. And yet, so many of us go through our workdays on autopilot without setting aside time to learn something new.

How can we introduce the joy of learning into our professional life?

Let’s start by taking control of what we read to better ourselves and our careers. Pay attention to what genuinely interests us, rather than relying on a website’s algorithm for recommendations or just going thru the flow.

Let’s also keep an open mind about what “counts” as learning — we can find unexpected opportunities in movies, conversations with friends, speeches, or social media feeds.

Finally, we can keep a list of what we’ve learned lately, how we’ve used that new knowledge, and what we hope to learn in the future. We can stay focused and motivated by tracking progress and setting new goals.

Taking the above steps will help us take both professional & personal learning and development into our own hands — and have some fun with it.

Do it now or never…

Remember the thing you were deeply passionate about, what you felt you were “made for”? You still have what it takes to do it.

The truth is that no one holds the answers for your life; you must find them for yourself.

You can either dismiss this truth and end up filling your life with regret. Or you can embrace this truth and fill your life with learnings that make memorable and happy.

What will you choose? – Do it now or never

Learning Tools…

How good are you at Google Sheet?

Can you write a query? A filter? Do you know how to install add-on tools to trim extra cells or create a mail merge? If you wanted to learn those things, do you know how to find out how?

It’s an interesting litmus test.

Google Sheet is not particularly difficult to use.

You can explore it in private, with no fear of screwing up. And it’s widely applicable to just about any career or community work you might choose to do.

If you get good at a type of technology, you’ll find yourself using it often. On the other hand, if you decide that you’re somehow untalented at it (which is untrue) or don’t take the time, then you’ll have sacrificed leverage and confidence that were offered to you.

Of course, it’s not just Sheets, or the web, or even computers. It’s a posture of possibility when it comes to the tools we’re able to use.

We can ignore the tools that we have access to. We can fear them. We can understand them.

(And, after we understand them, we’re able to hire someone else to use them on our behalf.)

We can even master them.

How to Spark Your Own Creativity…

When our daily routines are geared toward barreling through a to-do list, it can be hard to set the right conditions for creativity.
Fortunately, there is a time-tested approach — that’s also quite simple — for generating creative ideas.

First, gather raw materials in your area of interest. This could mean anything from articles you’ve been meaning to read to the browser tabs you’ve left open on your computer. Then, spend time digesting the material — and looking for connections. Fill in a small index card with notes, as if you’re trying to solve a puzzle. Shuffle between the physical cards looking for patterns and themes.

Then — and this is the most important part — do nothing. Find a way to disengage your mind to allow unconscious processing, whether that’s by taking a walk, listening to music, watching a movie, or even taking a shower. This may not feel like tangible work, but clearing some headspace will make room for the ideas to come.

Cybersecurity during a Crisis…

Cybercriminals love a crisis. With many more people working remotely, they are undoubtedly poised to capitalize on security flaws, but there are several things you can do to protect yourself and your company. Be on the lookout for phishing emails designed to entice you to click on the latest and greatest offer related to coronavirus protections, or with urgent instructions from your boss. Their intent is to get you to unwittingly download malware onto your device and the company’s systems. Make sure your devices are up to date on their anti-virus protection.

Use multi-factor authentication on any accounts for which it is available. Avoid the temptation of using Bluetooth in a public place — it is an easy way for hackers to connect to your device. Only work on secure, password-protected internet connections. If you have to use public WiFi, be sure to verify with the owner that the network to which you’re connecting is legitimate and secured through a password.

Avoid accessing any confidential or sensitive information from a public WiFi network. And be sure to report any lost or stolen device immediately to minimize the risk of fraud.

Perfect moment for upskilling…

Now, today sprint in learning something that’s difficult to learn. Not because a teacher or a boss made us do it, but because we chose to. Not only do we get to keep that skill forever, but the act of taking control and expending the effort will change our mood.

And this is the perfect moment for generous connection. Going way beyond the news of the day, we have the chance to create intimate digital interactions that last.
It’s a significant posture shift, one which might change who you see when you look in the mirror.

We might not be able to do anything about external events, but we have control over our actions. Sometimes, it’s hard to stare right into that opportunity, because it comes with a lot of responsibility.
What will you learn today? Who will you teach?