Learning new skills: What is your motivation

"I'm sure it will come in handy sometime"
There are some of us who suck up odd bits of useful knowledge every day on the basis that it just might come in handy sometime. You might call this the "Hoover Principle". This is a real motivation driven by memories of time when we didn't know how to do something that mattered. If you have ever been blind-sided by life because you were missing important skills, you are generally motivated to learn all kinds of skills that will let you handle people and emergencies better.

This does not mean digging out every last scrap of information available. It might mean just enough research to see that the data is useful and bookmarking the route to finding it again.

"It will make people notice me"
In a plastic, mass produced world, people with talent and unusual skills get noticed. If you acquire these skills, you will stand out from the faceless masses and will get job offers and other offers of a personal nature that will make life ever so much more interesting.

You will quickly find that, in addition to new opportunities, your talent creates challenges that require you to learn other skills, such as how to deal with people in a win-win manner.

"I'm tired of being treated unfairly"
This requires learning what you are doing that is setting you up for losses in life. You need to learn what makes you tick and that will miraculously help you understand others better. There is much more, of course, but understanding yourself and adopting a philosophy of exchanging fairly with others will go a long way toward giving you the ability to deal effectively with whatever life brings you.

"I need more income to support myself and my family"
Many people have found that they were able to generate additional income in hard times by using their skills and expanding them. Sometimes barter is involved or part cash and part barter. This is usually part time work, but can evolve into full time work if your service is exactly what is needed by others.

Even in hard times, people need their children and pets looked after or want music, dance, fencing, or kickboxing lessons for themselves or their children. Similarly, people still want to learn to draw or to sing or how to drive a car or need their homes fixed or repainted. If you ask around, you may be surprised at how much help is needed by others. Some of it will be work that you can do or learn to do.

Small business always need occasional help with organizing, filing, and clerical work which usually involves spreadsheets and development of forms. They also need help with graphic design.

All of these skills can be learned or improved, if already known at some level.

"It would be interesting do "
There is nothing wrong with this motivation, but the normal pressures of daily existence may be far more important and you will find that learning Spanish or welding or even First Aid classes will not be attended after the first few meetings.

These activities and classes may be very useful, but your motivation must rank high on your list of priorities in order to continue with them.

The bottom line:
Your motivation will determine what new skills you acquire. You will notice that I did not include, "I need this skill for my job" or "My boss, wife, significant other would like me to have this skill". If your motivation is determined by others as opposed to the real needs of others, you will find it difficult to follow through on acquiring those skills.

There is more that can be written on learning new skills and the challenges that result from this.

Feel free to send in your questions and recommendations.

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0 Responses to Learning new skills: What is your motivation

  1. Joey Kaylor says:

    Herein lies the problem:

    “There is nothing wrong with this motivation, but the normal pressures of daily existence may be far more …..

    These activities and classes may be very useful, but your motivation must rank high on your list of priorities in order to continue with them.”

    VERY rarely will you find anyone that has motivation anymore.

    I lose my faith in humanity on a daily basis by seeing how sorry some people are, even in this area.

    I used to think that high debt loads were good for someone to motivate them, but apparently after things that have happened lately, even the burden of fiscal responsibility have eluded people. They don’t worry anymore…the gubbment will bail them out.

  2. Perspective says:

    At age 56 and self-employed, I find an increasing number of things that are more frustrating than in years past. I’m finding things like new laptops, DVRs, cellphones and digital cameras are so feature-rich that basic operations are shrouded by jibberish. Set-up patterns used to be relatively common among VCRs, digital watches, and things like that, but there has been a shift in logic that I’ve missed (and I need to catch up with).

    Another reason is a move to a new city, so my social circle is smaller. There are fewer people to ask, and the people who really know how to operate many of these things…about 15 years old…aren’t part of my circle.

    The Internet is a good place to ask questions, but inevitably there is a small hang up in the process…and no one to ask…certainly not the manufacturer.

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