The Age of Study

Nurture your mind with great thoughts,
for you will never go any higher than you think.

-Benjamin Disraeli

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.



2 Responses to Reflections

  1. Dawn says:

    I see value in progress made in small steps taken with care, like a turtle.

    I’ve become selective with those I chose to be around or discuss things with. Which is exactly the primary value of my work with you Brian. The freedom to express the angst of moments as they happen allows me to keep many things from circling around in my mind.

    I withhold the luxury of pondering the happenings of the world that are not directly related to mine. The things that are directly related to mine are mulled over, weighed and dealt with accordingly.

    It’s not an easy transition. Changing your path does not automatically gain understanding from others. A client I have had for a few years emailed me and asked me to do a little project. I let her know that I was not taking on new projects and gave insight that I was putting more time into school. She wrote, “I hope your life gets straightened out soon.”

    And I only mention this for the benefit of others seeking to follow their own hearts. Your conviction of why you decide anything will be tested again and again.

    No one does anything great on their own. It’s essential to place yourself amongst those who are ONLY supportive.

    Thank you for the great post Brian.

    • bgdtcoaching says:

      I really appreciate hearing from you Dawn and many thanks for sharing your wisdom here.

      People often seem to project their own fear and pain onto those who attempt to improve themselves. Perhaps they are unsettled in their circumstances but are not yet ready to take action to resolve matters. Whatever the case, the quips, veiled criticism or suchlike can only defeat us if we let them. For this reason I particularly liked what you said about selecting one’s company, it is so important we put ourselves in the best possible position to achieve what we desire.

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