Happy Motivation Monday! I hope you all had wonderful weekends and are gearing up for another productive and wonderful week! If you follow me on Instagram, you know I spent my weekend in Austin at the Type One Nation conference put on by JDRF. I learned a ton about Type 1 diabetes and had a great time … I’m thinking about writing a post on a few takeaways on Wednseday, so let me know if you’re interested. (picture source)
Anyway, on the drive back from Austin, I was thinking about what I enjoyed about conferences like Type One Nation. Aside from spending time with my family, supporting my sister and further understanding her daily struggles, and meeting interesting new people, I just really enjoy learning.
Yes, you can laugh at me for being a bit nerdy … it’s been done before. The truth is, though, continuous learning has multiple health benefits, including reducing the progression of age-related mental decline, delaying the progression of diseases like Alzheimer’s, enhancing memory, and more! Plus, for me, it provides excitement, encourages me to always challenge myself, and makes me a more well-rounded person. (picture source)
Here are several ways I embrace continuous learning:
- Reading. You know I love reading! I have a post coming up soon on 7 interesting things I’ve read this week … the book version instead of my regular series on internet articles I’ve read lately.
- Attending conferences. Of course, this one is top of mind since I just did it, but there’s no better way to immerse yourself into the lessons of one particular field than to attend a conference full of like-minded individuals.
- Take online courses. I’m almost always taking an online course. This week, I’ll finish up the 6-month follow-up program to my health coaching education (if you’re interested in becoming a health coach, check this new guide out!). I also love taking classes from free resources like Coursera.org, which offers hundreds of free, online courses put on by reputable professors on a wide variety of topics.
- Sign up for free online summits. Online summits are all the rage these days! Recently, I’ve listened to parts of the Food Revolution Summit, the Hay House World Summit, the Transform Your Health Summit, and the Upgrade Your Productivity Summit. There are SO many of these if you start looking around, and often all they take is signing up for a free newsletter. I listen to these while on long commutes, while out for a walk, while doing chores around the house, or any other time where I want my mind to be engaged but am not at my computer or desk.
- Listen. I learn so much from listening to people talking about their own passions – whether it’s my clients, people I meet at networking events, or someone I talk to in a chance encounter. If you listen, I’ll bet you’ll pick up on some interesting things people have to share!
Although I didn’t post an interesting article round up yesterday, I wanted to share two things I’ve written lately:
- A summer secret to getting your kids to eat healthily. When I was in Colorado, I experimented with a few of my favorite picky eaters to find a way to get them to eat their vegetables. See this Curejoy article to learn how I did it – no sneaking required!
- Acupuncture and your health. My friend Kathleen has just started a website that aims to demystify acupuncture, explain how and why it works, and share some of the many benefits. I encourage you to check out her website if you’ve ever wondered about acupuncture. I added a post on the importance of water, which you all have heard many times before, but in case you need a reminder, check that one out, too!
So tell me in the comments … How do you embrace lifelong learning? What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned lately?
Megan. At 61, Learning is still the key to staying young. Every day I try to learn something new, my ipad makes it so easy. Any question I have the answer is at my fingertips. Still reading your blog every day and cannot wait to try a version of your kale specialties ( maybe not in a green shake 🙁 )…..or maybe I will…..I am sorry I have not lost my 50 lbs yet. See you soon.
Your inspired Aunt.
I’m so glad I got to see you this week, Aunt Debbie, and you even tried that green smoothie! It wasn’t so bad! I am excited for you to continue on your health journey!
I just finished another online course for my nutrition degree and CEC’s. LOVED IT! yes, to motivation!
Awesome!! You are a great source of continuous learning for me, as well!
I can echo the comment above about U.Va. and “continuous learning” being Jefferson’s wisdom!
As you know, right now I’m trying to challenge myself by attempting to learn even a little of the very foreign Chinese language. I also do audio books almost constantly in the car (usually history nonfiction), but I don’t drive much, so it takes me a long time to finish one. I should do online courses, that link was interesting (actually considering trying calculus since I think I’ve forgotten it all). I’m curious, have you read anything about whether fiction reading has similar learning, mind-engagement, Alzheimer-preventing benefits? I think fiction (like TV, but with more brain power) provides escape and enjoyment for many, curious about the health benefits.
BTW, I did tons of packing this morning, so 90% chance I’ll see you in the AM!
I admire you so much for taking on Chinese language lessons! And you know you’re truly a nerd (in the best way possible) when you look at a course and think you might want to take algebra! 🙂
I couldn’t agree more about the escape and enjoyment of fiction (I love a good “beach read” now and then). I haven’t looked into the health benefits too much, but found this Psychology Today article interesting … it talks about enhanced brain function resulting from reading fiction. And in case you don’t visit the link, here’s a scary stat for you … 42% of college graduates will NEVER read another book! Holy moly!
This might sounds weird, but it’s really refreshing to hear someone outside of the education field talk about lifelong learning. Educators are always exhorted to turn our students into “lifelong learners,” so it’s nice to hear from non-teachers that they still love to learn!
