Today I want to chat about a subject that is close to my heart, lifelong learning. Whether it's related to my career or strictly a hobby, I feel like trying new things is one of the biggest inspiration sources in my life. Learning new things makes me feel alive. Recently while Jeremy and I were working on this project, I paused and said to him, "See! This is the kind of stuff that makes me the kind of person I want to be!"
Last year I read The Martha Rules, Martha Stewart's book of business advice (highly recommend). One of the points I took away from it was about lifelong learning. She makes it a very big part of her daily life, even in her seventies. How inspiring!
1. Make A Secret List Of Dreams + Goals.
When you're still figuring out your dreams, it's important to guard them from outside influence. There may be people in your life who genuinely love you and believe in you, but they might not connect with your dreams until they are a little more fleshed out. First step: Figure out your goals. Go to the park or the coffee shop alone. Make lists, start a journal, write down all your ideas and develop them to see where they lead! 2. Don't Let Others Choose Your Dreams.
As I said above, you need to guard your dreams in their early stages. When you do share them with other people, don't expect a positive response 100% of the time. Some people need to see things to believe them. It's good to get advice from people you care about, but don't ever let someone else talk you out of trying something that you're dreaming of. It's your choice!
In my early twenties I had a lot of people who I cared about advise against business choices I was making. They had good intentions, hoping to see my choose a safer or more secure career. I am glad that I didn't take all of that advice, even though I listened. I let it challenge me and help me ensure I had my ducks in a row.
Similarly, outside influences can discourage hobbies if you let them. When you start a new hobby, chances are you won't be very good at first. That's a big part of learning. Don't let anyone discourage you from pursuing a hobby that you enjoy!
3. Do Something You Never Thought You Could.
There was a time when I thought I could never run a mile without stopping, now I enjoy running as a hobby. There was also a time when I thought I could never make money at photography without doing weddings, but this year we finished a book about photography inspiration! Sometimes, when you are just beginning something, it seems impossible. Sometimes you don't see doors that are going to open later on. Do that thing that you never thought you could do and just see what happens!4. Build A Support System.
You need friends who share the same passions as you! If you don't have friends in your local circle who share your interests, look online. Through the years I have made so many real and meaningful friendships online. I have people who I can talk to about my weird hobbies and my business, people who I trust and respect. Whatever your hobby or interest, you can find friends who share the same passion. Just keep your eyes open and try joining online groups that fit your interest. You'll be able to provide each other with encouragement and information to keep learning!
5. Give Yourself Permission To Start From Scratch.
Maybe your dream is to do something you are already doing, but in a fresh way? I have felt this way many times though the years about my own photography. Sometimes the best way to learn is to start from scratch, forgetting everything you've learned in the past. It can be so refreshing to clear your mind and try to restart your dream with no rules, no clutter and no expectations. Try it!I've learned so much this past year. This year I plan to keep un-learning and re-learning about the things I am most passionate about. Learning and growing is a key to staying creative. What have you learned this past year? What do you plan to explore in the new year? xoxo. Elsie