icon-email icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-print icon-rss icon-search icon-stumbleupon icon-twitter icon-arrow-right icon-email icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-print icon-rss icon-search icon-stumbleupon icon-twitter icon-arrow-right icon-user Skip to content
Senior Correspondent

"Yesterday I was clever and I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise so I want to change me." Rumi

I was an average student in high school. And, that's being generous. I did a lot better in college, but that's because as a working student, I had the luxury of taking my sweet time and applying what I was learning in my job or in my personal life.

That made my education extremely practical. And I like practical. Since it took me over a decade to earn my degree, I apparently developed the habit of continuous learning. Well, more like an addiction. I just love to learn stuff, and put it to use. 

After more than ten years in the classroom as an adult, I chose to take up another form of continuous learning. I enrolled in the school of life, using daily happenings as my curriculum. Still needing a place to apply what I was learning, I set out to change the world. Well, maybe not change "The" world … but "my" world.

Turns out changing my world was a big job. I soon discovered that it involved changing the beliefs and behaviors of those inhabiting my world. Not so easy. I failed miserably at changing other people. The School of Hard Knocks continued to increase its tuition, and I continued to pay. All the great ideas I had to fix other people, and no takers. Imagine that. 

A painfully slow learner at times, I finally arrived at an amazing realization. Perhaps I should narrow my focus. Perhaps I should start with myself. I would work on changes that I needed to make. That should be manageable enough, I reasoned. 

It certainly wasn't difficult to identify areas in my professional and personal life that needed improvement. There were plenty. And, I was up for it. Nothing short of a complete Jeanne transformation would do. Well, the need for speed got the better of me, and I begin looking for quick results in all the wrong places. 

After frustrating myself once again, I eventually learned what I consider to be one of the greatest lessons life has to offer. The Great Life Lesson: Focus on one thing at a time until it is mastered and becomes a habit. The wise tortoise knows. Slow can be fast, and fast can certainly be slow. Just ask the clever rabbit.

Niece Jackie, puts it this way: One simple, small, sustainable change at a time. I am blessed to be surrounded with wonderful nieces, nephews and many adopted kids. They are excellent teachers, and, it's a good thing, because I still have so much to learn.

"The only things worth learning are the things you learn after you know it all." Harry S.Truman

Your Coaching Challenge, Should You Choose to Accept It:
Identify one simple, small, sustainable change you can make today, either in your workplace or in your personal life. It could be as simple as drinking an extra glass of water each day, or adding an extra piece of fruit. Consider picking one small practice at work to help you better manage distractions perhaps, or choose one thing you can do to improve a working relationship. You get the idea. One simple, small, sustainable change. Just one.

May This Be Your Best Year Yet!
 

 

Stay Up to Date

Sign up for articles by Jeanne Gladden and other Senior Correspondents.

Latest Stories

Choosing Senior Living
Love Old Journalists

Our Mission

To amplify the voices of older adults for the good of society

Learn More