Lifelong Learning

I’ve always been curious about a lot of things. I’ve always been interested in a lot of things. I’ve always been happiest and most productive when I have a whole lot of things on the go. I keep saying that if I had unlimited funds, I’d probably spend it on travel and on taking course after course after course. I love learning something new; I love the discovery process, and I love going after a goal, achieving it, and watching myself improve along the process.

Whereas some people might call this type of personality “flaky,” or assume that we just can’t make up our minds, I believe quite the opposite. I also think we’re doing people like me a huge disservice by insisting that they define themselves by their occupation, as we so often do in the West. Think about it: what’s the first thing most people ask when you first meet them? It’s a dreaded question for people like me:

“So, what do you do?”

First of all, what does that even mean??? I do a lot of things, and I’ve done a lot of things. Here’s my current list of things I do:

And that’s the short version. 4 of the things on those lists are done both for enjoyment and for pay. And that’s just the current list – if I were to add everything I’ve ever done to that list, we’d be here for a long, long time.

But when people ask “what do you do,” what they really mean is, “what have you chosen as your career; and, therefore, how do you define yourself?”

Isn’t that a really narrow-minded view of a human’s personality? Why are we so obsessed with finding out how (and often how much) a person gets paid, and why do we assume they can only ever do one thing?

Don’t get me wrong – there are people who are perfectly happy doing just one thing for the rest of their lives. They’re happy going to work, coming home, watching TV, and then doing it all again the next day—and there’s nothing wrong with that, if that’s what you like to do. But that’s not me, and it’s not most lifelong learners, either. We thrive on doing something new, and often on doing a lot of things at the same time.

I used to think I had to choose one profession and to “niche” even within that profession. Then, a friend told me about Barbara Sher. And after reading her excellent book, Refuse to Choose, I felt empowered to be who I am and to pursue my interests – all of them. I also found Emilie Wapnick and her multipotentialite group. I finally found my people.

Whether you call yourself a lifelong learner, a or a scanner, or a multipotentialite, or whether you don’t call yourself anything at all, but simply refuse to choose one term to identify yourself by, you’ve come to the right place. This is where it’s OK to be you, and where the question “what do you want to learn next?” is far more important (and relevant) than “what do you do?”

Join me as I continue to pursue every interest that comes my way, and share the journey with you.

So… what do you want to learn next?

 

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