The Joy of Learning

“Thank you” to West Midland Employer’s Inspire OD programme. Why? Because it kick-started and inspired me to ‘SUSTAIN’ a commitment I made 11 months ago. At the end of our second day on the programme we were asked what we would STOP, SUSTAIN and START.’ So here’s my blog, the one thing I said I would SUSTAIN. (And, it really is true, if you publically voice your ‘to do’ you are likely to do it!)

At the beginning of this year, I made a New Year’s Resolution to write this blog ‘All Things Inspiring.’ For the last couple of months this has slipped and now it is December and time to take stock. Reflecting, I know I still enjoy researching, reading, experiencing and writing about our wonderful inspiring world. We’re all part of a fantastic intellectual and information economy, which thrives on ideas, creativity and intelligence.

Recently, when talking to a good friend I advised, “look back to learn but not to yearn”, (how I came up with that nugget, I don’t know!), and although this was in connection with a relationship, I think it is equally fitting for the workplace. And so, my final offering for 2019 is about the Joy of Learning.

  1. We all know the benefits of a healthy body and of regular exercise. The benefits of exercising our minds are also medically proven. It is known that this can help stave off dementia. I became acutely aware of this point recently when delivering a Dementia session in a Care home. There was an obvious difference between residents who got involved in the planned activities and independently exercised their mind with, for example, jigsaw puzzles and crosswords and those who didn’t. We all know that dementia is a growing disease and lifestyle can play a significant part in someone’s susceptibility to this disease. Anything that we can do to minimise our risks of this disease must be worth trying?
  2. Experience the satisfaction of exploration. If you love reading, read what you love but also challenge your genre, read about subjects you know nothing about; read blogs, articles, and if reading isn’t your thing, exploit TED talks, explore new subjects; continually broaden your horizon and soak up new information like an infinite sponge, which is pretty much what your brain is.

So, what have I read recently? I finally got round to reading ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie, which has been in my bookcase for years and which, in Carnegie’s words, is all about ‘human relations’ and all that those 2 words truly mean. I should have read it earlier and will definitely reread it! What’s on your eclectic reading list? What’s your favourite TED talk?

  1. Use the act of learning to help reduce stress. We know it’s more difficult to do 2 things at once. Using your energy to concentrate on learning, whatever it is you’re learning, can help reduce stress levels.
  2. Learn something for the pure joy of it. Is there something you’d love to try? It could be photography, playing an instrument, yoga, the opportunities are endless. Explore your creative side, challenge your intellect with quizzes, learn a new hobby, develop an existing hobby. Here, I have to congratulate T who recently passed the Institute of Fisheries Management Certificate. “Well done T.”
  3. Learning can enrich your life. The obvious example of this is that it can enhance your career, but it can expand friendships, unleash undiscovered talent and lead to great fulfilment.

We learn in many different ways, not just from acquiring new information and skills but from all our experiences, including those that don’t go well. Taking time to absorb what you have learned and where you are going is vital to putting everything in perspective. Find your own place that allows you to assimilate all you have learned and frequent it often. With this in mind, “Thank you Hayley” for creating Learning Space on Connect within ‘Documents.’ In the New Year I hope to populate this with all things learning related.

So, these are some of the many benefits to continuing to learn which I hope will inspire you to continue your life of learning.

Want to know about Inspire OD? The programme is uniquely positioned to upskill and develop OD capacity within the HR community. If you’re thinking about signing up for Cohort 2 of the programme, bookings are still open click here to book your place and for more information on how you can get involved visit: http://aspirehrbp.org.uk/inspireod/

Article Written By,

Dee Young
Organisation Development Lead

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