We Don't Know What We Don't Know

Photo by Alan Levine. Used by Creative Commons license.

Every day, I read literally hundreds of blog posts on the arts, education, non-profits and philanthropy. (Yesterday, I shared 2 of them that greatly impact me. And every Friday, I post a list of really good ones for the week!) Every week, I take a Pilates lesson. Every month, I go to NYC for a dance class. I feel like these continuing education activities are very important to my doing my jobs well. 

And, I love learning new things. I get excited about the work others are doing. I like to push myself. I enjoy applying the things I’ve learned to my own teaching and work. It’s so easy to get stagnant. To just get into routine.

Or, to think you already know it all, because you’ve been doing this for a year, a decade, whatever. Learning, on purpose, keeps us safe from our own egos. I have a wonderful mentor in the philanthropy sector. I call her regularly. Even if I think I know the answer. Actually, especially then. Thinking you know the answer is dangerous. It’s easy to speak with authority when you think you’re right. It’s much better to gather proof and a second opinion.

As I wrote last week, I don’t really have any projects for the summer. I decided I wanted to go to a conference. I couldn’t find anything that fit. So I decided to make my own. I have to take a Continuing Professional Education Seminar for Pilates each year. So I’m turning it into a 3-day event. I will take 2 dance classes, see a show, and then take my CPE. I will stay in New York, so I can really focus on what I’m doing, without worrying about running for the bus. Being there for 3 days will give me time to meet up with a few more cyber friends than 1 day gives me time for!

And that’s another wealth of knowledge. The people I “know” on Twitter regularly increase my knowledge. With their blogs, their insights, their links to events, people and companies doing interesting things.

Do you have a continuing ed routine? How do you learn in your job? On-line? In real life? Feel free to share resources, so we can all keep learning!