Self development

Sadje’s Sunday Poser #121 asks us about learning, posing the following 2 questions, which I will answer:

  • Are you trying to learn new things, skills or languages?
  • Do you think it matters if we acquire new skills?

I think we are constantly learning, or have the opportunity to learn, just not always realizing when it’s happening. We think of learning as formal and structured lessons, but even by reading this post you will be learning. You may find ideas that hadn’t occurred before – so that’s learning, but even if all you learn is my opinion, if you didn’t know it before, you have learned something new. Learning opportunities are all around and I believe yes, it does matter that we continue to learn. Within the world of work its important to keep our skills current, but even when we stop working we should continue to keep our “little gray cells” active.

Work Related Learning and Development

The world we live in today is dynamic; we need to be continually learning so we don’t get left behind – whether that’s for work or personally. However, to keep ourselves employable and to do the best job we can, we need to keep our skills and knowledge up-to-date. Even if we think as bloggers, we practice our writing skills, keep up-to-date with the changes introduced by Automatic and whether we are pro or con, we’re all mostly keeping an eye on what’s happening with AI/ChatGPT etc.

Additionally, many people who are members of professional bodies have a requirement to keep abreast of current trends and practices within their professional field. It will be a legal requirement to practice – doctors, lawyers, teachers etc – we cannot do our jobs if we don’t fulfil the requirement of continuous professional development.

So we can voluntarily take on the responsibility for our own development, or we may have our employers make the decisions for us. If you work for an organistion which uses performance management systems and some form of performance appraisal/review you will likely also set objectives and hopefully identify your training and development needs or they will be set by your managers – like it or not, sometimes we need to undergo training to keep up to date with policies, practices and legislation within our organisations.

Beyond Work

Engaging with learning on an ongoing basis also acts to keep our minds active and in later years it may help reduce some of the risk of dementia etc. Moving away from the medical/physiological benefits of continuing to learn, it also feeds our curiosity – or at least it does mine. We should learn because we seek information, seek knowledge. As I mentioned above, the world we live in is dynamic, to keep up with events and the emergence of new technolgies etc.

Learning doesn’t have to be structured courses – we can learn in all sorts of interesting ways, and ways that fit with us individually. One of the most passionate learners I know is my brother. He’s always reading about new research, new technologies, discoveries. He’s always watching documentaries etc and sending me so much about what he’s learning – I’m learning extensively from the feeds he sends me. He’s like a sponge and his enthusiasm and thirst for learning is inspiring.

What am I learning?

You’ll not be surprised if I say I’m learning a wide range of things, but my focused learning includes:

  • Improving and enhancing my blogging skills, including learning more about the management of my blogging website
  • I’m developing my creative writing skills and hope, later in the year, to do something more formal.
  • I’m doing a course which is teaching me how to focus my own teaching to develop the skills students will need in the modern workplace
  • I’m going to do a course on teaching and supporting students with PTSD
  • I guess I should also mention my own post from the other day – learning about myself – developing my own identity.

Returning to Sadje’s questions – yes I do think its important to acquire new skills – to be continually learning; and as outlined above, I’m learning lots of new things.

How about you? What are you learning currently? How do you ensure that you are continually developing?

If you’ve not signed up to my blog yet, I’d encourage you to do so to ensure you continue to learn new things.


  1. I’ve had to learn how to prepare audio files for podcasting and it’s been fun to learn something completely new. But I’m also fortunate that I am continually learning new software and features for my work.

    Love your list of learning – which doesn’t surprise me at all at you, Brenda! Learning is fun!

    • Aw thanks Wynne. I think its always good to learn new things, and like you say, we are always learning with work.

  2. Thanks Brenda for sharing your thoughts comprehensively. I agree with you on both fronts; personally and for our jobs we need to constantly learn new skills. You’re doing a lot to improve your skills.

    • I think, since I deliver units focused on CPD(continuous professional development) I need to lead by example. I was wondering which area of study skills to focus on next. I think I have my answer 😁

  3. I think it is always good to learn new skills and information. I would like to learn Spanish and Dutch. Thank you for sharing your post.


  4. I feel like there are learning opportunities all around, even when I don’t necessarily seek them out. I don’t have to learn for my job anymore but did that routinely in the past. I think it made me better and more empathetic when communicating with patients. Now I learn a lot from my grands, take varied online courses for fun, and read many non-fiction genres- right now it’s a lot of nature, environment and ecology.

  5. The challenge of learning something new keeps us motivated, Brenda, so good to read you are having new challenges with your work and writing. Six months ago I took up an offer to do a regular radio show with an online radio station. I was terrified the first few shows as you have to do everything yourself; research, record, edit, etc. I have learned so much during that time and glad I never backed down from the challenge. Best of luck with all your new learning.

    • That would have been quite challenging, but I think its also rewarding to look back and see how much we’ve learned. I also take so much pleasure seeing the learning and growth in my students

  6. I strongly believe that YOU are your purpose. So regardless of everything external, you always have to keep growing yourself. I’m learning shorthand now, just to be more efficient with my interest in pen and paper. Here’s to always learning!

    • I used to be able to do shorthand … in the days when it was a secretarial skill. The last time I used it, I could write it fine … but couldn’t read it to type up the letter 😳

  7. I, too, think it’s so important to keep learning. You certainly sound like you’re doing a fair amount of it with everything you’re taking on. Your post was very encouraging and got me thinking – always a good thing. I don’t work anymore (I’m medically retired due to my disability). However, there are always topics that I am interested in learning more about. My main interest is my writing. I’m working hard all the time to improve my skills and taking part in an ongoing course on creative writing. I spend a big chunk of my time reading others’ blogs because there is always something new we can learn from each other. I have grandchildren, too, and I often help them research whatever topics they study at school. I would really like to read more – books, not just blogs, although I consider them equally valuable. I like non-fiction. I’ve started reading a book (a true-life story) called Room. It’s written in a very different and unusual way compared to other books. I noticed that one of your readers is learning how to use Canva. I know many bloggers use it, and it’s very effective. Perhaps, that should be my next target. Thanks for sharing your views and wisdom on this topic, Brenda. X 😊

    • I’m glad you found the post interesting. It sounds like you’re doing lots of learning too, particularly supporting your grandchildren.

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