Spending time with my mom is always a hoot. One day we were having lunch and she pops the question, "Do you know how to Twitter?" I had to admit that I have yet to learn how to Twitter, or why to Twitter. Unsatisfactory response. Next question. "Well, why not?" Next thing I know my mom is texting a friend of mine to see if she could help her learn how to Twitter.
My mom makes it a point to learn at least one new thing every day, and I guess it just occurred to her over lunch that she had not learned anything that day. My mom has been in charge of her own curriculum for as long as I can remember. She is also a natural teacher. She loves to pass on what she is learning. And her kids and grandkids had better keep up with her — or else! She is great at adapting to change and moving on.
As an avid student of my mom, I notice several qualities or practices I would like to share.
Remain curious. I notice that my mom is a very curious, inquisitive person. She is both unfocused and focused in her curiosity. That means she is open to learn from any and all experiences, and is very deliberate about learning about the long list of specific interests she maintains.
Learn at least one new thing every day. This is just one of her many healthful habits. If the day goes by and she hasn't learned something, you can bet she will learn something before retiring for the evening!
Be great at unlearning. This is huge. If we hold on to old and obsolete information, approaches, ways of thinking, practices and habits, there is little to no room for new ideas and information to flow in.
It helps to teach what you are learning. My mom is great at this. I am guessing that soon she will be wanting a smart board to enhance her teaching methods.
It helps to practice what you are learning. Not everything we learn is worth practicing. That's where wisdom comes in. It takes wisdom to sort through what we are learning and choose those things that are worth putting into practice. There is a huge difference between being knowledgeable and being wise. When we find those few worthwhile things, there is no better way to learn, grow, and influence others than by practicing what matters most to us.
One of the really fun things about my mom is that she is an identical twin. We grew up hearing our moms referred to as “The Twins.” Even though the Twins have very different interests, they approach learning and life in an identical way. As they learn and unlearn, they teach each other.
The Twins have taught me that the brain is renewable energy, and that to learn is to live! Thanks, Twins!