You're too young to be (acting) so old
Many of my colleagues and friends lament to me that they "Don't possibly have the time to learn about social media." (and oddly, many of my colleagues are in Web 1.0 work). They almost say it annoyed, like learning is a tremendous chore.
Hey, I get that the 2.0 world is overwhelming. And I get that it's a lot to understand on top of a full day.
And I really get that it's hard to understand why "All these people just chatting away" can seem, well, ridiculous.
But that's not the point.
Because these people chatting are our markets talking (so we need to be listening to them). And these tools are the latest technologies (so we need to be learning them).
But, more to the point, "I don't have the time to learn anything new," actually equates to "I'm OK getting old."
(because old is the opposite of new, no?)
Hey, change is tough for many. I'm an oddball here. I was raised moving to vastly different cities every few years and I'm as content as can be hopping from project to project and knowing not what the future holds... except for more change and more challenge. In fact, I get (really) freaked when things are too stagnant. It makes me sort of edgy as that's just not the way I was raised or the way I was taught to look at the world (there's just too much to see, too much to do and too many people to meet).
But when I hear the line that "I just don't have the time to learn anything new," I now just retort--"Oh my gosh, so this is the time you decided to get old."
And they quip, "What does that mean?"
So I explain, "Remember how we laughed at older generations when we were younger because they were so out-of-touch with the latest technologies?"
And they say, "Of course."
Then I continue, "And you know how we said they just didn't get it?"
And they say, "Yeah."
That's when I finish with, "Well now we've become just like them...oh, wait, we haven't become like them, but YOU now have. And hey, that's cool because it's your choice."
It's just not my choice.
Yep, they get really annoyed with me. And then they email or call me a few days later asking me more questions about these "new" technologies and some places to start. It works like a charm. It's hard to argue with rationale :-).
(Because no one wants to get old...or worse, act old.)
But, the fact is, age really isn't a number. It's a mindset of "I've learned enough, I don't need to learn anything new to get through my day/career/work/life." (ergo, it's a choice, just like most everything else in our days, careers, work and lives).
I find learning to be the best part of life and our choices to be what define our lives. So the "I've learned enough" mindset is not one that I'm ready to pay any mind to. And I'll take new over old any day of the week.
I better, as I have far, far more to learn in front of me than behind me. And I'm still too young to be gettin' so old. Aren't we all?
Note: A post I've written--on my father teaching me the best business advice I've ever learned on "fearing obsolescence"--complements this one. It is right here.