Anyone Who Stops Learning Is Old

Today I found myself sitting in a local coffee shop in downtown Wilmington reading a book that I should have finished 6 1/2 years ago. Then while reading I looked up and noticed how many college students walk up and down the sidewalk talking with each other and dropping into local coffee shops to grab some quality study time. One specific girl set up shop by a corner window with what looked like a 5 inch three ring binder, a highlighter and pen. Her phone was nowhere to be seen nor headphones in ears . And for the next thirty minutes she looked to have undivided attention to learning something new or reviewing material to understand it better. And at first this had me wishing I could simply go back to college again so I could learn new things. But then I remembered something Henry Ford once said:

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” – Henry Ford

We need to always be positioning ourselves to keep learning. We must carve out time in our busy schedules to learn new things and hone current skills. I just turned 32 this month and started looking at returning back to UNCW to gain my MBA (or some form of higher education). I am online casino still hoping for this possibility at some point in my future, but that does not mean I must wait to begin learning . Now honestly I am not one who heads to work, does what I am tasked with doing and then head home to watch TV. I love picking up new books in the Business/Management/Marketing sections at Barnes & Noble and devouring the content. I try to stay up on the latest articles from Fast Company, 99U, The Great Disconnect, Signal & Noise and many others.

But I realized something today I have not noticed before. I just love consuming new material at a rapid pace, but I do it without any form of structure and path. There are many pros and cons about institutional learning centers (universities, colleges, etc), but one great thing I have realized after many years removed is there was a pathway of learning. Your professor, if good, had a plan of action where you were introduced to material, learned the material, discussed the material, questioned the material, used the material and then critiqued the material.

So I wrote this as an encouragement to myself and anyone who is reading this. Don’t stop learning! Be sure to continue honing your own craft/job and then begin learning new things. Find some type of path/structure to learning those new things and focus on one or two things at a time. But worst case scenery here simply open up a book and read. I promise you that you will learn something. :)

Create Something New

Sometimes you must take on a project that is a little outside of your typical day to day job description. Sometimes you take on a project that you don’t have time during normal work hours. Sometimes you work an extra 10 hours a week to get those projects done on your day off. I’m in the middle of two projects that fit this description. The reason is I love looking for ways to create new things. And sometimes the weekly priorities of your job may not allow for much outside time to create new things.

So a few weeks ago Overflow, our college ministry at PC3 approached me about setting up a new Overflow Blog for them before they launch back on January, 13th of this year. After laying out some ideas for the one page blog I went off to knock it out. Nothing new for me here, just another WordPress blog. But then I got to thinking about their unique position. Overflow currently is at only one of our four PC3 campuses and has a specific focus group, college students. So after about 60 seconds of thinking it through (which may have been too short, oops) I called up Zach Hamby who approached me with the idea. He loved it and we moved forward.

overflow

I’m a few hours behind on the launch, but in the final stretch of still a simple website launch for our college ministry all built out of WordPress. It’s nothing new the world has not seen, but it will give the ministry something unique and it gave me a chance to create once again from scratch. And I think that is a important act creatives need to find often. Be sure you are finding opportunities to create new things with ideas you thought up. I love taking other peoples ideas and turning them into a finished product, but that is not sustainable for me. I personally need to find opportunities to write down and idea fresh from my on mind and see it shipped. overflow.portcitychurch.org hopefully will be up in the next 24 hours. Then I will move over to pc3production.org next!

So what about you? What ideas are you sitting on and not putting some time towards? I’ll tell you this, stop sitting around waiting for permission. That’s an excuse. Go create “it” and then show someone.

Remember Stuart Scott & Your Friends

This morning I was walking through an upstairs hallway setting up recording for our morning services at PC3 when I get the push notification from Yahoo Sports. It read:

“ESPN anchor Stuart Scott, 49, dies after bout with cancer”

It stopped me in my tracks as my memories went all the way back to high school mornings and evenings watching Sportscenter. I waited to hear “cooler than the other side of the pillow” & booyah! come out of Scott’s mouth. I won’t go into why Stuart’s presence, incredible talent & perseverance changed sports broadcasting for ever. But I’ll say he paved the path for so many people and helped changed countless minds in regards to sports broadcasting and many other outlets.

Then after my emotions settled down a little I started to think of friends who I know right now dealing with cancer. I thought of Tim Morgan who serves along side of us as a volunteer FOH audio engineer at PC3. Tim battled cancer and beat it back to submission only to get the news that it creeped back up a few months ago. Tim is fighting strong with encouragement & love from fellow volunteers who have battled this nasty disease. Guys like David Brown who looks him in the eyes casino often and asks if he is going to fight this thing. David is not going to let Tim quit. It reminds me of Jimmy V’s famous 7 words.

Don’t give up, don’t ever give up. – Jim Valvano

Between chemo treatments, Tim finds the energy to make his way to a 7:00am call time on Sunday to mix for a congregation of over 5,000 people. Tim while battling cancer still finds time and the love to serve the people in his community in hopes that they experience Jesus. Tim inspires me each time I see him. And we pray each week that we continue to see him as he fights this disease with others and not alone.

We all have friends like Tim. Friends battling for their lives. Friends looking to give up. Family members ready to throw in the towel. Don’t let them! Be there for them. Love them. Care for them. Drive them places. Pick them up. Make them dinner. Listen to them. Be the shoulder they need to cry on. Cry with them. Be quiet with them. Pray with them. Volunteer with them. Bring over a movie and popcorn. Babysit for them. But the most important thing to do is to remind them: Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.


Remembering Stuart Scott ESPN Special

Scott”s Moving ESPY Speech