Today’s TIF is about Education.
As a self-proclaimed Renaissance man, being a student of new things is what interests me.
I have always been like this. When I was a kid, (before the Internet) I grew up on World Book Encyclopedias. I would read an article down to the end where it says SEE ALSO and lists the other related articles, and then I would pull down from the bookshelf the appropriate volume and look those articles up.
(For those not savvy in the ways of encyclopedias, it was kinda like clicking on a link inside an article on the Internet and going to that site to learn even more, or read a related article)
When I went back to college in my early 30s, to get my degree in Journalism, I wanted to learn a specific skill. But it wasn’t those classes in my “major”, that I enjoyed so much; it was the “core” courses of Science, Mathematics, Literature, and History that fueled my thought processes.
(Even though I hated Algebra and suffered through it)
These other courses allowed me to gain knowledge in areas that my Journalism classes could not explore. And yet, that knowledge increased my skill as a writer.
Currently in my “day job”, I am learning the principles of building a house.
Because someday I want to build my own house using photovoltaic (solar) technology. That’s one of the reasons I decided to join my partner in his home renovation company, because I wanted to learn this new thing.
And as I watch this structure progress to completion, I have a greater understanding of geometry, engineering, and even art; as well as an increase in my carpentry skills.
You can continue to educate yourself in the “majors” of your life. If you are in sales, read a new book on marketing strategies. If you use a computer everyday and don’t have a website, learn to build one of your own. If you are a writer, learn one new word a day. If you work on airplanes, learn the principles of balloon flight. It’s always recommended becoming an expert in your field. You increase your credibility in all that you do.
But don’t let that specific education stand in your way of learning and continuing your education in another field. You needn’t become an expert, but imagine the next time you talk with someone and they mention a topic you recently studied. Can you imagine the conversation progressing further, becoming more enjoyable?
If you are in sales, read a new book on Artists of the 19th Century. If you stay in a cubicle throughout the day; decide to learn how to build your own guitar and then learn to play it. If you work on airplanes, learn a new foreign language. If you are a writer, learn how to refinish a hardwood floor.
As with every “TIF” article, you can apply what I’m saying to your own life, if you choose, but this will be my focus.
SEE ALSO: In Defense of Books