Expanding Knowledge, Painlessly
Balancing work with play at Grayton Beach State Park.Â Photo credit:Â Aislinn Bailey
Have you ever discovered that your intentions came true, just not in the way you planned?Â Happens to me all the time.
A little over a year ago, I put the intention out there in a Law of Attraction exercise to take more courses, particularly enjoyable courses.Â I didnâ€™t have a set agenda of which courses, but I simply wanted to keep learning more and keep expanding my mind and knowledge.
And yet, I never did renew that Spanish language course Iâ€™d been taking at work because I didnâ€™t have time there.Â Nothing exciting showed up in the local college schedules that I hadnâ€™t already taken.
It seems I spend so much of my time teaching, and itâ€™s important to me to continue learning.Â I donâ€™t need yet another degree, but learning is extremely important to me.
As the Winter Solstice drew nearâ€”the time of year when I focus on my intentions for the next yearâ€”I thought about my intentions for the year that had just passed and how I hadnâ€™t spent much time in classes at work or at home.Â Very few conferences or workshops!
Fortunately, my day job requires that I take 80 hours of continuing education every two years, including lots of free online coursesâ€¦but that doesnâ€™t help with the enjoyable courses Iâ€™d wanted to take.Â By boss came to me rather suddenly, reminding me that I was behind on my 80 hours and needed to submit any type of workshops or courses Iâ€™d taken recently, so I went into mad-scramble mode to keep from ending up on some big bossâ€™ list of outcasts in the next few days.Â I really had to strain my brain to come up with anythingâ€¦at first.
Iâ€™d not only attended a two-hour geo-political lecture by George Friedman related to his book, The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century, but I had downloaded the entire 9-hour, 41-minute audiobook and listened to it while cleaning out files at the office.Â Â Â I decided to push my luck and see if I could get credit for the book, which was directly related to my workâ€”and did!
That got me thinking.Â Maybe there were other audiobooks I had listened to that would qualify.Â As I began making a list of all the courses, speeches, lectures, workshops, and guides Iâ€™d listened to on my iPod while getting some exercise, gardening, or cleaning house, a pattern emerged that surprised me.
Iâ€™d been listening to plenty of enjoyable courses.Â Without realizing it.
Though I prefer to download speeches and recorded-live workshops from Audible.com, I can get many of the more popular non-fiction guides through my local library and listen to them on CD.Â I can also listen to a gazillion college lectures free from , and love listening to psychology courses my daughter recommends.
Whatâ€™s on my iPod this week?Â The Anglo-Saxon World by Dr. Michael D.C. Drout, part of the Modern Scholar lecture series.Â I understand if the migration pattern of Beowulfâ€™s people isnâ€™t your cup of, um, mead, but then, thereâ€™s also an audiobook on the history of beer-makingâ€¦.