Updated on November 6, 2018
Would you describe yourself as a lifelong learner? Let’s take a look at Jack, who likes to keep up with the latest in their industry or hone their craft by attending conferences and reading blogs and industry journals. And you might know Jane, who will does all those things (and more) out of her own pocket or on her own time. There are many Jacks and Janes, just as there are Johns and Jills who use their free time for hobbies and relaxation that are unrelated to their career. Which one are you?
Every few months, I revisit and reevaluate my goals and life plan. I recently took the StrengthsFinder 2.0 and Genius Test / Wealth Dynamics Profile) to get back to my roots, remind me who I am by nature, to capitalize on my strengths and not dwell on my shortcomings too much. From my high school days, I profiled as an Extraverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging personality (“ENTJ”) on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (“MBTI”), and it seems I lost sight of this as I entered the workforce and absorbed the energies of individuals I met. Amid the ocean of noise of differing opinions, personal development gurus, TED talks and advice from relatives and friends, it can be easy to forget (or not know how to) set boundaries and let your own voice be heard.
To not focus so much on the negative, i.e. constructive criticism, but acknowledge and nurture your strengths – I’m so grateful that this is the positive phase I am in currently, and would love to stay in.
There’s only one you. You are special and worthy, just as you are. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. Just be.
Some fun online personality tests you might want to give a try — all a fun way of learning about yourself. I remind you to treat the results more as inspiration and a guideline rather than dogma:
- Free – 16 Personalities – get a ‘freakishly accurate’ description of who you are and why you do things the way you do.
- Free (with registration) – Discover your Genius – Which path would support you to feel like a genius? When you follow your natural genius, you live life with less resistance – and joy and success naturally flow towards you.
- Free (with registration) – How do you Fascinate? – What makes you different? Your personality already has a built-in specialty. This is your highest value. It’s what makes you fascinating. Discover your Advantage in 5 minutes or less.
- Free – Are you Highly Sensitive? – Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics or sirens nearby? Do you have a rich and complex inner life? Take the self-test.
- Free – Color Quiz
- Free – What type of learner are you?
- Paid – Find an MBTI provider near you!
- Paid (Code included when you purchase a new book)- StrengthsFinder 2.0 – Backed by research to help you find your strengths and let you do what you do best every day.
The Lifelong Learner
I revisited the discovery questionnaire that my life coach C had me fill out back when I started working with her. One of her discovery questions was to finish this question: “I was born to:….”
How about you give it a try?
Complete this sentence.
“I was born to …”
Here’s my answer from two years ago:
“I was born to: be wild! Kidding. I was born to learn. I wish I can just make a living just learning.”
I laughed as I realized that I can make a joke 🙂 and I’ve always known that I love to learn, for the sake of learning. Whether it’s through people I meet, books I read or classes I take, I love that feeling of learning and discovering as much as seeing the faces of my audience when I impart something that is new for them. This coincided with my Top Strength of Learner as reported in my Strengths Finder results. This would sometimes be a point of contention between me and J, that I can’t always justify with an immediate tangible career or monetary return. (Don’t get me wrong. He’s also an avid Learner, always on HN and Front End Masters, my interests just happen to be so varied!) Listening to this inner strength and some guidance from Strengths Finder 2.0 has now led me to learn more about, well, learning. Much as I love the Internet and saving commute time, I find I personally don’t enjoy distance education as much as in-class learning. So you can continue to expect me at industry workshops or in the classroom!
Your mind still has so much room! Always be learning, for the sake of learning. Learning can come in many forms — on-the-job, a formal course, a textbook, a friend — so take advantage of however it comes your way. Seek out opportunities to accelerate your learning, so it’s not just a consequence of your circumstances or an afterthought.
Wanting to always be learning doesn’t make me “confused” although it does seem to require that I streamline my resume and elevator pitch, depending on my audience. Working in marketing and communications, I’ve had to downplay my graduate studies in mathematics, licenses I acquired many years ago as a Certified Public Accountant and Real Estate Broker, yet all my previous learnings help me do my job better. Add to those my interest in Auditory Verbal Therapy, stoic philosophy, front-end development and affiliate marketing!
“You love to learn… you will always be drawn to the process of learning.
The process, more than the content or the result, is especially exciting for you. You are energized by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence… Your excitement leads you to engage in adult learning experiences — yoga or piano lessons or graduate classes. It enables you to thrive in dynamic work environments where you are asked to take on short project assignments and are expected to learn a lot about the new subject matter in a short period of time and then move on to the next one.”
I’m that person. Little Miss Diligent — the one who loves school, wishes she could just keep studying, raises her hand to ask questions, does her homework and forecasts her grades. Not everyone is built this way — and that’s a good thing! I welcome the relief that fun can be had with the happy-go-lucky ones and life is not all books and seriousness! It’s just as important to acknowledge that the seriousness does not have to be hidden away or “improved”.
The art of the slash – Meet the Multipassionates!The Renaissance Man.
That also brings us to the “art of the slash”.
Having many passions and interests can be positive and be part of your purpose, if you are so inclined. Ignore the naysayers who want you to focus and excel in just one thing!
It’s fine if you do only want one thing but I have met a handful who have chosen to embrace their multiple passions and are happy — and there also those who are conflicted about staying the course.
- a photographer/writer/musician/artist or
- a nurse/speech language pathologist/ballet dancer/dance teacher or
- a model/nurse/artist or
- a marketer/writer/project manager/entrepreneur?
You see the “triple threat” actress/singer/dancer all the time! So why can’t or won’t you let yourself be one? Some of them do all things well or would probably be better off focusing on one talent or skill — but the beauty of this life is that no matter what psychology or personality or skills tests say, we can choose what we do. Whether we focus on our strengths or improve our weaknesses, we can choose. How to choose, now that’s a whole other ballgame!
Updated on January 16, 2017
Have a small business operation in Toronto? Starting your freelancing or consulting business? Want your own space, start small, a place to meet with co-founders or clients, but not sure if you need or want the commitment to a full lease? I’m a big fan of coworking spaces! And I’m so glad there are so many excellent choices in Toronto.
Updated on January 8, 2017
2017 Goals and Milestones
I’ve had a note with this title in my Simplenote for a few months now. The note has the months listed and bullets for important events like birthdays, anniversary, school, vacations. Also goals for Work or Education or Personal development. A compact high-level view of the year compared to, say, monthly Google Calendar that you can revisit every month or so.
Updated on January 8, 2017
2016 is almost over — what an amazing year! My family relocated from a warm country to a land with 4 seasons. I returned to corporate life after full-time mommy-hood. I made new friends and new clients, volunteered for 2 organizations, and even took some refresher driving lessons.
I also said goodbye to life with support of family and even household help! This year has been all about adjusting our schedules, opening our minds and hearts, the job search, setting up services for S, figuring out logistics for even just the basic necessities. Truly an exercise in resilience, productivity, and efficiency to the MAX. I’m just so glad I at least learned to cook before we moved.
Some of my 2016 highlights!