I am always incredulous at the seemingly ever-elastic nature of the human mind – every time we come across a new experience, we open ourselves up to new opportunity for growth and learning.
When we experience an intense learning experience such as a conference, retreat, course or camp, endorphins rush through us and a heightened sensation of wonderment abounds, due to this mind-stretching phenomena. Those of us who ensure our daily lives are sources of education benefit from this mind stretching as much as any muscle in your body benefits from daily exercise!
Most recently, I taught an iPad for Seniors course at the CAE, Melbourne. The class was filled with over 60′s, and they were all clueless about technology but eager to learn. A couple of them had never even emailed or used a computer before, let alone understood what an iPad was to be used for besides viewing photos and books. What a great start to the day, being surrounded by such eager learners!
As the 3 hour session went on, I could see this lovely group grow more and more enamoured with the potential of their iPads, and rather than grow weary with exhaustion from the intensity of learning, they almost bloomed with energy. Their questions came faster and harder, their excitement and swooshing swiping fingers leaping away at their iPad screens, and the sparks in the room were flying with joy.
When the session ended, each person was incredulous that such technology existed, and they were all passionate about learning even more. We all lamented that the course had to come to an end, and they firmly expressed their happiness at their new gadget that rendered them so connected and productive!
The thing is, it wasn’t just them that had their minds stretched, and their technology use empowered. What this class of people had taught me, in turn, is that the joy of learning never ends, at any age. They had shown me what a true commitment to learning could contribute to ones life, at any stage of it. They demonstrated that a willingness and receptiveness to learning could trump almost any impediment such as ignorance, and in doing so, stretched MY mind and inspired me to be a lifelong learner myself.
When’s the last time your mind got stretched in this wonderful way? When’s the last time you walked out of a learning experience, tingling with excitement, bouncing up and down about the potential of the future, and committed to elevating your learning journey to new levels? I would love to hear about it!