Christy Lamagna is the founder of and Master Strategist at Strategic Meetings & Events. For the last decade her focus has centered around disrupting the meetings industry. She is teaching planners to evolve into meeting strategists, who think with curious minds and learn to create meeting environments that shorten sales cycles and influence attendee behavior. A lifelong learner, intellectual philanthropist and author, Christy taught college-level strategic planning for 10 years which helped inspire her book, “The Strategic Planning Guide for Event Professionals.” Read all of Christy's "Get Strategic" blog posts for CEN here.
Learning Over a Lifetime — School Days are Forever
The faint nip of fall hasn’t yet reached the east coast, but signs of it are everywhere. My local HomeGoods is showcasing Halloween decorations and an avalanche of back to school sale advertising has blanketed all forms of media. While you may be long past the butterfly-inducing feeling the first day of school brings, you’re never beyond pushing yourself to level up your knowledge, tackle a challenge, and graduate to a new area of higher learning over a lifetime. The question is, are you doing it?
With e-books, audio books, online universities, podcasts, webinars, virtual mastermind groups and YouTube videos on how to do almost anything, there is no excuse not to be learning and feeding your brain. Much of the content is on demand so the excuse of not having time no longer holds water.
If your life is too full and your brain is exhausted from the demands of work and life, do an internet search for meditation and learn how to increase your energy, release that which holds you back and/or weighs you down, and bring peace and abundance to your life.
Feel like all you do is work and the thought of learning leaves you flat? Find a skill you’d enjoy. Consider baking or decorating cakes, planting a fall garden, knitting, or redecorating a room, for instance. Whatever appeals to you or has always seemed interesting but you’ve yet to try is a perfect place to start. (If you do take on baking, feel free to use me as a taste-tester. I’m here to help!)
Want to do something social and learn at the same time? Book clubs are a great way to make new friends, drink wine for a higher cause, perhaps read a book, and meet new people who will expand your mind and inspire you in endless ways. My best girlfriend keeps trying to get me to join her weekly Bunco game which sounds like a reason to drink but who knows, it may be fun.
Does giving back while you take on a new skill appeal to you? Animal shelters, senior citizen homes, children’s hospitals, homeless shelters, and more charitable organizations than can be counted usually welcome volunteers. You’ll gain so much by giving and you’ll put yourself in a position to listen to other people’s stories, step out of the comforts and challenges of your life, and gain perspective.
Group activities not your thing? Why not offer to be a mentor to a local child in need, developing professional, or someone who is under-employed? This can be done in person or virtually and provides many of the same highs associated with one-on-one volunteering. And once again, you’ll receive so much more than you give, all while adding to your own life experience.
Books are the key to unlocking any mystery and delivering endless information. Books are available on every subject imaginable — some you may not have ever considered. Listen to them, read them on your favorite electronic device, borrow them from the library, or head to a bookstore. Each title promises an adventure waiting to be discovered.
As you can see, education doesn’t have to be painful, expensive, or nerve wracking. In fact, those symptoms are usually created by the absence of education not its pursuit. This article was the assigned reading. Your homework is to search out what new opportunity and knowledge you are going to bring into your life this fall.
Please send me a note and let me know what you decided to pursue and how you plan on learning over a lifetime. I’m committing to yoga and have 124 books waiting to be read. (I kid you not!) Here’s to you and your future experiences.