“Mom, when we get home I need to show you something really cool!” exclaimed my 8-year-old son Jack when I picked him up from school the other day. When we got home, he opened his backpack, pulled out his Social Studies book, opened it up to the last few pages and said—“Look, isn’t this cool?” Jack had discovered the “index” section of books. Very animated, he explained how you could look up any word in the index and find out exactly what page it was on in the book. His eyes were as big as beach balls. His excitement was off the charts as he was full of delight over this new discovery.
His excitement and enthusiasm got me thinking about how Smart Women are life-long learners.
Discovery of a new concept, idea, or perspective is powerful and also serves as a confidence builder. Take a moment and reflect on the last time you learned something new. Were you excited? Did you feel a certain spring in your step that day? As children, we begin with elementary school, continue our journey through high school, college, and then sometimes on to a specialized field of study. And then what? At that point, we may believe that we are finished with learning. You get that feeling of “I’ve arrived!” But have you?
I make a commitment each year to discover new learning environments. I explore places where I can continue to grow and learn both personally and professionally. I do this for two reasons. One, I want to learn about new ideas so I can be at my best for the women I serve. Second, (and most importantly) I value being a woman who is a life-long learner. My children know that “mom still goes to school” because I value learning. I have found interactive adult learning environments to be fun and interesting. For example, I continue to deepen my coaching skills through the Hudson Institute where I received my professional certification. I also look for spiritual retreats—a place to be with others who value the renewing of the soul. And, as an entrepreneur, I’m always attracted to new ways of marketing and growing my business in order to take it to the next level.
The other great benefit from these adult learning communities is the people enrolled. It is an environment of positive thinking people who have an energy and desire to “grow” themselves. It becomes a creative space for a room full of people who are life-long learners. I see this in my Women’s Success Circles. Everyone is so excited to be together, to offer support, and to share what has worked for them and what hasn’t. I have met some life-long friends in these environments.
How about you? Have you been in any new learning environments recently? Have you made any new “discoveries?” Think about hobbies or areas that hold interest for you. I have a client that is enrolled in a professional cooking school one full day per week. Go online and search your areas of interest. I bet you will find many resources for discovering something new that’s in your local community.
As a busy woman, you may be thinking that time and money are obstacles to your continued learning. It’s essential for you to create the space for something new in your life. I invite you to think about what you must let go of in order to make it happen. If money is a challenge, think about all of the ways learning can become affordable. Local community colleges are typically inexpensive. The public library costs you nothing and it is full of new ideas! On the time challenge, there will never be a “perfect” time to enroll in a course so… just do it!
I’m leaving today for a 3-day conference on new marketing tools for business. I’m very excited to “discover” new concepts and ideas; not only for myself but also for the women I serve. I know that I will meet new people who will inspire me. Think about what holds an interest for you right now in your life. Consider how you might feel when you begin to make your own new “discovery.”
Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.
© 2008 Joy Chudacoff
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Joy Chudacoff is the founder of Smart Women Smart Solutions, a
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