Friday, May 21, 2010

What turns your wheel?

I love learning. Nothing makes me more excited than being blown away by something completely new to me.

For instance, did you know that an asteroid or meteorite hit our planet in 1908? In Siberia? With 800 square miles of heavy forest flattened?

I watched a documentary about this in open jawed fascination, with lots of wows, oh my goshes, and how did i not know thises.

Anything new (to me) involving science, medicine, history, religion, anthropology, archaeology makes Brenda a very happy girl.

Business is a little bit different for me. I still love learning - it's crucial to a business owner's success - but there are fewer brand new to me's and more ah ha / DOH / oh, NOW it makes sense's.

A lot of what I learn in business and management builds on past learning. It's more about experiential learning, building on what you know, versus textbook learning with bright, shiny facts.

Because I love learning, I love the experiential as well as the bright, shiny.

But what I particularly love about the experiential is I grow as a person, and business owner, and designer, and artist, and (fill in the blank), as I learn.

With the bright and shiny, I become more well rounded and can hold my own making small talk and don't look like a deer in headlights when someone mentions that asteroid in Siberia. I absolutely love collecting knowledge, so it fills me with happiness and satisfaction. But it doesn't necessarily make me a better person. I don't necessarily grow.

When I stop learning, I get bored. When I'm just doing the same boring, cookie cutter, deadline driven, never ending thing without time to learn or inject creativity ... I'm in trouble.

I'm OK with rote, assembly line work; in fact, I kind of like it. It has its place for me. I can be productive while my mind goes to work on something else. Even better, I can listen to something mind bending marketing from Seth Godin or sales ideas from Brian Tracy, while my fingers go into automation.

But then I think back to 12+ hour days as a manager, with six to eight hours of meetings, another couple of hours responding to email and voicemail, always reacting, little strategic planning, go home to work on that time sensitive project with the TV in the background to inject a little normalcy, poor kitties leaping for attention, a huge pile of management books languishing and never read, and passing out from sheer brain exhaustion without ever feeding what truly matters to me: learning. I turned something I loved - managing - into a drag for me.

Being able to inject what really matters to you into your day/job/life is so crucial! Learning hugely matters to me. As does creation. Time to think. Time to plan. Growth.

In my current "job" (self employment working from home), I'm supposed to be in control of this. Thanks to my recent and current reading (err, listening), I'm taking back control.

And get the added bonus of spending my day with two little gals who truly matter to me.

What about you? What turns your wheel? Floats your boat? Makes your soul sing? Does your job or your business allow you to do that? If not, how can you change that?

No comments: