Learning from others is a valuable gift. Every day creates a new learning experience when you take the time to listen to others and observe the world around you. Human beings thirst for information on almost every level; whenever we have an opportunity to learn from others, we should feel jubilant.
Everyone has their favorite means of learning. Some of us prefer books, tutorial podcasts, lectures, documentaries or school. My favorite form of learning takes shape through conversation and observation. I enjoy face-to-face communication and I love watching different landscapes of the world unfold. Both people and places have had a huge impact on my life, opening windows to positive growth and change. I feel that learning from others is a gift we all owe ourselves.
Changing Direction Through Conversation at 50+
I am aware that many women over 50 are in a rut: bored, feeling invisible and lonely. Let’s pretend you and I are having an in-person conversation on this topic. I would start by telling you that this is totally understandable and fixable.
I understand what you are going through. Similarly, I had been stuck in a rut and bored with my lifestyle. I had no idea what to do as I continued to force myself to go through an unfulfilling routine. Does this sound familiar? The door to change swung open when I had a conversation with a stranger, who was a professional writer and author. She ignited the desire within me when she told me, “If you keep a journal for six months, you will find your voice.” I followed her advice and this is my message to those of you who want to change your direction.
5 Easy-To-Follow Tips
- Let go of your safe, unfulfilled routine. I know this is hard to do. It is a struggle, but it is so worth it.
- Take your time and decide what gives you pleasure. You do know yourself. If you love nature, take up something you have never done. Perhaps that’s bird watching. My friend did and a whole new world opened up for her. She has made new friends, she now travels to sanctuaries and has even learned photography to capture stunning birds!
- Believe in yourself. This is critical. I have never taken a writing course, yet I continue to write from my heart. A professor can’t teach me that!
- Set an example for your grandchildren. Tell them, Look what I learned at my age. I tried and succeeded. So can you. We can try together. This should give you that extra desire for change.
- Have a purpose. Love yourself. Push yourself into your purpose.
Unfortunately, we are not together to have this exchange. Instead, imagine we are together having a conversation or better yet, imagine you and a friend are having a conversation on any topic. By the time you leave one another, I feel it is safe to say you will take away a lesson or two.
Learning From Others
From a stranger in an airport, I bought Apple stock at 24! I learned to trust my intuitions.
When my ultimate concierge and I travel, he has to talk to people sitting near him at the airport. On a sunny summer day a few years ago, he began a conversation with a woman. I felt bad for her husband and after some time, I decided to start a conversation with him. I asked him where he was going and what he did for a living. He told me he and his wife were flying to California to visit their grandchildren and then he informed me that he was a stockbroker. I love the stock market and immediately asked him for tips even though I knew I would not take his advice. After providing a few tips he said, “The biggest hedge fund manager in the world just bought thousands of shares of Facebook.”
Well darlings, I knew what I was going to do. You guessed it! Buy Facebook! Just as I was dialing the number to my manager, my husband said, “Hurry up Honey, we have to get to our gate. Who are you calling?” I sprinted behind him while talking just as quickly on the phone and said, “Buy FB at 24!” The manager whose approach was very conservative started to question me. I didn’t give him a chance and uttered, “Can’t talk now. I am boarding my fight!” Look what I learned from a one-on-one conversation.
Reinforcing My Optimism
Early each morning at 6:30 am, my puppy America reinforces my feeling of optimism. His first emotions when he wakes up and sees me are pure joy and love. On our long morning walk, he stops to greet every dog and befriend them while vigorously wagging his tail. Their size matters not. They can be a small toy poodle or a gigantic Saint Bernard. With every dog he encounters, America lives in the moment and enjoyes his journey. When he meets a dog that growls, he never retaliates with a bark. And, when he sees the grumpy dog again, he wags his tail, letting the mean doggie know that he accepts him on his terms and holds no grudge. He is proud of who he is because his posture is that of a show dog. He is optimism personified and what a wonderful trait that is.
Wisdom From Carolyn
Carolyn and I were ten years apart in age and she the older. She was all things a woman aspires to be: beautiful, wise, headstrong and worldly. We took girlfriend walks and had deep girlfriend talks when we both lived in Honolulu. I listened to her every word and, more often than not, her advice. I have passed her wisdom on to hundreds of my friends over the years. The two most poignant lessons she has instilled in me:
- The most important decision a woman will make in her life is who she chooses to marry.
- The past is the past. The future is unknown. Live in the present; it is a gift!
My Greatest Teachers
I am who I am today thanks to the many people who have taken their time to educate me on my journey. My teachers have been as young as six years old. I want to include my pets, my friends, my family, the people I met by chance who struck a cord, to sages going on 100. The landscape of nature from the olive tree and the ever-changing sea have earned my respect and have added to my feelings about life, as have the cityscapes brimming with their history and unfolded stories.
I believe that if people truly want to learn from others, they must reach out with their questions. So many women go through life without asking questions for fear that they are intruding on others’ time. Please remember that most women want to express what they know and they’re thrilled to be asked. More importantly, they will respect you for being curious and open to learning.