Living Fully: Developing a Lifestyle of Learning

By | January 31, 2016
When I was a young adult, I was so set on proving to everyone that I was smart and capable and good.  Truthfully, there were many things I didn’t know, but I didn’t want to appear dumb or uneducated, so I pretended I knew….everything!  HAHA!!! I was so prideful and insecure.  I didn’t want anyone to see what I thought were my weaknesses.  How silly to think I was expected to know everything at 25!  As a middle school science teacher, this was magnified as my students expected the science teacher to know everything about science….and I was too proud to admit otherwise. Ugh..the pressure!
But, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown more comfortable NOT knowing. It really is true, “The older I get the more I realize the less I know”. (Author Unknown) So, I have embraced the concept of life as an adventure, full of opportunities to learn and grow!  I’m learning to be curious and honest about my lack of solid knowledge wherever an opportunity presents itself.  I think this is what I love most about coaching.  I learn so much about how personality differences, unique life experiences, confidence, faith, & other factors work together to shape, mold & direct people on their life path.  Instead of being under pressure to have the answers as a coach, I get to be a fellow-explorer alongside of my clients as we discover strategies for success together. Coaching is a constant adventure with so many unknowns, but so many life-giving surprises with every client!
A few months ago I stepped into an opportunity to serve elderly people as a private caregiver, a field where I had no formal training. As I went to work with my first few clients, I heard some language I wasn’t familiar with and realized I might have to do some things I didn’t have a lot of experience doing.  Instead of remaining fearful or insecure about my lack of knowledge, I asked questions and researched online to get what I needed (gotta love YouTube videos!). In just a few weeks, I had grown in my ability to re-position clients struggling with CHF (also learned that CHF=congestive heart failure), perform peri-care (I’ll let you look that one up), and to identify the signs to look for when a terminal client is in their last days of life.  It has definitely been an enriching experience that has expanded my skills…and knowledge!
At only 45 years old, there’s still so much more to discover in the world!  For that reason, I LOVE to travel!  My 10 year old daughter and I are preparing to head to Guatemala this summer to experience my brother-in-law’s non-profit efforts to help improve health care there. I can’t wait to absorb the culture and the language of the people, as well as witness and celebrate the fruit of my brother-in-law’s labor. Most of all, I know there are things I can’t plan for that will just happen on this trip.  I’m super excited to share the Guatemala experience with my daughter and see how it impacts her.  We’ve been brushing up on our Spanish so we can communicate a bit with the people, but as learners, we’re committed to fumbling through and growing through the experience in every way possible.
So, how can you broaden your life experiences and grow more in the year ahead?  What skill or ability would you like to develop that you don’t currently have? What will you plan to do or set out to explore as a way to experience your greater capacity for living?
As always, let me know if you need a partner in your corner to support you in your growth and development!