The Age of Study
Nurture your mind with great thoughts,
for you will never go any higher than you think.
I admire many people. Yet there is one group of people I find particularly inspirational: those taking up studies leading to eventual new occupations more in line with their hearts and dreams. Recently I have heard of a translator studying to become a language teacher, an accountant learning mediation techniques and a graphic designer undertaking a path of education leading to a law degree.
Being enrolled in the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s continuous professional development programme I can relate to the efforts these people are making. Moving into co-active coaching some years back involved a series of experiential training courses and, ongoing, self-studying. Also my writing linked to training sessions on the theatre and the workplace demands infinite research.
On the surface using ‘free time’ to study is neither new nor strange. If one has the desire and discipline time management and logistic issues can be overcome. The real stresses, however, seem to be more related to how perceptions and thoughts, others and our own, are handled.
On good days, the material captures the mind to the exclusion of everything else. Concepts and ideas fall into place; thinking is focused. Bad days might trip us up with self-doubts, negative comments from friends and family members, or a multitude of other forms which, though well-meaning, can knock our confidence and hinder progress. We might feel we are alone, losing time.
Remembering why we have chosen to follow the path of learning can help bring us back on track. Likewise reconnecting with our heart – by reflecting for a few moments on loved ones, pets, favourite paintings or places – might be effective in strengthening our resolve. And let’s not forget the benefits of a few deep breaths coupled with some basic stretching exercises to energize us again.
Continuous learning is a part of life and perhaps the only means by which we can today influence our tomorrow. If you are on this path right now let me wish you all the very best, you are living your dreams and I am proud of you. Do let me know how you cope with juggling work, family, study and life demands. Sharing tips and connecting with like-minded folk can be useful to us all.
Keep in touch.