March has been a productive month for learning. This post went up today over at Joyful, Jubilant Learning. It is part of a series and I got to kick it off this month. I am reposting it in its entirety here.
With only five days left in the month, here is my recap of five learning experience highlights.
1. I discovered a lot of great books I HADN'T read during The Love Affair With Books at Joyful, Jubilant Learning.
There were a whole slew of reviews posted this month on all kinds of different books (and there's five more left!). I have already ordered a couple of books based on the comments of the reviewers in this series. If you're anything like me, you buy books based on the recommendations of others. I have added to my "must read" list. You will probably hear some of the results of that reading in April. I also learned about a new program called Shelfari and listed the books from ALAWB on there as well.
2. I discovered a lot of ways to add value to people.
One of my side projects for this month was the creation of a list of suggestions, ideas, and strategies on how to add value to others. I engaged a lot of people with the question: "What could I do to make you feel important, make your life better, and make you feel valued?" Based on the answers and some of my own reading, I compiled the list (with the help of my friend, Kerry). You can read the results of my findings at 103 Ways To Add Value To People.
3. If you use Gmail, then Gmail Greasemonkey scripts completely enhance the experience.
I love Gmail. It is the most used application on my computer. I just discovered some very cool ways to make Gmail look, feel, and operate better. I learned how to add color to my labels, use more keyboard shortcuts, and preview mail messages. The following is from the Google code page:
Various Greasemonkey scripts that enhance Gmail:
4. Personal growth is determined by what we put in front of our ">" sign (greater than sign).
Another book I read this past month is called, The Laws of Lifetime Growth. The authors list ten different laws that create momentum in a person's life toward growth. Dealing with such things as "make your future greater than your past," "make your contribution greater than your reward," "make your performance greater than your applause." My takeaway from the book is that personal growth is actually a matter of priorities. It is determined by what I believe to be most important (or more important than something else). Thus, my growth is determined by what I put in front of my > sign. (i.e., learning > ignorance).
If you'd like to hear me discuss the first three laws in the book, you can listen to a talk I gave this past month here.
5. A proper swing is difficult to develop on your own.
Over this past month, I have swung a baseball bat, a golf club, a tennis racquet, and my arm as I was bowling. Each of these "swings" require a certain amount of skill and expertise. Those who dedicate their lives to perfecting their "swings" in each of these sports utilize the perspective and skill of others. I often discover that what feels comfortable isn't necessarily proper form. In fact, I discover that I've simply grown comfortable with a bad habit.
When I was playing golf, I would ask the person I was playing with (who was much better), "What am I doing wrong?" This question was necessary because the ball kept going into the adjoining fairway after I hit it. I couldn't figure it out on my own. I needed someone to watch, assess, and help me to change.
I'm learning that I need to use "swing" coaches in more and more areas of my life.
Please share your own Rapid Fire Learning in comments below, or post about 5 things you learned this March on your blog (and remember to trackback to this post!).
Tim Milburn writes at studentlinc - a website dedicated to developing lifelong leaders one student at a time. He has recently created the Weekly Schedule | Task | Planner and 103 Ways To Add Value To People. Tim also spends all his spare moments coaching his son's Little League Major's team: the West Valley Orioles.