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Marcia Conner’s homepage

Learnativity.com


In an age where the markets influence our moods, mercies, and marriages, we thought it time to break from the business of learning, per se, to focus on its place in what matters most. Each of us works hard to create time each day, amongst our agendas and emergencies, to learn. We can do so because we’ve both accepted it as a necessity while also making it somewhat of a hobby. Here are the reigning truths that help us through.

1.   Out with Balance, in with Choice. The term balance is a legacy from the years we worked to “have it all,” implying we must juggle everything so it fits on some tightrope-walking life. Get over it; no one can do it ALL, whether living, working, or learning. Learn your limits. Realize we will have to make choices and accept that sometimes they won’t always be right.

2.   A Big Choice Is Integration. The happier people are finding ways to integrate work and learning, learning and life in mutually reinforcing ways. Learn how to integrate. For each of us, that has meant simplifying the simplifiable, and focusing on what matters most. We get to choose what and when to focus.

3.   Don’t Have It All; Be It All. The New Economy requires each of us learn to bring all of our self to work: rested, well-fed, confident, healthy, and well-educated. It’s the only way to produce extraordinary, sustainable results under heavy deadlines.

4.   Gnothi Seauton (Know Thyself). Work/life learning is as much about self-knowledge as job-knowledge. You’ll never apply your skills and experience without taking time to learn self-awareness of your values, priorities, and talents.

5.   Be Your Own Learning Hub. In the learner-centric revolution, you stand at the center of tools, experiences, resources, and relationships. Learn from every encounter. Move beyond dichotomies and “either/or” thinking to embrace the ecology all around you. Raising a family, nourishing warm relationships with a spouse, and getting along with parents as they age is an education like none other. Don’t neglect these learnings while focused on work.

6.   Small Steps to Start the Long Journey. If learning is everywhere, and all the time, mark success in measurable spoonfuls. Focus and master a new email technique; learn yoga for your airplane trips; take one lesson from history and apply it to your job. Find victories in small moments and all along your path.

7.   Teach Once, Learn Twice. Look for opportunities at home, work, and in between to teach someone something new. Do so and you’ll know what you’re learning twice as much as before.

8.   Socialize Learning, Learning Socializes. On and off the job, use relationships, conversations, and people experiences to reinforce what you know and what you need to learn. Use your social networks to reflect on your life—all aspects of your life.

9.   Manage Technology as Both an Asset and a Cost. Technology shifts time, but also steals it. Use technology to enrich your commuting time, late night research capabilities, or job-related skill building. But have no illusions about your disengagement from other human activities—what you’re NOT doing when you plug yourself in. Be self aware of the social capital you spend when you retreat to the computer or other mechanical device.

10.    Breathe More. Complain less. Find more reasons to laugh. Vita brevis, no?

 

Marcia Conner, editor in chief of LiNE Zine and CEO of Learnativity.com, currently chooses to spend less time on airplanes, more time with family, and fewer hours in front of a computer than ever before. Tell her about your choices at marcia@linezine.com.

Brook Manville, publisher of LiNE Zine and CLO of Saba, wrote most of this at his kitchen table. Shame on him. Comments and scolding to brook@linezine.com.

Copyright (c) 2000-2004 LiNE Zine (www.linezine.com)

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