With Passion, Everyday?

    April 9, 2002

“Well, you learn something new everyday.” said Mrs. Parker, the neighborhood matriarch. She was looking vacantly out her domain, otherwise known as our neighborhood. She sounded lackadaisical: surely not intrigued by the process.

Lily scrunched her nose: Mrs. Parker’s expression and demeanor were so opposite to the statement. Lily found it very exhilarating to imagine and embrace the new lessons available to each of us daily.

How often have we heard “You learn something new every day”? What have we believed about that statement?

Think for a moment.

Tell me, what did you learn today? How about yesterday? How about on January 16 (or pick any random date)?

Abigail Adams said, “Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”

As people seeking to make a difference in the world, the first place to start learning is within our own lives. Being conscious in the realm of learning is simply being alert and awake to all the possibilities that surround you daily.

For example, I scan the newspaper everyday.

I had an assignment in a class I was taking to read the newspaper and find two articles which are especially interesting to me and add them to a scrap book for future reference.

Now when I scan the newspaper, I am looking for headlines that light something within me. Sometimes my local paper does not cut it, so I subscribed to the New York Times Headline email service. Today one of the articles I chose to study was about bus service in Atlanta.

From that one article I can do several things to grow my business and positively impact my life.

One, I can take examples directly from the transportation model and speak about this issue with other people. Another is I can discuss both interagency collaboration and cooperation as well as this context for cooperation in the private sector as well. I can write articles about either collaboration. I can write about cooperation. I can talk about creating a successful life from projects which appear to be unsuccessful in the first place.

Last week my favorite new information was about the Rice Genome from an article in the Los Angeles Times. A genome, I learned, is a completely mapped structure of a living organisms DNA. Not only did I learn what a genome is, I also learned about the significance of this genome and the impact this scientific evidence may have on the entire world. Not simply for the consumers of rice, for the consumers of ALL agricultural products. This fact is amazingly huge.

Until I read the article, I did not even know what a genome was!

Merriem Webster teaches us that learning to gain knowledge or understanding of or skill in by study, instruction, or experience.

It is to be facilitated with respect and continued to be cultivated throughout life. To learn is to know. To understand. To be able to integrate lessons and apply them to your life with both effectiveness and efficiency.

Mrs. Parker had the words right. We do have the abillity to learn something new everyday. The piece she did not understand, she did not know, is that to truly learn everyday requires that we gain knowledge and understanding. It is not just about being a repository of facts.

It is about using those facts to passionately connect with the world and the people around you.

Passion Activator: For the next three days, scan the newspaper and pick out an article or two that interest you. Look at the article not from a perspective of a collection of facts that are not connected to your life and your work.

Instead, ask yourself to create two or three ways the article connects to your life and your work. Ask yourself questions such as: “What solutions does this article point to in my business?” “What are the similarities with this story and a particular situation in my life?” and “What is it that called me to select this article above the myriad of other articles published today?”

I guarantee you will begin to learn truly learn something new. And use that knowledge. Today and everyday.

Activate Your Passion!

Julie Jordan Scott is a Co-Founder of We Coach People Network: a Community for Coaches to Create a Webpresence and Methods for Achieving Coaching Success without Breaking the Bank. Find out more about this new site now: http://www.WeCoachPeople.net Visit her website: http://www.5passions.com