Updated: Nov 14, 2021
"When you stop growing, you start dying." - William S. Burroughs
This is more than just a clever proverb: it's the truth. Thanks to constructive criticism from friends and family, I am constantly growing, changing, and improving. The best way I have found to learn skills and develop strengths is to read books and try new things. Here are just a few of the many things I have discovered about myself.
"If you're not making mistakes, then you're not making decisions." - Catherine Cook
Things I Am Getting Better At
If you are reading this, congratulations! You have reached the most important part of this entire website. Why is it so important, you ask? Well, this is where I list the valuable and thought-provoking resources that I am currently using to keep learning new skills and knowledge. Some of these entries may become full blog posts in the future. But before you check out the following list of learning resources, I would like to share with you the single-most valuable advice I have received thus far.
Communicating with Others
Ultimately, life is about people. Whether you are a Christian or not, you know that relationships are far more important than stuff. And when it comes to having a good relationship with another person--whether that person is a family member, friend, colleague, or stranger--communication is key. The problem with communication is that it can be easy to misunderstand, misinterpret, or simply ignore what others are saying. That's why I am learning to use two incredibly useful questions a lot more. The first question is "What do you mean by that?" Instead of making assumptions about a person's intentions or firing back an accusation, asking this question gives others a chance to retract their statement, rephrase it, or simply clarify their meaning. This questions alone can save you a lot of interpersonal conflict! The second question is "How did you come to that conclusion?" Just like the first question, this one can be used in many different situations--even ones you may not expect! By asking people to explain their line of reasoning, you may just learn something about them that will help you understand where they are coming from. Put together, these two questions can be a powerful tool in your relational toolbox. Never leave them at home!
Learning Languages in Less Time
I invite you to create a free account with Duolingo and start learning a new language today. I have been using Duolingo's platform for over five years, and I am always impressed by the depth and breadth of content. At just five minutes a day, it's a simple, easy way to stretch your linguistic muscles without breaking a sweat. Duolingo isn't just about real-life languages, either! You can use Duolingo to learn Klingon or High Valyrian. If you would like to learn to write and read Aurebesh (the symbols used in Star Wars), I encourage you to visit the following websites:
Appreciating Great Music
Making Smart Decisions Quickly
Developing Healthy Habits
Understanding America's Past
Finding a Job in Half the Time
Creating Immersive Computer Games for Free
Building a Better Website
Appreciating How Far We've Come
"You're only old once." - Dr. Seuss
Time to Learn Something New
I'm not getting any younger, and as they say, "the best day to start something was yesterday. The next best day is today." That's why I'm learning a second language, learning how to write compelling stories, and listening from people far smarter that I am. I may not be good at all of the things I try my hand at, but the outcome that really matters is the flexibility and resilience that comes with learning.
"Success is not the absence of failure; it's the persistence through failure." - Aisha Tyler