Click on the mini-image below to listen on the page. Or, tune in through your favorite podcast service available through the “Subscribe” button.
Are you curious enough to find out how to do better work?
This past week I’ve had interactions at the library, at the gym, and in an online course that caused me to stop and reflect on my motivations, my talents, and my willingness to keep working through the obstacles.
We’ve all been given a different set of circumstances, obstacles, and challenges.
You may think you are at a disadvantage, but there is always an example of someone that is pushing through it all.
Why not you?
Episode 127 Show Notes
Episode 127 Transcript
This is Rebecca Clark Episode 127 thirsty for knowledge and hungry for learning this podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to move your desk? Mm hmm. The phrase thirsty for knowledge and the phrase hungry for learning came up in my mind this past week as I went through various experiences that were teaching me and showing me certain things about human behavior and about what we do with our circumstances. So often we think we’re the underdog or were underprivileged or have all of these constraints in our lives and we could be right. But so does everyone else. And with this combination of the good, the bad and the ugly, we can decide what to do with it. And I have seen what different people do with what they’ve been given. Now many of us have learned different parables or stories in various texts over the years and one of them is in the bible about the parable of the talents where one guy has given one, he buries it and he gets in trouble for doing that. Two were given to another and he, I think gained two more talents and another was given five and he multiplied those. And of course there’s way more combinations than this out there, right? There’s people That are given 10 and only used to Of their talents or skills are only developed to there’s people that have been given 20 that developed 20 and there’s people that develop five out of those or one and there’s some that completely lose all of them, right? They’ve been given much and they just blow it and we’re talking beyond lottery winners, right? We have been given everything every perfect situation possible. I don’t know what to do with it, destroy the opportunity. And I think all of us are different combinations of this on any day, aren’t we? Sometimes we go full steam ahead learning, growing contributing. Other times we wallow in self pity or we get into this mind turn thinking why we can’t do it or there’s not enough money or time or we’re not talented enough and all the things. But I wanted to share some examples from my week that have taught me some lessons and have renewed my faith, my hope, my empathy, my gratitude and my desire to persevere because I’ve seen the opposites of persevering and not doing so. So I’m gonna use some examples from day to day life for me going to the library in the gym. So I go to the library frequently right now. It’s become a great little resource for us to go and spend a few minutes sometimes just returning books and checking more books and videos out, which is an interesting thing, right? We’re checking out videos because if someone is watching netflix at the same time, I’m having a zoom meeting. It does not work for me, zoom keeps going in and out and then netflix start and it’s just a bother. Right? So why not go and have one little person off the internet so that those that need to be on the internet can do their work. And obviously there’s trade offs involved, we go there to use the computer. Sometimes my son gets to play games on the computers there because I don’t have them at home. And sometimes you use there wifi or print out things or ask questions. All the stuff. The librarians are pretty helpful most of the time they’ve streamlined the check out and check in process so you don’t even need to talk to them in that process. But other times you go up with other questions and they’re very helpful. And other times it feels like you’re interrupting their work and of course it’s a mystery to most of us what this other work could be if you’re the customer, you think you would be the work. But apparently they’re cataloguing stuff for copying these things are organizing something that’s very important for someone, but sometimes act like they’re being interrupted by the customer. Then I go to the gym. I’m curious about a gym membership. Haven’t had one in a long time thought maybe it would be a good thing to do, even if it was just a month to month because then I could swim laps, I could play basketball. I can lift weights, but it’s not so easy because every person at the front desk doesn’t seem to know the answers to the questions I’m asking and this wouldn’t be a problem if it was once you see the young kid, they don’t quite know the answers to your questions, but it appears they know how to sell the T shirt or make the smoothie for the other customers, but they never seem to know the answers to my questions about membership and about how young the child can be and what’s this daycare part of it? And is it cheaper with a family or what’s the combination that’s best suits me? They don’t know the answers to any of this. The problem is, is when I went in each time nobody knew the answers. And then when I return like a week or two later to some of the same workers, I ask questions to the week or two before, they still don’t know the answers. And I’m thinking, but I asked this a week ago you didn’t go find out the answer, why didn’t you do that? Now, of course, we all take our turns doing this, don’t we? And we usually take our turns doing this because some things were interested in finding out and some things we aren’t. And it’s surprising how often people aren’t interested in finding out how to do their job better and I’ve been this way as well, right? Because I might have a bigger goal in mind, right? I might be saying, oh I’m gonna be leaving this in two months. I’m trying to wrap this up, I’m trying to teach people certain things, why would I bother to go investigate that? And so our motivations can tell us a lot about what we do and do not do on the job. From my perspective, it’s important, right? There’s other gyms and other libraries to go to now, they might be further. And so I’m not gonna do that unless it gets really painful that these people are leaving money on the table there, leaving a chance for good customer service there, leaving a chance on the table to grow in confidence and their ability to resolve issues and help clients, aren’t they? So the gym is not making as much as it could. And the worker at the gym is not as valuable