learn
There is an interesting meme going around, asking people “What’s your learning edge?”, started by an intellectual “monk at work” – Adam Kayce. He asks, “Write a post about your “learning edge” and what you’re into these days.”
I’ve read several responses from its participants and feel quite honored to be included in such an erudite group of people (thanks for the tag, Isabella @ Moritherapy).

Since the day I was born, I’m constantly learning something – first at home, then at school, university, and later at work. Sometimes my family members ask me will I ever stop learning, and I respond that probably not, that’s the profession I’ve chosen. You can’t stop learning if you work in a computer-related field. Everyday there’s a new programming language, or application, or practices and standards, so to stay competitive and in demand I need to learn and constantly improve and update my skills.

On the other hand, learning is my second nature (hmm… I wonder what in such case is my first nature?) The moment I have nothing to learn, I’m looking for an opportunity to occupy my brain with something new. Once I notice I have nothing new to learn at work, I’m quitting that job and starting another.

I’m a pretty quick learner, I enjoy going after new challenges. However, I’ve noticed that if something doesn’t interest me that much I’m turning into a really bad learner. I can’t force myself to learn something that doesn’t captivate and engage me. That’s why I know nothing about an affiliate marketing, nor anything about stock investments. Even though I realize that this knowledge could be very profitable, I just can’t wrap my brain around such things, they don’t thrill me one bit. “There’s more to life than a little money, you know” – I agree with Marge from the movie Fargo on this one.

I rather spend my brain cells on other more creative and exciting things like learning how to write WordPress Plugins, designing a WordPress theme from scratch, making this blog successful, improving my photography skills, reading and learning tons of fascinating things from other blogs, wikis, websites.

At my current job I’m working on projects using an Open Source CMS called eZ Publish which is based on its own template language and PHP. I’ve never built websites with eZ before, so there’s lots to learn for me.

Since becoming a mother two years ago, I’ve entered a lifelong journey of learning how to be a good parent. I must say that this is the most challenging, but fascinating and rewarding learning experiences I’ve ever had, and I enjoy every minute of it.

What is Your learning edge? This time I’d like to experiment and rather than tagging certain bloggers I’d like to invite anyone who’s interested in participating in this meme to join in. So, my dear readers, consider yourself tagged and please, drop me the URL to your post in the comments or simply tell me in the comments what you’re learning about or would like to learn. To find out what other bloggers are passionately learning about be sure to check Learning Edge participants list, collected by Adam.

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14 Insightful Bits in response to “Learning Things That Captivate”

  1. thanks for participating, vivien!

    i’m exactly like you – if i’m not interested, i won’t learn a thing. maybe that’s one of the reasons why i like your blog so much :)

  2. Vivien

    Thank you, Isabella. It’s very sweet of you to say that :-)

  3. I subscribe to what Isabella just said: I can’t learn things I’m not interested in. On the other hand, if I find something interesting, you don’t have to say it twice before I learn it. The biggest edge for me was to learn how to live with myself. This learning is still ongoing, and I’m pretty good at it, although I have days when I feel like the ugly duck.

  4. Vivien

    Simonne, on those days when you’re having blues, listen & watch to this brilliant song by Janis Ian, dedicated to all the “ugly duckling girls like me”.

  5. I think when we were in school is one of the last times we can learn stuff that doesn’t interest us. I think in your job you can learn things you are not interested in but you probably have an interest to keep your job or be one of the best at it.

    Inspirational people keep learning themselves while they help others. Man that sounded kind of cheesy.

  6. I’m like you too, I can only learn what I am interested in. I am terrible at stuff like trivial pursuits as I know a lot about certain subjects (the ones I am interested in) but nothing else. Nobody would ever want me in there quiz team either.
    I was always reasonably academic at school – apart from in a couple of subjects I wasn’t interested in and teachers often commented on how obvious it was which subjects I liked.

    I do however think what interests you can change. When I first started out in graphic design I wasn’t interested in computers – now I like them as I have gradually learned how to use them. When a company I worked for bought me a modem as a present on 1996, I thought what do I want one of those for??? Now you can’t keep me off the internet. Learning about something can trigger an interest you never thought you would have.

  7. Sounds like you’ve got a full plate, there… (as someone who also has lots of interests, and two kids, I know where you’re coming from!)

