These days in the new economy, the idea and act of continuous learning are mainstream and, I think, acknowledged as necessity. In my case I feel fortunate that consumption of new information in any form, but especially material on the technical side, has always been a fulfilling habit; I guess I never really got hooked on fiction or stories just for their own sake. It’s obvious now that in order to simply keep pace with innovation and advancement in communications, productivity tools, and technologies affecting all of us, we have to pay attention and make the personal commitment to hungrily learn on a daily basis.
I had an experience last week that, briefly, snapped me out of my own robotic “must read this to keep up” frame of mind, and it felt refreshing and stimulating. It still had everything to do with continuous learning, but it also had the added stuff that grabbed my attention and excitement about the opportunity to read this piece; in this case listen to the audio book.
For me, the newly released book from this author represents a work of genius. On discovery of its release, I immediately downloaded the book and felt excited about the time I would spend listening to it; as of this writing I am still looking forward to it. I’ll keep the author and title of my example out of this post because the author and piece are genius to me (based on past works read), and I expect that this sense of value in a written or recorded work is rather personal. Genius to you is assessed within the context of your life experience and belief system, so let’s leave the meaning of exceptional or genius work open in this case.
I know that when I invest the time to listen, I will be challenged to think, will be impressed and moved by brilliant prose and I, most certainly, will learn something. Not necessarily about a new creative software tool or industry conference, but something absolutely of value to me. More along the lines of a story that may or may not help my career directly, but will stimulate and reinforce my appreciation for learning for its own sake; for the joy of it.
My experience last week was stark enough to motivate this post. To encourage others to be on the lookout for those rare pieces of great work, however you define them for yourself. Consume and absorb the genius for its own sake. It still counts as continuous learning, regardless of CEU value.