Yes!! I have so much respect for teachers, and wish I could be a perpetual student … somehow I haven’t figured out how to get that to pay the bills!!
I’m always looking to improve myself in some small way. Right now one of my big focuses is stress reduction. I realize I can’t snap my fingers and change certain situations instantaneously, like my job, but I can learn how to deal with them better in the meantime. I’m also listening to a happiness summit online. 🙂
That sounds amazing, Tonya! Do you have a link to the happiness summit?? Good for you for recognizing that you can’t change things instantaneously. Thinking about you!
I always tell myself to learn something new every day – even if it is just a new word!
That’s a great idea, Morganne! As soon as I read that, I automatically thought “there must be an app (or tool) for that” … and sure enough, there is! I’m thinking about signing up for one of these: http://grammar.about.com/od/blogsandlinks/a/dailywords.htm
Great topic! Learning is SO important – I totally agree that lifelong learning is both important and critical! I do all of the basics you covered:
– Reading – and I have always gotten crap about bring non-‘pleasure reading’ books on vacation, such as tech journals, research books, and so on. I love it !
– Courses – Corning is great about always having SOME sort of online, or ‘lunch & learn’ topics happening, inviting guest speakers (including Bart Yasso last fall) in all sorts of tech, personal interest and health & fitness topics.
But here is something I have noticed through the years – learning seems to come from not just a desire to learn, but acceptance that there is much that we don’t know. It seems obvious, but in some competitive fields and job areas, admitting a lack of knowledge or making mistakes can be seen as weakness. I think that is silly, but I have also seen years of ‘intellectual defensiveness’ make people stagnate and become combative rather than collaborative … which is sad.
So glad that you got some family time, and sorry your sister has to deal with diabetes.
I personally would love to read your learnings from the conference, I really don’t know much about it – there is no one in my extended family who deals with it so I am limited in my knowledge.
Corning really does seem like an amazing place to work from everything you say about it, Michael! I’m glad they have lots of continuous learning – Bart Yasso is such a great speaker!
And I’m totally with you on the non-pleasure reading. I do bring some fiction / purely-for-fun books while on vacation, but also some nutrition, leadership, business, self-development, or who knows what else. I think that as long as you enjoy it, it’s still considered “pleasure!” Tech journals … not so much :).
Good point on intellectual defensiveness. I am a defensive person by nature, so it’s something that I used to find myself struggling with and still do on occasion. But really – no one knows everything, and I think that pretending one does know everything often makes them seem more naive. Thanks for the diabetes condolences – I’m sorry she has to deal with it, too!
I’ll be going to the RRCA coaching training next weekend, and I am so excited to increase my knowledge about running! I hope to continue attending conferences, trainings, and reading helpful resources that will keep me up to date about important information. I’ve also considered becoming a certified personal trainer at some point, which would also be a lot of work but I find that stuff so interesting!
Oh yay! I can’t wait for you to get to RRCA training, Lisa! I hope you love it! I’ve also considered becoming a personal trainer – we’ll see!
Well, since I am going to be in school until I’m 30, learning seems like it’s going to go on forever and ever! Haha, but I love your ideas for doing small things to continue learning. I think reading is HUGE, as is doing something that keeps your mind active, even if it has nothing to do with long term knowledge. Glad you enjoyed the conference!
Hey girl – 30 isn’t that old :). I’m 29 and just completely changed careers, so I kind of feel like I’m just now entering the work world as you’ll be. Good point about keeping your mind active even without long-term knowledge. I really believe things like crossword puzzles and mental games are helpful, too!
I obviously loved going to UVA, but one of my favorite pieces of UVa life was the fact that we were called 1st, 2nd, 3rd… years. Jefferson initiated this because, as he reasoned, education/learning should never end. I LOVE that.
I love that concept, too, Susie! I was sooooo close to going to UVA – I even mailed in my acceptance form but then changed my mind at the last minute. I completely fell in love with the campus, the learning spirit, and more!! Glad you loved it!
I love reading articles on health and nutrition and maybe one day getting some more certifications myself.
I hope you do, Deborah! Of course, I loved IIN, so let me know if you ever want to chat about it! Here’s a fun guide that was just published, too!
Love this one! I’m always learning – I can’t go more than a month without buying a few new books. I was just thinking how I do need to add some fiction books to my life this summer instead. I’m thinking about doing a program in the next few years to get my master’s in Functional Medicine & Nutrition.
Lauren, I’m such a learning addict that you have me googling “Master’s in Functional Medicine and Nutrition.” I don’t have all the required biochemistry and organic chemistry credits for some programs, but it looks so interesting!
Yes! I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t read or listen to something “educational”. What I really need to do right now is read some fiction! 🙂
I like fiction, too, Julie – so good for relaxation for me. I have a list of 7 interesting things I’ve read lately coming out soon, with a few fiction titles!
Love the HF quote! I’m an avid reader and I love to learn and my kids are the same way.
It would be great to meet in real life at a conference 🙂
Yes! We WILL do it someday, Jill! I can’t wait to meet you!