© 2009 Lynsey

066 – Reading your palm

This is not a photo of a nikau palm, this is a postmodern version, an upgrade (if you will) constructed in stainless and mild steels, and I think copper or brass mesh. It forms part of the hard landscaping that draws the Wellington Civic Centre through to the waterfront developments, and while they wouldn’t replace the living palms, they are beautiful sculptural works.

I was talking to one of my colleagues today – actually giving him a hard time about how he should undertake further study. Like many other people ‘of a certain age’ he’s wondering if the investment is worth it – six years part-time, thousands of dollars, and of course, let’s give up our social lives while we’re at it. My argument is that while all of that is true, and I don’t mean to minimise this, if your were talking this over with someone aged 20 considering further study would you still think the same way? What he was concerned about was some sort of predictability of the future – hence reading your palm.

While no-one can accurately foretell the future, my belief is that once we’ve gone up the learning curve in our jobs/careers, as we start to become competent (see also complacent) we need to undertake further professional development or inevitably face becoming irrelevant. For my colleague I asked, “In ten years time, if you stay here and do nothing more, while you will know more, what are the odds that you will be a guest lecturer at the University of Vienna School of Music? Compared with completing your music research? And, by the way, this is important to ME because you’ll need a photographic/writing team, and I happen to know one.” Well – hey, I need to make myself clear from the outset.

The idea of climbing up fresh learning curves is not new – people have been reinventing themselves forever. The curves have a swish name these days – sigmoid curves. Charles Handy has captured the high ground in writing them being the way to describe the act of preparing to get the best out of the next situation by being the best you can in the current situation. Study could be part of your preparation – it’s not that difficult to take a step or two to becoming a life-long learner. It’ll make a huge difference to the kind of options you’ll have in the future, no matter what age you are. Who wants to be elderly AND irrelevant?

02. Every day is an opportunity for a new beginning.
04. Every day is an opportunity to cultivate the promise of the future.
08. Every day choose to bring about change.

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