We’ve all got a lot to learn

It feels like a just a few years ago that it was my turn to enter kindergarten.

Mrs. MacIntosh was my teacher and hero, and Mrs. MacDonald kept me safe on the bus ride to and from school. I still remember how nervous I was. Back then, I remember thinking that time moved very slowly—that I had all the time in the world. check_it_off_your_list_7934

In what seems like a snap of the fingers, I was sending my own children to their kindergarten hero: Mrs. McEwen. My school years went by in a lazy stroll; the years of my children’s education have gone by in a blink.

My older son, Christopher, is a college graduate, has a girlfriend who I’m sure will be my daughter-in-law at some point, and is looking at real estate to buy. My younger son is finishing university, and has an incredibly bright future ahead of him. Victoria, my step-daughter, has a full-time job, lives halfway across the country and is completely settled. They are all moving into their adult years already. I don’t have children anymore—I have adults.

I’m afraid that tomorrow I’m going to wake up and be sending my grandchildren off to university.

Time has flown by and it seems to pick up speed as I get older.

I’m facing my 50th birthday next year. Technically, that’s past the half-way point. I’m fairly confident that my second 50 years is going to go much faster than the first 50 years—if I’m even lucky enough to have 50 more years left!.

I spent my first 50 years learning. Learning how to talk and walk. Learning how to read, go to school, make friends, earn money and maintain relationships.

By no means am I finished learning any of those things. In fact, I have even more to learn.

I need to learn to say, “I was wrong” and “I’m sorry” more often. I need to learn that there are others who know more than I do (and who may be much younger than I am), and that I need to listen to what they have to say. I need to remember that I still have a long way to go when it comes to learning about life.

Does your company offer training? Do you take advantage of it? I am always amazed at how many people say things like, “I already know all that stuff. I don’t have time to go to a training program where they just rehash old stuff.”

It’s too bad those people already know everything.

I look forward to attending training programs and I take as many as I can—even on the topics that I teach. Not because I want to feel good about how much I know, but because I realize there is always more to learn. Learning is more fun at almost 50 than it was in my youth. I wish I’d realized then how great it is to learn more each day.

I listen to educational CDs, I read business and educational books and I attend as many educational conferences as possible.

Do you?

When was the last time you learned something new or tried something different? Just because it isn’t broken doesn’t mean we can’t make it work faster, better and more efficiently.

I’m envious of those entering post-secondary education now. If I were just entering university now, I would be the first person in class and the last to leave. I would want to have an A+ average.

I’m blessed to be in a field that promotes learning. I love to teach. I love seeing the ‘ah-ha’ sparks in the eyes of my participants.

If your company doesn’t offer formal training, find a mentor, watch others, surf the Internet (there’s a ton of free education available on the Internet), join an association—and be open to learning.

Ask yourself, “What did I learn today?” every day. Make a point of learning one new thing every day.

I’m excited about what I can learn in the next 50 years. If I’m lucky, I’ll also figure out a way to sneak in a few extra years of learning after that. When I’m done learning, then I’ll die.

I’m not done learning yet—not by a long shot!

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