    The piece you said about “second nature” and “first nature” reminds me of a Sufi teaching about that — they say “second nature” is all the stuff we’ve learned since being born, and “first nature” is that primordial, original essence that our souls were created with. (It’s the spiritual journey, then, to ‘re-discover’ that original nature, and be conscious that that’s who we are, more than the other stuff…)

    Thanks for joining in the meme, too — I’ll have you at the top of my next round of updates.

  8. Thank you, Vivien, I liked the song very much.

  9. “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” That is probably my favorite Picasso quote. I love learning new things (yes, I must be interested in the subject, too).

    I find myself learning so much more in these past months since I have graduated than I feel like I learned when I was in school! And I have become excited about learning and have even gone back to some of my text books (non-traditional ones, like Real World Photoshop) and started reading them. I think I would’ve done well at a Montessori school, with self-directed learning.

  10. Vivien

    You know, Joey, when I was at school I was interested in pretty much everything. But of course some things I liked much better than the others, but overall I wasn’t an unhappy pupil.

    Tara, you’re absolutely right – there were many different things that I thought I’ll never be interested in (e.g. blogging), but once I get to know them better, I am hooked.

    Adam, thanks so much for explaining about the first nature – it makes so much sense. I now recall reading/hearing smth about it long time ago. Fascinating.

    Simonne, I knew you’d like that song ;-)

    Lauren, I see you’re a big Picasso fan. Well, I can’t blame you for that, he was an artist with a capital A. Have you seen that movie, “Surviving Picasso”? It’s interesting to learn more about his life and relationship with women. Apparently they were all spellbound by him.

  11. I’m another one who doesn’t learn something unless it fascinates me. The problem with that is that I have a short attention span, and I’m easily distracted – so on occasions I’ve been known to drop something I’ve been learning to work on something new!

    I’ve also recently learnt that life is far too short to ever get stuck in a rut. If you’re not moving forward (at work, in a relationship, personally) then change lanes! This is much simpler to do then most people realise! ;)

  12. Vivien

    Well said, Paul – “change lanes” and move forward, otherwise the Earth would be filled with people like Paris Hilton, who think that if they change the tone of their voice, they’ll be perceived more seriously by others.

  13. Ina

    Hi Vivien and you readers out there,

    As I mentioned already I just love your blog Vivien!

    Very easy on the eye, on the mind and on the soul…
    .
    I feel life is all about learning and the moment we stop learning we have stopped growing, living and are just lower than the animals…
    It takes courage, perception and focus to acknowledge our strengths, hidden in that first nature (may be!), as it was said before, and develop them as much as poss. There is no limit to that.

    I love learning too and at school there wasn’t a subject I didn’t do well at as was (am a) very curious creature. Still have my interests that change over time , many just pop out of the blue and make me think “What the…?! How did I ever get hooked into that!!!” …but only to discover that they are all in the same direction, studying the human nature, my own nature and wanting to learn more about it for mine and others sakes…This is where all this crazy things I learn are taking me…

    With the global Knowledge expanding we never can suspect what turn our life and interests are going to take when the next big/or small thing is manifested into existence….like the internet for example, I mean who would even imagine such a thing 20 years back!!! (Apart from afew visionaries). And blogging, for goodness sakes!!! Who on earth is going to spend hours just writing a diary the whole world can see!!! Isn’t the whole purpose of a diary privacy!:)And now we are all at the point of no return…. and God knows what the next will be…It is just AMAZING!!! I LOVE IT!!!!

    But we move the civilization forward, Our yarning for knowledge is the bestest thing there is!!! As the old saying goes: The more I learn the less I know….:)

    Glad, very, extremely glad you guys are out there. Just go for it! (What ever that may be as long as it benefits humanity :)) We are all making this world a better place :)Think it’s cheesy!! Nah!!! It is the truith! Thank you all for contributing to my life!

    Yours, Ina

  14. Hi Ina,
    Thanks so much for your inspiring and kind words. I agree that it’s up to us to make this world to be a better place, and we shouldn’t just complain about things not working the way we would like them to be but stand up and do something about it. It’s always easy to criticize, it’s much harder to create.

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Hi, I'm Vivien. Thanks for visiting my Inspiration Bit. I often find myself scouring the internet looking for either answers to many questions I have or websites that inspire me, sites that I can learn from. On what topics you might ask — any topics that interest me, anything from web design to typography and art, from blogging to entrepreneurship, from programming to open source.
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When I'm not blogging, I design web sites, teach, play with my daughter and try to balance family, work, friends and a somewhat active social life on