• Learning to Learn – by Dr. Randy Gold, Psy.D.

    As the year nears an end, and we meander through the holiday season towards a new year, it’s a wonderful time for reflection. Perhaps we find ourselves celebrating, perhaps we find ourselves wishing things were different. We might find ourselves thankful, or perhaps even regretful. For many of us, we will likely find ourselves in the midst of some combination of many feelings and thoughts. So, as we move through this time, perhaps we can use these thoughts, experiences, and feelings to propel us towards new opportunity in the new year and in years to come.

    When I think about the future, I realize on one hand that anything can happen tomorrow, no matter how I want life to unfold. I realize that on some basic level, I am powerless and can’t control all that occurs. But on another level, I realize that I can have my hand in things to come. I can make choices. I can try to guide my actions. I can think through my thoughts. I can plan and follow through. I can stumble and get up, reach out and share. There are many things I can do, if I so choose. And there are many things that I will find simply happen, some of which will leave me fulfilled, others which will leave me wondering.

    What I do know though, is that so many possibilities exist. I have learned through my life, and through the lives and stories of others, that the future is something that we can have a hand in. We can create our own destiny, at least in some ways. The hard part for many is that we don’t know how to get there. We find ourselves falling into old, well-known patterns. We find ourselves repeating the same old things. Generationally, our stories look the same, even though we say we always wanted it to be different. For some, maybe things can be different. Maybe things can change. Maybe new habits can be created. Maybe grown-ups can learn new things. Maybe the future can be one of change, growth, and wonder. Maybe, just maybe….. But, the question that many get stumped on, the place many get stuck is right here. What do I do? How do I do this?

    What I’ve learned along my road, and continue to learn each day, is that it’s not so much about the magical plan I devise in the moment, or the words I uttered in the midst of the crisis. No, it’s about the picture I create that lies ahead. It’s about the picture I paint, and the steps I map out to get there. And once mapped, it’s about taking the first step, and repeating it until it becomes a habit, and moving on to the next one. It’s about having patience with the process, and recognizing that life is a process, and so is change. And that things don’t come easy, but rather take nurturance, care, and persistence. We learn that we must learn to get up when we fall and keep going. We learn that it’s not only new steps we want to learn, but that we also must learn how to take new steps. WE MUST LEARN HOW TO LEARN. And if I devise a plan, create a map for myself, and allow myself to change, along with the things I want to change, then maybe, just maybe the future can be different than today. Perhaps for a family, rather than spending much of the day struggling to make it through, they can spend much of their day enjoying each other. Perhaps rather than waking up and fighting our way through what we see as mundane and frustrating, we can wake up and see the amazing things that lie in front of us, where we can look forward to seeing our friends, or being loved by a loved one.

    A new year lies ahead, another year of life and lessons and stories is nearly in the books. Perhaps for some, a new year can be more than just a cycle on the calendar, or another round in what they know. Perhaps it can be a time of planting seeds, tending the garden, and allowing the flowers to bloom…..

    May the upcoming holidays, and a new year, be a time of growth and learning, and may you enjoy the ride……….

    Learning to Learn
    As the year nears an end, and we meander through the holiday season towards a new year, it’s a wonderful time for reflection. Perhaps we find ourselves celebrating, perhaps we find ourselves wishing things were different. We might find ourselves thankful, or perhaps even regretful. For many of us, we will likely find ourselves in the midst of some combination of many feelings and thoughts. So, as we move through this time, perhaps we can use these thoughts, experiences, and feelings to propel us towards new opportunity in the new year and in years to come.

    When I think about the future, I realize on one hand that anything can happen tomorrow, no matter how I want life to unfold. I realize that on some basic level, I am powerless and can’t control all that occurs. But on another level, I realize that I can have my hand in things to come. I can make choices. I can try to guide my actions. I can think through my thoughts. I can plan and follow through. I can stumble and get up, reach out and share. There are many things I can do, if I so choose. And there are many things that I will find simply happen, some of which will leave me fulfilled, others which will leave me wondering.

    What I do know though, is that so many possibilities exist. I have learned through my life, and through the lives and stories of others, that the future is something that we can have a hand in. We can create our own destiny, at least in some ways. The hard part for many is that we don’t know how to get there. We find ourselves falling into old, well-known patterns. We find ourselves repeating the same old things. Generationally, our stories look the same, even though we say we always wanted it to be different. For some, maybe things can be different. Maybe things can change. Maybe new habits can be created. Maybe grown-ups can learn new things. Maybe the future can be one of change, growth, and wonder. Maybe, just maybe….. But, the question that many get stumped on, the place many get stuck is right here. What do I do? How do I do this?

    What I’ve learned along my road, and continue to learn each day, is that it’s not so much about the magical plan I devise in the moment, or the words I uttered in the midst of the crisis. No, it’s about the picture I create that lies ahead. It’s about the picture I paint, and the steps I map out to get there. And once mapped, it’s about taking the first step, and repeating it until it becomes a habit, and moving on to the next one. It’s about having patience with the process, and recognizing that life is a process, and so is change. And that things don’t come easy, but rather take nurturance, care, and persistence. We learn that we must learn to get up when we fall and keep going. We learn that it’s not only new steps we want to learn, but that we also must learn how to take new steps. We must learn how to learn. And if I devise a plan, create a map for myself, and allow myself to change, along with the things I want to change, then maybe, just maybe the future can be different than today. Perhaps for a family, rather than spending much of the day struggling to make it through, they can spend much of their day enjoying each other. Perhaps rather than waking up and fighting our way through what we see as mundane and frustrating, we can wake up and see the amazing things that lie in front of us, where we can look forward to seeing our friends, or being loved by a loved one.

    A new year lies ahead, another year of life and lessons and stories is nearly in the books. Perhaps for some, a new year can be more than just a cycle on the calendar, or another round in what they know. Perhaps it can be a time of planting seeds, tending the garden, and allowing the flowers to bloom…..

    May the upcoming holidays, and a new year, be a time of growth and learning, and may you enjoy the ride……….

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