Click here to print article


More From Marcia Conner

Being Chaordic Editor’s Letter for LiNE Zine, Spring 2001. M. Conner

Can You Learn Online? Part I M. Conner (LiNE Zine, Fall 2000)

Change at GM: An Interview with Wendy Coles M. Conner (LiNE Zine, Fall 2000)

Envisioning: An Interview with David Sibbet M. Conner (LiNE Zine, Winter 2001)

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Learning Standards But Were Afraid To Ask W. Hodgins with M. Conner (LiNE Zine, Fall 2000)

Global Implications of eLearning M. Conner (LiNE Zine, Fall 2000)

Great Minds: A Thoughtful interview with Michael Gelb M. Conner (LiNE Zine, Spring 2001)

Learners... Remember Them? Editor’s Letter for LiNE Zine, Winter 2001. M. Conner

Learning’s Reward: An Interview with Mary Catherine Bateson M. Conner (LiNE Zine, Spring 2001)

Let's Get Started Editor’s Letter for LiNE Zine, Summer 2000. M. Conner

Linking, Lurking, Listening & Learning: An Interview with John Seely Brown M. Conner (LiNE Zine, Fall 2000)

Looking forward and back: An Interview with Howard Rheingold M. Conner (LiNE Zine, Spring 2001)

Musically Speaking: An Interview with Susan Greenbaum M. Conner (LiNE Zine, Spring 2001)

Our Shared Playground: An Interview with Michael Schrage M. Conner (LiNE Zine, Winter 2001)

Quick: An Interview with Paula Cohen M. Conner (LiNE Zine, Winter 2001)

The Juncture Between Humanity and Technology: An Interview with Michael Dertouzos M. Conner (LiNE Zine, Spring 2001)

Time to eValue: An Interview with Mickey Connelly M. Conner (LiNE Zine, Fall 2000)

User-centered Learning: An Interview with Judee Humberg M. Conner (LiNE Zine, Winter 2001)

Whitespace: Editor’s Letter for LiNE Zine, Fall 2000. M. Conner

Marcia Conner’s homepage

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, 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

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

Copyright (c) 2000-2004 LiNE Zine (

LiNE Zine retains the copyright in all of the material on these web pages as a collective work under copyright laws. You may not republish, redistribute or exploit in any manner any material from these pages without the express consent of LiNE Zine and the author. Contact for reprints and permissions. You may, however, download or print copyrighted material for your individual and non-commercial use

More By and About Brook Manville

Beyond Baggage and Buzz Publisher’s Letter for LiNE Zine, Winter 2001. B. Manville

Competing on Human Capital: Chris Bartlett and Sumantra Ghoshal on a Book in Progress B. Manville (LiNE Zine, Spring 2001)

eLearning without eHype: An Interview with Esther Dyson B. Manville (LiNE Zine, Summer 2000)

Fast Forward to eLearning with Fast Companies Alan Webber B. Manville (LiNE Zine, Fall 2000)

Fast Pack 2000 (Fast Company issue 32)

FutureScope: Industry Executive Perspectives on the eLearning Marketplace TechLearn 2000, November 2000 (LiNE Zine, Winter 2001)

Human Capital Management: A Private and Public Sector Conversation with David M. Walker and Bob Yazdani B. Manville (LiNE Zine, Spring 2001)

Learning 101 L. McCauley (Fast Company issue 39)

Roger Black: A Lumpy Interview B. Manville (LiNE Zine, Winter 2001)

Sponsorship: A Capital Idea Publisher’s Letter for LiNE Zine, Winter 2001. B. Manville

Strategy as if Knowledge Mattered B. Manville, Nathaniel Foote (Fast Company issue 2)

Talking Human Capital with Professor Gary S. Becker, Nobel Laureate B. Manville (LiNE Zine, Spring 2001)

The Bluebird Publisher’s Letter for LiNE Zine, Fall 2000. B. Manville

Welcome Publisher’s Letter for LiNE Zine, Summer 2000. B. Manville

What Makes a Virtual Organization Work? Lessons from the Open-Source World M. L. Markus, B. Manville, and C. E. Agres (MIT Sloan Management Review, Fall 2000)

Wiring the Classroom: An Interview with Reed Hundt B. Manville (LiNE Zine, Fall 2000)