Watching the leaves change from green to vibrant red, orange, and gold this fall, I’m reminded of how beautiful change can be. Without this shift in foliage, there would be no room for the growth that comes in the spring.
Like the leaves, I’m trying to make room for growth this year, and I’ve returned to Royal Roads University to do a Master’s degree in organizational and executive coaching. Even as I type that, I can feel anxiety bubble to the surface. I’ve asked myself over and over — is this worth it? Do I have enough time? How can I tell?
I’m learning that this questioning is actually part of the process. I’ve been reading work by Malcolm Knowles, an expert in adult education. He researched, among other things, “readiness to learn,” the uniquely adult need to assess if learning is worth it before we engage. Unlike children, who happily lap up information all day, adults are, in his words, “relevancy oriented.”
As adults, asking big questions is how we lay the welcome mat for new learning experiences, and how we decide whether to stick with them when the going gets tough.
We all know there is no lack of interesting programs and workshops out there. Knowing what Knowles taught, we can ask important questions before signing up.
- Am I ready for this commitment?
- How does this align with my goals?
- How can I use this learning in my life right away?
- What will I do if it feels like too much?
Like all transformation, learning can be overwhelming, but as I gaze out the window and see the leaves falling, I can’t help appreciating the beauty of change.