“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
“It is not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.”
― Albert Einstein
10 minutes ago I was surfing the Web in search of a new, easier and more efficient way to track some new/old/current habits. Yeah, ok there is the paper and pencil alright. There are so many programs too. But there was something else there: a curiosity to find a way to track things in my own way. My mind went to Microsofy Excel.
I have totally NO idea about Excel.
In my long absence for the last months, I remember August-September (2012) when I was attending the “Gamification” class on Coursera, where you learn to gamify different aspects of your life.
As a (former) gamer I know very well the power that games have to suck you inside their virtual reality. What I learned is that there is a whole science on the matter. Based on the science of Psychology & Human Motivation, the game-developing field has created a whole new science of Gamifying, taking what works from the screen and applying it on Real Life.
Some of the Biggest companies like Nike, Samsung, Sony and many more, have put gamifying aspects on their websites and products to engage people to spend more time there. Yes, it’s a marketing tool.
But what I came to realize is that Everything needs good Marketing if we are about to DO it.
Imagine for a moment taking the aspects of your life that you know you “have to” do and will help you immensely (but for some reason you don’t follow through at the moment), and gamify them so you won’t be able to STOP doing them! If you can master even a bit of the field of Gamification and Human Motivation, I bet it will change the way you see life in general and all the things you do on a daily basis.
So, while doing some projects for the Gamification Course, my mind started spamming ideas on how I can gamify aspects of my life. To read more, apply habits, measure progress, and starting new projects. Guess what I did? Paper and Pencil! Because I had no idea about programming, excel and other things that seem to be a BIG help on the matter.
Curiosity started to grow, wanting to meet with more Programmers, Game Designers, and people who knew about this stuff. Also I felt the little virus of Curiosity about learning at least some of the basics for these things, in order to use them to create something of my own!
I remember a big Flame starting inside of me, with an avalanche of new ideas coming from everywhere and everything, while I was on the shower, while I was reading irrelevant things, while I was walking, at random moments!
I saw there the power of Passion and the need for Expression and Creativity.
Because everyone can REALLY get creative on things he loves and matter to him. Especially if he can find a way to contribute to people he cares about.
Just watch how creative your mind gets when it’s about to eat junk food or to rationalize actions you know you didn’t actually mean to do.
But the Courses of my (main) University of medicine creeped in, and pressed me so much that in the end my creativity bottomed. Things I had created as gamification systems, once this pressing period of exams past, they all failed miserable and I dropped them with, I can say, a bit remorse.
What I learned there is that if I knew an easier and more efficient way to log things and measure progress things could continue even after the great pressure had passed.
So now that I found a reason again to learn something (Excel), with a bit search, I found instantly this: http://excelexposure.com/,which is a totally free, full course on Excel 2010! Hell yeah I’m gonna take it! It will help me not only in my career (whatever it may be), but also on having one more tool to express my creativity and improve as a human being.
Yeah, it’s a shame I hadn’t found about it earlier (maybe it wasn’t existing yet..) Anyway.
Unstoppable Learner & Inter-Connectedness
My point is this: People stop learning for just one reason. They stop trying new things. Yes, society plays its role on killing the creativity and innovation of people with the “mandatories”, as I have previously mentioned.
But when the Internet is around, anything is possible, and most of the people have not understood it yet.
Remember that ALL subjects, areas and fields are inter-connected, so you will DEFINETELY see some connections with your main project/work or with the person you want to become.
The best thing to become an Unstoppable Learner is to cultivate your Curiosity, by putting new questions, starting a thread and continuing to see where it leads you.
Here are some Connections that led me to this post:
Reading the “Leader who had No Title” of Robin Sharma (one of my favorite books) taught me that I have the freedom to choose a positive meaning for all the things that I have lived up until now, even the things that I may thought as “Waste of Time” or “Irrelevant of my purpose” or whatever. They make me who I am, so I should honor these things too.
So I started to contemplate on major things of my past that had negative meaning for me, to search and apply to them a positive one. One of these was my Gamer’s past life.
Also from the same “stumbling” (see above) I found this one too: Daphne Koller: What we’re learning from online education. WHOA!
So I went to Coursera and what I found… A course on Gamification, from the University of Pennsylvania!!!
Talking about coincidence. If I had not read the book and watched the videos, nothing would have happened. But because I was open to new input, things that light my heart on fire got in my mind and started to grow. Not only this, but I talked on many people about what I had found, and many peeps found something they were longing for too! 🙂
Now from Gamification, I went to Excel and its applications on Habits creation and gamifying life.
Which led me to search about Excel, and Programming which once acquired, there will be 2 new tools on my skill set, making me a more Whole person (and a Modern Renaissance Man which is what I consider the “Normal” for every human to target on..). Ofcourse I won’t master those skills, and it will be easier for me to hire freelancers when I’ll need serious work.
But hey, why not learning the fundamentals at least?? Let’s keep our brain working and expanding!
Is this a Coincidence?
And all these led me to write this post. Is it a coincidence too that you’re reading it right now? Or are you open to something new and that’s why you are searching for it, even if in most cases you don’t know about what you are looking for?
(You don’t know what it is, but you know it’s there. Like a splinter in your mind that’s driving you crazy…)
This is not something that has happened to me just once. It happens all the time. And it’s how you come to see that everything becomes inter-connected. Games linked to programming linked to human motivation linked to habit application linked to a better life? Why not.
Find skills you’d like to have and focus on one or two at a time to cultivate them. Once you start it will be SO diffucult to stop. At the moment I have so many skills I want, in my mind, that it’s hard to FOCUS on one-two and let the other for the moment.
Let your imagination wild, and start exploring new aspects, skills and areas.
I don’t remember where I had read it (I think it was on LiveYourLegend.net), but it’s totally true:
Always have 1-2 side projects to keep your mind working and expanding. To motivate you to always learn new things.
This has been my motto for a while, and is a Core belief by now. I encourage you to adopt it too if you want to become a more complete You.
True Story 🙂
STUDY HARD WHAT INTERESTS YOU THE MOST IN THE
MOST UNDISCIPLINED, IRREVERENT
AND ORIGINAL MANNER POSSIBLE.
-R.Feynmann, Quantum Physicist awarded with the following:
Well, he might knew something…
Keep your curiosity going peeps!
I would like to hear your opinion on the matter, how you plan to cultivate your curiosity, what side-projects you have in mind, and what skills you’d like to acquire, so please take a minute to write a comment below 🙂 This small investment of time will really help me and the community of NeuroSelfMastery a lot. Even a few words or one sentence goes a long way.
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