as they could be because they’re not bothering to ask questions and find out the answers. And obviously they have not taken this question to their boss. And so now the boss doesn’t realize how uninformed his or her workers really are and here I am talking about it. So if someone says what’s the best jim, I’ll say, well, I’m not sure, but this one’s closest to me, but if I had a chance to look at other ones, I would go see if they make it easier for me to give them money. Now, people have said this to me as well with my online products, I don’t know where to pay you. So that’s a trigger for me to go, oh wait a second, what’s going on? I’ve got to step up my marketing, I’ve got to do something different because it’s not clear to the people that need my help. Now. In the midst of all this, I started teaching my online courses. I’m teaching people from around the world. Introduction to project management. Most of the people I’m teaching right now have english as a second language. They have decided to learn english so that they can be in this program. Some of them are getting certificates, some of them are working toward degrees. It’s fascinating. My friends, many of them have families, many of them have work, they have volunteer church and special considerations to work around. They’re trying to learn a new skill and they’re trying to do it in another language. This isn’t working at the gym or the library though. That would be hard if it was your second language. So they don’t have someone right there to show them how to put the book on the shelf. They don’t have someone right there with a sheet of paper to say if this person asked this, you show them this, this is a decision making negotiating planning skills. Many of them have said they are afraid that they will fail, but they’re going to keep trying. Many of them say their english is poor, but they will keep trying. Most of them have very full schedules and lives but they want this, they are thirsty for knowledge and they’re hungry for learning how to do these things because they want to up level their life in some way. I was looking through their introductions and it’s amazing Tonga Nigeria, Madagascar, cambodia Vietnam Philippines, Solomon islands, Australia, Samoa, Togo, South africa Ghana. There are only about 10% of the students that are in the United States. These people are so thirsty there, so motivated, they have challenges but they’re doing this. I am so proud to know them. I’m humbled, I’m more grateful for what I’ve been given and wondering what the heck I’m doing with it Because what if some of the people that I am teaching had what I have, they would be doing exponentially greater things than I am possibly or would they be caught complaining and worrying and just the same ways we don’t know. But what I do know is that I see complacency in some of the work that I experience around town and yet I go online and I do not see complacency in this learning experience. These people are busting a move. They’re amazing and I want to be like them and I hope that for you too. So what does all this mean? Well it can be very simple, it can mean bothering to be curious about the work you’re doing even if you are making minimum wage. I’m going to venture a guess that most people working at the public library and at the gym aren’t making an amazing salary, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be curious and that they can’t be motivated and they can show up in the best possible way. Those jobs are wonderful for gaining experience on working with customers, learning about customer relationship management, Learning that every question a customer asks is something that’s worth researching and finding the answer to. Because if you take the time to do that, you get more confident in your abilities. You also become better informing your boss on what the big questions are people have. And this can help in providing better directions, better marketing, better customer support. It can help in streamlining processes, rearranging the library or the gym, giving more information on the website, making it easy for customers to check out books or to pay you money for a service. In a way that they love telling people around them about their interactions and they highly recommend you to others in this process. You can work yourself out of a job, right? You have learned more. You’re able to take on more responsibilities or different work if you want to. It’s all up to you. And what I love about this example is the circumstances, everyone in these situations has different circumstances. In many cases, the people making minimum wage at the library or the gym in the United States are making far more money than the mid career professional and togo perhaps or cambodia, but this example shows that no matter the circumstance, there can be opportunity, the people that I am teaching and learning from our blown away, that they have this opportunity to learn online. Some of them cannot believe that this came into their life, It wasn’t an option years ago and suddenly it’s an option and they want it, they want to grow and learn and they’re in positions now where they are learning and growing with people all over the world. I think it’s amazing. I would nudge you today to think about how thirsty you are for knowledge, how hungry you are for learning and what you’re going to do about it. You don’t have to go enroll in a program or anything, You can just decide, How am I going to ask more questions and be more curious about my work, What am I going to learn in that process? What if I become more confident through that process. What if I become a mentor to someone in that process? What if I am able to up level as a result of all of my learning. My job is just to show up every day, willing to learn and gain knowledge. So I can do my job better and I can help others do. There’s better and in that process you can become an invaluable resource and you can learn more about yourself and what you’re really good at and what you would really like to offer up. Most of you listening to this podcast have been given much and encourage you to do something with that, expand those skills and talents. Take the five opportunities or skills you’ve been given and turn it into 10 to not throw them away. Remember, no experience is wasted unless you choose to waste it. Don’t waste it, offer it up and see where it takes you and all of those in your human orbit. I hope you have a great day. I’ll talk to you next week. Okay, thanks for listening to the show today. If you enjoyed it, I’d love if you’d write a review and share the show with your friends, sign up for a weekly nudge at move your desk dot com.