I am one of those folks who is probably considered a professional student. I love to learn and push myself out of my comfort zone. Knowledge enables me to feel empowered, but ignorance is something that I advocated for in the past. Sometimes you can know too much, and other times it may feel better to be ignorant. Why do I say this? If any of you are worriers, you will know exactly where I’m coming from because when we learn we are fighting something that we may not survive, sometimes we worry ourselves to death. Other times, we are fully prepared to take on the unthinkable. So much depends on the mindset that we allow ourselves to have, while other times, there is something to be said for not knowing too much.
How do you balance the two? If something deals with my health, I honestly detest knowing about it because I tend to overthink and worry. Yet, if something affects me in other facets, I love to keep learning about every nook and cranny. Had my dad known that he had cancer, I know he would have worried all the time about it, but my mom has repeatedly said if we knew what we were facing, it would have changed the way we fought the disease. It might not have changed the outcome, but we could have changed the quality of life.
Recently I decided to change gears a bit in my life. My friend Shari talked to me one day and told me about positions for Data Analysts that she was considering obtaining her certifications for because it had many more opportunities in the long run. I started thinking about her words a lot. I decided to research the options and see what I needed to do to obtain the certifications. I found a program through Coursera that was affordable, and I could learn at my pace. It took me a little while to get serious about it because I had a lot going on in my life. When I decided that I needed to tackle this, I took the first two courses within two weeks. The third course took me about a week, and the fourth course took me three weeks. I’m not on course five out of eight and am thriving with what I’m learning. I enjoyed it so much that I started another class in Social Media Management and Facebook and am on track to finish that program within the next couple of weeks. These certifications may or may not help me in my career track, but I’m learning valuable skills and tools that will help me and those around me in the long run.
Sometimes life gives incentives we never saw coming. Recently things happened at the office that made me feel that I needed to improve my skills. While I don’t know what’s right for you, I can tell you that I’m glad I made an effort to challenge myself and those around me. My friend Darla is taking a page out of the learning book and taking courses of interest to her. It’s incredible how garnering information can help us feel better about ourselves.
A friend recently said that they didn’t want to go back to school but wanted to keep their minds sharp. I suggested that they start reading books of interest or perhaps work on puzzles. Sometimes striking up conversations with strangers can tell you a lot, or if you hear a word you’ve never heard, look it up. Asking questions and getting out of your comfort zone can be pivotal to keeping your mind sharp. No matter what you do, please keep learning everything you can about anything that interests you. So what if you aren’t an expert? Knowledge is a blessing. Have a great day, everyone.