I never thought of myself as a life-long learner, one of those people who loves education and soaks up every opportunity to get more. In fact, I couldn’t get out of school fast enough.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved college. Wells Street bars, my job at Water Street Brewery, friends, Summerfest, and, I guess, some classes. Okay, not really the classes.
Where I learned the most in college was outside the classroom. My best experiences and my best education happened when I became part of an independent newspaper start-up or put funding into selling a calendar to students. In fact, I couldn’t tell you the name of a professor, well not more than a few anyway.
And when friends and family announced they were going off to get a Masters (or more), I knew that wasn’t for me.
For all of those reasons, I never thought of myself as someone who loved education. Boy was I wrong.
My Journey to Life-Long Learning
I suppose in a formalized way my feelings about education haven’t changed. I’ve often thought about going back to school, maybe getting an MBA, but immediately I stop myself. That is not me. I’m not a person who enjoys taking classes just for the sake of taking them. Even as a young kid I excelled at things I loved to learn about and faltered at anything I didn’t have an invested interest in. The same holds true today.
What I do enjoy are books and podcasts. Olive and I walk about 3-4 miles every day and during each of those miles, I’m fully invested in a new audio recording of something I’m learning. Whether it’s becoming a more daring leader, a better citizen, an antiracist, or just gaining insights into someone else’s experience this is where my learning comes.
And on each of these walks, I’m making note after note about what I learned, what new blog I should write, video we should make, or what I need to talk to BookEnds about. These walks have changed the way I lead, the way I talk, and the way I think. They have made me a life-long learner and I’m better for it. In fact, I think life-learning might be one of my superpowers.