Many years ago now, I was talking with my husband about work and management roles. He was talking about the importance of employees continuing their education, how people need to be reading magazines and books related to their career- always furthering their training and education. At the time, it made sense on one level to me, I could understand that if you are in a job you need to be continuing to educate yourself about what is going on in the industry and increasing your knowledge base. Due to where I was at the time, I also cringed. Uh-oh!
To me this is a great sign whether we are in a career that speaks to who we truly are. Are we following our life passion? I shifted my direction and can honestly say now that I don’t think I will ever be satisfied with my knowledge on organizing, time management, productivity, efficiency, etc. I am constantly searching and questioning. I do this for myself as well as for what it can provide for my clients. It excites and interests me – it’s not “work.”
There are some people who are so curious they study many different things, and I do have this temptation sometimes. Yet, we all have limited time and energy – there’s only so much we can learn. Learning might not even be the highest priority – we’re already juggling many different life responsibilities. This is one of the reasons we don’t even try to learn how to do everything for ourselves; we have a network of people to turn to.
Although I could be fascinated with learning woodworking – the real deal – how to make gorgeous furniture out of wood, I am not that committed to it. It’s too involved for me, and I’d rather be doing other things with my time. I’m pretty sure we all have interests that we decide not to pursue – at least for the moment. Does this make you feel badly? Are you ashamed that there’s a limit to what you’ll try to learn? Will you avoid turning to someone who does know about a particular subject?
There comes a time when it’s worthwhile to ask for help. I’ve taken yoga classes a few times; I have yoga videos and equipment. This doesn’t stop me from deciding that in the next couple of months I will sign up for a yoga class. There’s several reasons why – I want the accountability and motivation of a class and I want someone to be able correct my poses, to name a couple of reasons. I will probably struggle with some sense of embarrassment – I’m sure my yoga practice is back at a beginner level. Nevertheless, it’s well worth it to me. Nor does it mean that I won’t be learning independently of the class.
Do you know when it’s time to ask for help? Whether it’s something you think you “should” be able to solve on your own or it’s something that you find embarrassing to admit to – there’s a time to turn to someone who is educated and passionate about the topic. Too often I hear of people resisting turning to someone to help them – from the wanting to exercise regularly yet won’t ask friends or hire a trainer, even for a short time to get them started. You don’t have to do it alone. You certainly cannot be an expert in everything.
We all need to recognize what it is that we have time and energy to learn on our own and when it’s time to turn to an expert. This can be more challenging depending on what it is that needs expert attention. Many of us don’t hesitate to take our cars to a mechanic and visit the doctor when we need. Sometimes when it’s more personal, intimate we might resist. I encourage you to open up to places where asking for help could make all the difference – you don’t need to learn everything alone.