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Hit the Shuffle Button

Hit the Shuffle Button

shuffle

    Same Old, Same Old?

    Do you find yourself doing the same things day in and day out? To use a metaphor, are you listening the the same songs of life every day? If so, why not hit the shuffle button on your life and let a new tune rev up your day, your creativity, and your energy!

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    I like how the shuffle button queues up a song that I wouldn’t normally choose. It expands my thinking down new paths. Let these ideas do the same thing for you life. Here’s a random number generator you can use to choose which one of these things to try today.

    New “Tunes” to Play

    1. Say Yes. Say yes to something that will expand your horizons. Maybe it’s that wedding across the country. What will it be for you? Say yes! See what this could open you up to!

    2. Say No. Say no to the endless requests for your time. The unnecessary meetings, dinners, and more that you find yourself going to all the time. Bow out for a change and instead use that time to make a “date” with yourself. What have you been itching to do? Do it!

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    3. Be a Tourist. Pick a touristy thing to do in your own town or city that you’ve never done before. Bring a friend or go alone. Make a point to say hi and meet a few new people. Have fun.

    4. Take a Drive. Take an hour or more drive to a fun destination. Some ideas: museums, zoos, tours, nature parks, county fair, etc. The longer the drive the better. Make a point to enjoy the drive. If you bring a friend, enjoy the time for good conversation. If you go alone, enjoy some music or a podcast or even just quiet time to think. If you come up with some brilliant ideas along the way, you can always speed-dial Jott to record your ideas when you can’t write them down.

    5. Nighttime Lights Out Break. This is great to do if you have kids, but you can quite as easily do this on your own too. When it’s time for your kids to go to bed, lay with them in their bed until they fall asleep. There may be some chatting at first, but once things are quiet, use that dark quiet time to think about things. I use this time to think about what I really need to do next. After the kids are asleep, I go and get started on one of them or write down my plans for the next day. If you don’t have kids, set a time in the evening to go into your bedroom. Turn off the lights, lie down, and just take 10-15 minutes to think about whatever you want! Then turn on the lights and write down your ideas.

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    6. Get Some Arts! Choose something you don’t normally do. Some choices: museums, art gallery openings, musicals, plays, outdoor theater, etc. Check the arts section of your local paper. Make a date with yourself or a friend and go!

    7. Rock Out! It’s summer time! (At least up here in the Northern Hemisphere) There are plenty of concerts to go to. When was the last time you went? Remember how much fun it was? Now, pick one! Go! Enjoy!

    8. Go on an Adventure. What could you do that will make your heart race, get you excited? Some ideas: bungee jumping, hiking, playing paint-ball, waterslides, playing night time hide and seek, watch a scary movie. What do you suggest?

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    9. Do the Opposite. If you are normally very social, going out a lot, take some quiet time, all by yourself. No TV. Just you and your thoughts. If you are normally not a social butterfly, get yourself to a social event. Call that friend or co-worker of yours that is social and ask them to suggest where you should go. Then go and break out of your shell. Meet some new people. See what good things come of it! Even if this is hard for you, try it. When we do things that are difficult we grow.

    10. Creative Time. Begin or work on that creative project you’ve been daydreaming about. You could: build something, knit a sweater, make a collage, paint a painting, color with crayons, make a kite, bake a cake, write a book, start a blog, whatever. Remember that book you bought on crafts or building projects? Dig it out and start a project. Have fun!

    K. Stone is author of Life Learning Today, a blog about daily life improvement Should You Start Your Own Work at Home Business?, How to Stop Being “Busy” and Live Your Dream Life, How to Write a Book in 60 Days or Less, A Game That Will Improve Any Relationship, and The Ultimate iPhone Decision Tool.

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    K. Stone

    The founder of Life Learning Today, a blog that's dedicated to life improvement tips.

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    Last Updated on November 5, 2019

    How to Cultivate Continuous Learning to Stay Competitive

    How to Cultivate Continuous Learning to Stay Competitive

    Assuming the public school system didn’t crush your soul, learning is a great activity. It expands your viewpoint. It gives you new knowledge you can use to improve your life. It is important for your personal growth. Even if you discount the worldly benefits, the act of learning can be a source of enjoyment.

