We live in a culture of more-more-more. As a result, we often think we have to do more to be more, that our personal and professional development amount to an accumulation of experiences. The passive presumption, then, is that that experiences naturally bear the fruits of knowledge, or better yet, wisdom.
But, busyness breeds neither knowledge nor wisdom, and “activity without learning is merely a happening” (Myles Horton). Further, busyness can be isolating – even as we are working with others and serving on boards and are always around people, our relationships can become increasingly shallow. We are doing more and relating less.
So, if you are looking to get more meaning out of what you do, here is my first challenge: stop focusing on how much you do, and try and figure out how much you’ve learned.
Here is my second: find ways to share what you have learned so that what you do matters to the world.
Here are a few ways that I invest in figuring out what I have learned from my experiences, what I am continuing to learn from them, and how I can share some of that with others:
We can’t always do more, and doing more isn’t always a good idea. In fact, the cult of doing more often obscures the process of learning, which of course, limits the possibility of teaching.
Alternately, if we would all focus our energies on learning and then teaching from what we do, we could all do a lot more with our lives.