I’m only the prototype of my future self

TIL. Today I Learned. I’ve been ending most of my presentations of the last 3–4 years with this question. And the question is never about getting people to think about what they learned from the presentation itself (although I obviously hope they do learn something) but to get them to think about learning something new every day. Structurally. To make it into a system, make it part of a routine. So that you make sure you learn something new every day. Because just being curious when things get presented to you isn’t good enough anymore. If it ever was.

And that’s a lot harder than you think. People do talk a lot about being eager to learn. They want to go to conferences, they want to get the chance to go to courses, online classes, get books to read … essentially they want their employer give them time & things to learn. But the reality is that learning — especially constant learning — is an attitude much more than it is something someone else needs to allow you to take time for. The real truth is that many people actually want to be taught new things, and that’s very different from wanting to learn new things. Somebody much smarter once said that teaching is what others to do you, learning is what you do to yourself.

“I am learning everyday to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire and not terrify me.” — Tina Roth Eisenberg

So TIL. It’s just one handy way to make you stop and think at the end of every day about what it is that you learned that day, that you didn’t know before. And on many days you’ll notice that there’s nothing you can remember. So go online, open up your Feedly reader, Twitter and especially those smarter people you follow, listen to a podcast while driving home, … whatever it is that you do, make sure that before the end of the day you know something you didn’t know before. And preferably something that has nothing to do with the business that you’re in.

It’ll make you read more. And listen more. Go to different events more. Become more curious. And eventually it will make you want to do more different things yourself. When I started my WARPED newsletter some 4 years ago, it was merely a combination of sharing the interesting things I find every day in a format that I wanted to experiment with. And then I thought it would be interesting to organise mini-events around it and now I’m working on a video idea for it… etc etc. Challenging myself to learn something new, by doing.

I’m only the prototype of my future self, it’s by doing that I can find out if this is something that might define myself going forward. Or not. TIL. Give it a try. What’s to lose? Really.