Motivated? (to learn)

Have you started yet?

Your new workout routine, diet, or habits?

Or are you going to wait until Monday?

Monday is always a good day to start. We’re still kind of in holiday mode, right?

But are you just procrastinating?

Why didn’t you start last week? Or when you actually thought it was a good idea. Dates shouldn’t matter so much. But the one we had yesterday sure seems to attract a lot of attention.

But if the calendar motivates you to make a positive change, then that’s good. Use whatever tactics possible. Motivation is a slippery thing.

Getting into new habits requires some smart effort. You need some strategy and an approach that is different than what you think should work.

One of the best books on habits that I’ve read lately (or listened to) is Atomic Habits by James Clear. I highly recommend learning what James learned from his experience recovering from a brain injury and his relentless study of habits and change. It’s a good book, with inspiring stories and tactical strategies.

When you learn stuff, you’re smarter. You’ll know how things work.

And there are always things working that you don’t know about.

Learning spawns change.


You Don’t Know Everything

Curiosity Video

5 Curious Tips for Success

Life at Work Video

Facilitator or Presenter? Which one are you?


Looking Back

Do you know what’s fun?

Looking back.

Especially if you have done something good in your life in the past.  Sure, we always talk about focusing on the future and forgetting the past because there’s nothing we can do about what has already happened, and it seems like ‘the past’ is mostly associated with all the mistakes we made.  But you know what? I’ve done a few good things in the past.  And I think you have too.

So if you’re stuck in a rut, and things aren’t going so well, or you just need a boost…

Look back.

That’s what I did today.  And it worked.  I was really impressed with myself.  I’ve written some pretty good blog posts, that I completely forgot about.

I have been in somewhat of a blog posting fog, not able to produce very much at all.  (Now if you haven’t been following, I switched my blogging from here to which is a more focused topic, which may be why it’s harder to produce every day.)  So I decided to look back and see how I was able to crank out something every day. 

And I was impressed.

Then what happened?  I started writing this post.  It didn’t take any planning or real effort at all, it just came to me, “I’ve got to write this.”

So it worked.

Maybe it’ll work for you.


Why Curiosity?

I know it can get me into trouble sometimes, but I really think curiosity is one of my strong points.

It helped me in engineering because I was always asking, “Why does that work?”

And it has helped me in learning about human systems as I ask, “Why do people do that?”

It helps to break down arguments logically as I’m curious why would someone think that way, or what assumptions are they basing their beliefs and position on?

I guess it goes along with my drive to continually learn things.  I always check out way too many books from the library than I can reasonably read, but I’ve figured out the formula: curiosity + free = lots of library books stacked everywhere.

The foundation of real learning, is that you really want to learn.  And that comes from curiosity – the desire to know what is unknown.  

Someone can teach you a lot of things, but if you don’t care, or don’t really want to learn, then you won’t.

Curiosity is also connected with creativity.  You have to be curious about what you can create, so you create something to satisfy that curiosity.  When you create something you are making something known that was previously unknown.

Seth Godin has a great, short little post about how we might be missing out by not teaching kids how to be curious, and not letting new hires ask why.

It turns out that curiosity is also the basis for improvement.