May 23, 2012 smz-blog

There’s a whole world out there!


– Mary Bridget Gielow, VP/Management Supervisor

Remember the movie Groundhog Day, where Bill Murray’s character wakes up to the same day, every day?  There are people who live “Groundhog Day” lives with the same daily routine — same drive to work, same office desk and chair, same lunch, same way to handle business.  It’s a safe and comfortable way to live, but it’s stagnant.

Ken Blanchard’s recent article “Open Your World” in Chief Learning Officer is a great reminder that we all need to engage ourselves in new experiences to grow, both personally and professionally.   The core idea is to never stop learning through new experiences.

Ken shared a great list of how to open oneself to growth:

  1. Shadow someone from another department
  2. Serve on a cross-functional team
  3. Interview recent retirees and seek their counsel on current issues
  4. Have lunch with someone new every day
  5. Attend open enrollment training events that will broaden your perspective
  6. Travel
  7. Do regular volunteer work
  8. Learn a foreign language
  9. Spend time with interesting people
  10. Read widely
  11. Create your own adventure

I’d add a few more to the list:

  1. Attend seminars that interest you personally or professionally and don’t sit with anyone you know.  You get the benefit of knowledge gained from the seminar as well as branching out and networking with new people.
  2. Talk to people — in line at the coffee shop, on the elevator, at the dog park. Everyone has a story and it’s interesting what you can learn from a short chat with a stranger.  And be positive in everything you do. It’s amazing the kind of response and interaction you’ll receive.
  3. An add-on to #10 Read widely — join a book club.

These new perspectives in learning will be inspiring and give you a thirst for additional knowledge.  Every one of us should try one of these ideas, then another and another!  I just did.

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Comments (3)

  1. Thanks for practical reminders that lifelong learning goes hand-in-hand with lifelong breathing.

    Sitting outside our typical orbits also makes sense at non-business events with classmates, friends, family members, neighbors. And those chats in line, at a park or on a plane usually are refreshing, as well as instructive.

    So in the spirit of No. 9 on Ken Blanchard’s list, I look forward to reading about your adventures and those of SMZ colleagues.

  2. Thank you for the inspirational post. I never want to stop experiencing – whether in a classroom, an office, or doing something new with friends.

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