What’s New?

Concept of training. Wooden bookshelf full of books in form of m

It’s Day 11 of the Get Stuff Done 1×31 Challenge. Today’s challenge is to learn something new.

No matter how old or young you may be, how much you think you know or don’t know, or whether you think there are any original ideas left to explore, as an educator I’m here to tell you there is always something to learn.

I know learning can be intimidating. Often the hardest thing for a student to do is to walk through through the doors of whatever learning institution he or she chooses. But doing so can change a life.

That’s why in order for me to teach, I must continue to learn. As a writer, it helps for me to be a voracious reader. To be an effective coach, I need to be willing to be coached.

TED talks are one of my favorite free sources of learning. I am a huge fan of these 18 minute entrées into the world of experts in every imaginable field. This is a luxury I would have never thought possible in my workshop junkie days when going where the gurus were was the only way to get the goods.

This month you can not only do the Get Stuff Done 1×31 Challenge, but you can also take the TED ED Challenge.  These lessons can also be completed in 5-15 minutes, depending on how engrossed you get in the topic.  A new topic is presented each day in an animated short that brings the information to life in a very entertaining and educational way. (It has also prompted me to add “find funding for an animator, director, sound editor, script director, and producer” to my Get Stuff Done 1×31 list.)

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people complain they are bored. There is so much to learn, discover, and do. Why would you not use the day’s downtime to take advantage of the ample learning opportunities to plant seeds in your imagination?

Our biggest threat is not weapons of mass destruction but weapons of mass distraction.

Today I encourage you to cultivate the kind of creativity that comes with having a quiet moment, a curious mind, and the patience to contemplate the questions that have confounded great minds for centuries.

Work a cross-word puzzle. Solve a Sudoku puzzle. Doodle or sketch a logo for your 1×31 Challenge list. Animate one of these lessons. Write a reply to a perplexing question with your non-dominant hand.

Use that Wiggle Room from Day 6 to explore the unfamiliar and make unlikely connections between things that appear to have nothing to do with each other. Maybe you will stumble upon a solution to a problem that just needed to be approached from a different perspective?

Share what you learn in the comments below.

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Here are a few classics for your playlist:

What’s New, Pussycat? – Tom Jones

What a Wonderful World – James Taylor, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel

Inside Out – Trisha Yearwood, Don Henley

And here are just a few of my favorite TED presenters:

 

2 thoughts on “What’s New?

  1. Kate Hall says:

    Penny! Kate Polte Hallhere! I have been enjoying this 31 day challenge! Even though I got behind, it has been instrumental in helping me move and plan the biggest move of my life, becoming a full- time crafter/artist. Also, my nephew is an animator. Do you still need one? Love you, kate

  2. pjplautz says:

    Kate,

    I just saw this. Congratulations on the move to becoming a full-time crafter/artist. That is fabulous! Do you have a website? I’d love to check it out along with your nephew’s work.
    Glad the challenge could help.

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