It’s funny; I’d like to think of myself as someone who thrives on learning new things.
I really want to learn how to play guitar, to speak Spanish, and to master the art of cooking rice without totally ruining another good ScanPan. I also want to learn SEO and how to use chopsticks like a pro and be able to snap from raw story-telling to intensely formal corporate email writing in a second. Can I also learn how to use MailChimp, and change a spare tyre, and bake the perfect chocolate soufflé? Please and thank you.
A lot like you, there’s a lot I’ll get to, one day.
Keywords: one day.
What I’m finding though, that learning doesn’t happen from a place of ‘really wanting to’, there’s no motivation, scorecard, satanic trainer, or authoritative accountability associated with such an aloof desire. Not for me anyway.
The day dream of playing chords like Taylor Swift for the pleasure of campfire banter and impression of a Matt Corby-esque, man-bun is just not strong enough. And learning how to make an app just because it could be useful one day, doesn’t have a rich enough timeline to meet.
I still haven’t learnt any of these things, and I probably won’t. Why would I? I don’t need to.
Herein lies the catch: necessity equals results.
I’ll have you know, I’m becoming an expert in Google Adwords because my job demands it, I’m learning how to cook the perfect Spanish dinners because I now live out of home, and I discovered how to pump up my tyre because Dad wasn’t with me when a dose of air was vital if I wanted to roll any closer towards Yoga class.
Only out of desperation I skilled up.
The lesson is blatantly clear then, that nothing will happen unless it’s forced, demanded and required. End of.
Now I think of one of my favourite proverbs, Parkinson’s Law, which states that, “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”
As a student, I know this to be supremely legit: you can either smash out an assignment in two weeks, or go from zero to hero in a record 4 hours with the company of a significant amount of caffeine if required.
Using old friend Parkinson to our advantage, there’s just one thing to do: get accountable.
And most of all, uncomfortable to the point where everything is new. Because by jumping over the edge the body has no choice but to follow, and live on. We hope.