Guest Blog; Written by Laura Allen (@Writing_Laura)
Recently, a conversation with one of my closest friends opened my eyes to something that should have been a part of my mind-set a long time ago. There I was, on my medium-to-high horse, talking about how I thought that school curriculums were a huge let down to young people, by not covering the likes of taxes, mortgages and what the hell equity even is. Expecting a confirming and ego massaging ‘preach!’ from my friend, what I actually got was the following: ‘Yeah, that would be nice but it really bothers me when people take that stance because it’s like, what are you actually DOING to change that for yourself?.’ Jaw, meet floor.
Now, I’m someone who can talk about personal growth and abundance mind-set until the yogi cows come home, but on this particular topic my lack mind-set made me blush. I am sooo that person who, unknowingly, has been using ‘It’s so bad that we don’t get taught that in school’ as almost an excuse for ignorance. When in reality, yes it would be lovely if we learnt all basis of human life in school, but in between all the maths and skipping P.E, I’m not sure where it would actually fit in. More to the point, can I honestly say that I would have been listening if, as a fifteen year old, a teacher tried to tell me about how the stock market works? Nope.
Our conversation went on to discuss how easy it is to think that the learning part of your life ends when you leave education, when really, it should just be the beginning. There’s a whole world of knowledge to explore! It got me thinking about how I am currently making sure that I continue learning and whether I could do a better job. I am somewhat trying, but I’d give myself a solid ‘D’ for my current effort (are these types of lettered grades even a thing anymore? I feel old). Generations before us would have to spend all day in the library to find out what we can in 0.6 seconds. On that point, generations of women before me were denied the right of an education, so hold my diet coke whilst I educate myself, please.
Where do we start? I’ve been thinking about all the ways that I continue to learn and they barely scratch the surface of what is actually accessible to us. I think it’s a good start, though.
Reading – This may be obvious, but reading fiction books, non-fiction books, magazines, articles and blog posts are one of the easiest ways to learn something new. Pick up a fiction book which is set within a culture far removed from your own, subscribe to a newsletter which covers a topic that tickles your interest or, if you’re totally stumped, google what’s currently on the Sunday Times Best Seller list and start from there. I did the latter recently and it was a blast.
Podcasts – Podcasts are my favourite way to learn about money, investment and personal growth. I’m at the very start of my investment education journey, but I know so much more than I did a couple of months ago, purely from listening to podcasts created by people who have been there and done it. My favourite money-talk podcast is ‘Clever Girls Know,’ on Spotify, but if this isn’t your thing, there’s absolutely a podcast out there for every weird and wonderful topic.
Hubspot Academy – Other online training hubs are available, but Hubspot is my fave right now. As a freelance writer keen to broaden my skills, I’ve used Hubspot Academy to learn about everything from SEO to website building. These little treasure chests of knowledge come in bite-sized videos and quizzes to test whether you’ve been listening or not. With some courses as short as 20 minutes, you could learn a different lesson everyday if you wanted to. It’s free to enrol and there’s no commitment required.
Google it! – I was going to leave this one to common sense, but actually I think it’s important. By googling ‘why do we sleep’ I’m immediately privy to pages and pages of articles, journals, website links and videos which can help educate me. With Google, or any other search engine for that matter, you can go ahead and put your hand up, because there really are no stupid questions.
I wanted to end by reminding myself, mainly, that conversation is also another great educational tool. Without conversation, I wouldn’t have been gifted this simple mind-set shift, which is only going to benefit me in the long run.
In her own words; “Laura Allen is a freelance writer for hire, who empowers businesses and brands with words that shine. Her background in marketing makes her perfectly positioned to celebrate copy and content writing as a creative way of leveraging and shaping brand identity. When she’s not working, she blogs about personal growth and practices yoga (often badly), plus she has really great Netflix recommendations”.
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