What Do You Want To Learn This Year?

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What if you never stopped asking yourself, "What do I want to be when I grow up?" Just by keeping that question alive in your heart, you are affirming the very powerful intention that life is about learning, growing and evolving.

I love the ads that hit the media in September, "It's the most wonderful time of the year...." Remember the suspense and magic of going back to school: new clothes, backpacks and books, new teachers, activities and friends. The entire next level of learning was planned out and awaiting you. Why does that have to stop in adulthood when we most desperately need to learn new skills, as parents, professionals, and human beings facing a changing world? When life's challenges become most complex, where are all the professors and guides and lessons to provide us the knowledge, capabilities, and understandings when they are the most critical?

So take a moment to ask yourself, "What do I want to learn this year?" Opportunities for your continued education are out there, but you have to take charge and create your own curriculum. First you need to select your areas of study, and in doing so, remember to nurture the whole you. Not only your intellectual side, but also your emotional, spiritual,
creative, and physical being as well.

Academically, what have you always wanted to study? Would you like to be fluent in a foreign language? Are there new computer skills you would like to master? What issues would you love to become more knowledgeable about? What courses did you never get to pursue that you still would like to learn?

Creatively, the arts are all around you. How do you experience beauty? Is it through sound, site, texture or aromas? Bring your inner child out to play and pursue some creative outlets such as painting, pottery, cooking, writing, or interior design.

Emotionally, how would you like to grow as a human being? Would you like to improve your parenting or relationship skills? Do you need to get a better hold on your anger or fears? Do you need to let go of old issues that are dragging you down? Have you lost touch with your dreams and values?

Spiritually, how do you nurture your inner spirit? What feeds your soul? How much time to you devote daily or weekly to spiritual endeavors? What support, activities, groups or practices can help you reawaken your heart?

Physically, of course none of the above can happen if you don't have the energy. Exercise creates energy and clears the mind. How can you become more active? What steps can you take to improve your health? How can schedule a recess into your day?

Take some time to jot down several ideas in each of these categories. Just brainstorm without editing your thoughts, and note any and all possibilities that come to mind. Think back to your school years -- what did you love, what do you miss, what opportunities did you wish were available? Then review your list and circle whatever tweaks your heart and gives you a momenary adrenaline rush. Now compile this refined list into an outline for your dream curriculum for 2010-11. Remember you don't have to do everything all at once. What you can't fit in this semester you can do in the next.

Now you're ready to research where you can find these classes. Fortunately, society no longer considers us brain dead by the age of 40. Today, there are numerous avenues for adult education. Many colleges and universities allow open seats in their classrooms to be filled by adults not enrolled in their schools. There is also an unlimited virtual world out there that offers classes online and via telephone. Many communities have art centers that offer a variety of programs. Local churches, synagogues, and mosques hold discussion groups and classes. Yoga and meditation centers abound. Support groups and a variety of personal growth retreats are cropping up everywhere. And many towns offer evening adult education classes in their high schools after hours. These opportunities are often economical but if money becomes an issue then volunteer, volunteer, and volunteer some more. The best education can be gained through experience and sharing your gifts.

First and foremost, declare your learning and self improvement a priority. Your personal growth will benefit everyone around you; your family, your colleagues, your community, and the people you serve. Clear your daily planner of unwanted, unnecessary energy drainers. Block off the time and space to invest in your self. You are your number one asset. And remember, never stop asking yourself, "What do I want to be when I grow up?"

About the Author:

Karin Marcus, Professional Certified Life Coach / Retreat Leader
"Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do" Rumi Karin@Steppingoutcoaching.com 610-667-5247

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