“If we do not learn from the past we are doomed to repeat it.” A simple fact for many people’s life is that they believe their past defines their future, that what they have done and what they have learned up to this point in their lives limits them to the what they can do in the future. The reality is that the world we live in no longer operates that way. There was a time in the past where we had to follow a progression to learn something and employ it, but the reasons for that system have become outdated with the advent of the free information trade aka the internet. When it comes right down to it, at this point in our history, we can choose to learn anything we want to and employ those lessons in our lives. No longer are we tied down to doing what we know and what we have been trained to do, but rather we can take the leap and learn how to do what we want to do and learn it well. In this way, the past no longer defines our future and we are not doomed to repeat it.
The real task this matter is finding what we really want to do and finding a way to make that our lives. My own wife, xiaoyi, is an excellent example of this. She found that her passion was in teaching others, in sharing her knowledge and experience in the life that she lives. This sounds like something minor, but when you actually look at making a life in it, that little thing becomes a daunting mountain. How to present, where and when. How to promote engagement while teaching, what ways to present and share work for her? How can she find places to teach and share what she knows? Yet, with the resources available, she has turned her ideal of a life into one that takes her all around the country on a constant basis to teach and the opportunities are constantly increasing. Was she trained to teach and to travel the country as a teacher and speaker? No, she was trained as folklorist and anthropologist. In that training, she learned something more important than every other thing, and that was how to learn. Methods for acquiring knowledge and implementing that into her life and she used that trait to learn and expand her teaching career. Now she uses the lessons she has learned in MLSP and other places to teach and share about her passions.
I find myself in the same boat as her as well. I wasn’t trained on writing, creatively or sharing my learning and journey. I was trained to be an archaeologist, but at the same time that xiaoyi was learning to learn, so was I. I have turned that talent to writing, both this blog and the books and stories I write. I am even in the process of learning publishing so that I can expand on that passion of mine. This ability to learn is the cornerstone of making the future into something that we want it to be instead of feeling trapped by the past and the things that we have learned.
So my challenge to each of you for today is to go out there and learn something new. It doesn’t matter what that thing is, but make it something that you can use in your life. In addition, take note of how you learned it and how you can train yourself to learn and to learn in a more productive manner than you currently do. Train yourself to learn and nothing will be beyond your reach! Share waht you learned in the comment below!