Teach An Old Dog A New Trick

As an educator, one of the ideas I embrace with gusto is lifelong learning.

From my childhood days of playing school to my attendance at a college known for cranking out teachers , I’ve picked up on the clues that learning lights my fire.

Granted, most learning takes place outside of the classroom where ideas get translated into action.  Sometimes it takes years before you benefit from your extensive training in algebra, Latin, or history.  But one glorious day, the fruits of your labor will be revealed.  Carpe diem!

The best kind of learning for me is a mixed bag of challenges and instant gratification.  While I believe the view from the top is spectacular in part because of the climb, I’m equally sure I’m going to need a few glimpses of that view along the way to convince me I’m not barking up the wrong tree.

If it were easy,” the saying goes, “we’d all be doing it.”  But “easy” is a relative term.  For example, my challenge this week is to become proficient at using Twitter.  While this may be “easy” to those raised with a smart phone, it tends to leave me feeling a bit slow on the uptake.  But like the little engine that could, I think I can, I think I can.

The amazing thing is so far I have as many followers on Twitter as I do my blog and I have yet to tweet anything.  By following others in return, I have found some very useful, albeit overwhelming, information.

I’m in the process of revamping my website and this blog so when I get to the Blogher Conference in San Jose next month, I will at least not appear to be the dinosaur boomer bloggers are assumed to be.

After reading Career Comeback by Lisa Johnson Mandell, I’m on a mission to expose midlife as the mecca of miracles it can be rather than the slow decline into oblivion we’ve been taught avoid like the plague.

There are opportunities at midlife that may not have been viable options before.  For me these include home ownership, getting engaged, and considering braces.  Again, I might be slow on the uptake but it does give me faith that you can teach an old dog a new trick or two.

For you it could be financial freedom, retirement or changing careers to something you’ve always wanted to do, moving to the country or the city, or creating your own internet tv channel or weekly podcast.

It matters not what you want to learn.  It matters deeply that you learn.  (And you can tweet that!)

I’ve always loved this quote that apparently is a combination of thoughts by German poet Goethe and W.H. Murray.

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

With that in mind, today’s tasks include Tweeting and putting together a new website on WordPressI’ll keep you posted on my progress.

What about you?  What kind of summer school have you signed up for?

Share if you dare in the comments, on Facebook, or @midlifemacgyver on Twitter.

Teach An Old Dog A New Trick

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