April 10, 2012
By Sandy Biback, CMP, CMM
Imagination+ Meeting Planners Inc.
We all belong to associations to obtain continuing education units, so we can keep up with what is going on in our professions. Let me ask you this: if you didn’t have to obtain CEUs each year, would you still want to learn about the latest in your profession? Would you take the time?
As a lifelong learner, I try to learn at least one new thing every day, whether part of my profession or about life in general. As a matter of course, I do the following:
• Read something every day. It could be the newspaper, it could be a report online, it could be a magazine, it could be a book;
• Always lookout for something that will entice me. Could be a photograph that I want to learn more about. It could be a new store that opened, that I want to find out more about, so I go in and talk with the staff;
• Talk to people to see what is new in their world and wonder how I can use that in my world;
• Attend seminars, webinars, conferences, lectures whenever I can;
• Take part in discussions with friends, colleagues in local coffee shops. Amazing what you can learn when you brainstorm, chat with others;
• Listen to my students—they are the up-and-comers in my profession and can teach me a lot, especially when it comes to social media and technology!
• Take the time to just stop, slow the body, slow the mind;
• Learn from my mentors and acknowledge how they help me improve my life.
And so I ask, what do you do? Do you learn at your annual conference, not just in the sessions, but in hallway chats and evening get-togethers? Do you learn something just by being away from home? You may be established in your profession and think you have nothing new to learn. Change your attitude. I recently attended a conference in my own profession, with 14 of my students. In one session, my students learned an enormous amount.
Lifelong learning doesn’t stop at association conferences, seminars, webinars. It is everywhere around you. Take the time, slow the body, slow the mind—learn something new every day of your life.