    “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” — Mark Twain

    But in a busy world, it can often be hard to fit in time to learn anything that isn’t essential. The only things learned are those that need to be. Everything beyond that is considered frivolous. Even those who do appreciate the practice of lifelong learning, can find it difficult to make the effort.

    Here are some tips for installing the habit of continuous learning:

    1. Always Have a Book

    It doesn’t matter if it takes you a year or a week to read a book. Always strive to have a book that you are reading through, and take it with you so you can read it when you have time.

    Just by shaving off a few minutes in-between activities in my day I can read about a book per week. That’s at least fifty each year.

    2. Keep a “To-Learn” List

    We all have to-do lists. These are the tasks we need to accomplish. Try to also have a “to-learn” list. On it you can write ideas for new areas of study.

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    Maybe you would like to take up a new language, learn a skill or read the collective works of Shakespeare. Whatever motivates you, write it down.

    3. Get More Intellectual Friends

    Start spending more time with people who think. Not just people who are smart, but people who actually invest much of their time in learning new skills. Their habits will rub off on you.

    Even better, they will probably share some of their knowledge with you.

    4. Guided Thinking

    Albert Einstein once said,

    “Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”

    Simply studying the wisdom of others isn’t enough, you have to think through ideas yourself. Spend time journaling, meditating or contemplating over ideas you have learned.

    5. Put it Into Practice

    Skill based learning is useless if it isn’t applied. Reading a book on C++ isn’t the same thing as writing a program. Studying painting isn’t the same as picking up a brush.

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    If your knowledge can be applied, put it into practice.

    In this information age, we’re all exposed to a lot of information, it’s important to re-learn how to learn so as to put the knowledge into practice.

    6. Teach Others

    You learn what you teach. If you have an outlet of communicating ideas to others, you are more likely to solidify that learning.

    Start a blog, mentor someone or even discuss ideas with a friend.

    7. Clean Your Input

    Some forms of learning are easy to digest, but often lack substance.

    I make a point of regularly cleaning out my feed reader for blogs I subscribe to. Great blogs can be a powerful source of new ideas. But every few months, I realize I’m collecting posts from blogs that I am simply skimming.

    Every few months, purify your input to save time and focus on what counts.

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    8. Learn in Groups

    Lifelong learning doesn’t mean condemning yourself to a stack of dusty textbooks. Join organizations that teach skills.

    Workshops and group learning events can make educating yourself a fun, social experience.

    9. Unlearn Assumptions

    You can’t add water to a full cup. I always try to maintain a distance away from any idea. Too many convictions simply mean too few paths for new ideas.

    Actively seek out information that contradicts your worldview.

    Our minds can’t be trusted, but this is what we can do about it to be wiser.

    10. Find Jobs that Encourage Learning

    Pick a career that encourages continual learning. If you are in a job that doesn’t have much intellectual freedom, consider switching to one that does.

    Don’t spend forty hours of your week in a job that doesn’t challenge you.

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    11. Start a Project

    Set out to do something you don’t know how. Forced learning in this way can be fun and challenging.

    If you don’t know anything about computers, try building one. If you consider yourself a horrible artist, try a painting.

    12. Follow Your Intuition

    Lifelong learning is like wandering through the wilderness. You can’t be sure what to expect and there isn’t always an end goal in mind.

    Letting your intuition guide you can make self-education more enjoyable. Most of our lives have been broken down to completely logical decisions, that making choices on a whim has been stamped out.

    13. The Morning Fifteen

    Productive people always wake up early. Use the first fifteen minutes of your morning as a period for education.

    If you find yourself too groggy, you might want to wait a short time. Just don’t put it off later in the day where urgent activities will push it out of the way.

    14. Reap the Rewards

    Learn information you can use. Understanding the basics of programming allows me to handle projects that other people would require outside help. Meeting a situation that makes use of your educational efforts can be a source of pride.

    15. Make Learning a Priority

    Few external forces are going to persuade you to learn. The desire has to come from within. Once you decide you want to make lifelong learning a habit, it is up to you to make it a priority in your life.

    More About Continuous Learning

    Featured photo credit: Paul Schafer via unsplash.com

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