I like to learn. No, I love learning new things.

That was not so when I was in school. School was boring. School made no since.  But school wasn’t about learning interesting things, At least that was how I viewed it at the time. I find some of the information my sons are learning in school interesting but I see their value now. Building value in a subject makes it much more interesting.

At 53, nearly 54, I find value in the act of learning. Learning one thing I’m not highly interested in has lead me to others that I am very excited to learn. It’s also happened that once I started learning something I have lackluster interest in I become enthralled.

Ya never know until you try….right?

When I look back at my life, why is it that we “look back at our life” once we pass that mid-century mark?, I see a kid who floated, uninspired, uninvolved.  A bit scared, a bit unmotivated, a lot confused. That describes a lot of kids that I see as a coach and father of two.

It describes a pretty good percentage of adults I know as well.

I didn’t allow my thirst of learning to start running ’till I was in my mid 30s. What a waste of three decades!

it wasn’t until my sons came along that I freed my thirsty mind to drink where it liked. It helps to have a family that tries new things and is interested in fun activities. Some examples:

  • Soccer – my boys started playing soccer so I started coaching. For 10 years I studied and refined drills, systems and communication to a point where I believe I am an excellent youth soccer coach. This has also opened a lane where I have started to communicate much better with teens and preteens.
  • Blacksmithing – My oldest had a desire to learn to blacksmith. That’s something I always wanted to do as a kid and now I was playing and learning with my son!
  • Woodworking – My youngest started woodworking. While his passion is not really in the wood I love to carve and shape and build things. Woodworking is another thing I wanted to do as a kid. Lucky me!
  • Hunting, Fishing, Camping, Hiking along with researching edible plants are all activities we continually educate ourselves on as a family and individually.

There’s also website development, programming, graphic design, copy writing, SEO and most things that go along with developing marketing online and off.

So what’s the point of all of this?

I’m not sure really. I woke up at 3:36 this morning, it’s December 31, 2016, thinking about learning, what I’ve learned, what I want to learn. Perhaps it’s the time of year. Maybe it’s because my mind is filled with learning since I’m reading The 4 Hour Chef. (Cooking is another activity we all enjoy learning more about.)

I also find myself in a transition period. No, I don’t believe it’s any crisis….what is mid-life considered to be now anyway?

Transitions are exciting. They haven’t always been but looking back i realize they should have been embraced not fought. Here’s a quick look at mine:

  • High school was drudgery. I enjoyed the swim team and soccer but started working and like money more.
  • My first real job was landscaping at a small nursery in the Ft. Pierce Fl area….Port St. Lucie Nursery. I loved it. I also worked at a radio station my dad ran.
  • College….where am I going to go? Hey look, they said they’d accept me I’ll go there. I decided I wanted to be a stock broker, arbitrage to be specific, so I became a Finance Major.
  • I discover that Finance is boring but Marketing is interesting so I add Marketing as a major. I didn’t drop Finance, just added Marketing. That meant no time for blow-off courses and easy A’s.
  • I graduated.
  • I went to work selling advertising at my dad’s radio stations……..because that was the easy thing. I could be good at selling. I got very good at writing copy.
  • I eventually grew into a Director of Sales position where I matured and started to understand training, coaching and personalities of both sellers and clients.
  • A jump to magazine publishing and an Advertising Director position allowed my growth to continue in advertising/marketing.
  • Next came the crash into self employment and building a book publishing company. The HTML I had learned ten years prior allowed my entrance into the world of ebooks. You never know where a learned skill will help you.
  • Then came print book publishing. All of that copy writing, word processing, graphic design came together allowing the editing, formatting and design of over 2,000 books and covers.

Today I look for consciously look for skills that fill voids in my learning (retail), pursue things that pique my interest (copper forming), or could be used to help others (coaching/communication).

What’s the point of writing this? Not sure….probably just self-indulgence. I have learned that when an idea is jumping around in my mind it’s best to let it out. I sometimes don’t understand why it’s there right at that moment but later it becomes evident.

Tomorrow is a new year. For some reason we attach some extra meaning to this when wanting to change something in our lives. No matter when you read this remember that Tomorrow Is A New Day. The date is of no matter. Each day, each hour is a great time to start something good, stop something bad, change, learn…..

Here’s a short list of things I want to learn or get better at over the next few months:

  • Copper forming
  • Metal schulpture
  • Wood carving
  • Story telling
  • Understanding Retail
  • International trade
  • Spanish
  • Knife throwing
  • Origami
  • App programming
  • Cooking, specifically grilling and smoking
  • Welding
  • Family communication
  • Soccer & Futsal coaching
  • Youth coaching
  • Business development
  • Kettle bell workouts
  • Accounting
  • Play the bass
  • Play the ukulele
  • Self Motivation and Motivation of others

I could go on and on but you probably get the idea.

What are some things you want to learn over the next week…the next month….the next three months or year? Make a list.

Over the past year I have learned to; change break pads, fix our dishwasher, fix our microwave, make copper bracelets, build cajons, program android apps (a little) all through youtube and other online videos.

The internet is full of crap but there is just as much great information available all we need to do is search for it.

What are five things you want to learn? Write them down. Number them from 1-5 based on their ease and time to learn. You don’t have to become an expert, just learn. If you want to learn to juggle that’s pretty easy. Within 30 minutes you can be juggling three objects without any trouble. If you want to juggle flaming chainsaws it will take you a little more time.

The key is that it takes far less time to learn something than we believe. I don’t want to be the best bass player in the world just someone who can sit in with a band and play.

Learning is fun. And more fun comes when you show off your new skills then start teaching others. That’s when life starts being more interesting.

Have fun with it.

Annealing copper bracelets in an open fire.
Annealing copper bracelets in an open fire.
One of the cajon's Jesse and I made.
Caleb working in the work area we set up out back.
Rocky at the Candle Cafe

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