30 days ago I started a 30-day blog challenge to improve my writing skills. Looking back now though, I can see that I have gained many more skills and traits beyond that of simple grammar and spelling.
Deliver No Matter What
Regardless of how I felt or how crazy and hectic life became, I had to deliver a piece of work each and every day. Before the clock struck midnight I would have to push that publish button, no matter what I thought of my writing. This brought about two character traits and one skill.
The first trait is persistence. Publishing a blog every day is no easy task and required me to push past my feelings. If I only delivered on the days that I felt like writing I definitely would not have 30 finished blog posts today. Accomplishing a task has absolutely nothing to do with feelings.
The second trait is guts or a lack of preciousness. If you are precious with your work then you will never finish it. Looking at your project as a beloved piece of yourself will ensure that it will never be good enough to share with the world. Delivering a product each day requires guts. It’s frightening to push that button and let the world see your work. This challenge made me gutsy and helped me realize that I can only learn from my mistakes when I am willing to make them.
The skill I acquired is planning ahead. Life is crazy so we should plan for it to be so. There were days that I knew I would not be able to write an entire post and therefore planned ahead by writing multiple backs up blogs to grab in emergencies. By being prepared I was able to deliver even when life stood in my way.
I Have Plenty To Share
My greatest fear going into this challenge was that I would run out of ideas. Surprisingly, it was quite the contrary. It turns out that I have plenty of really cool things to share with the world. This area too taught me two traits and one skill.
First, confidence. Coming to the understanding that I don’t have to be an expert in order to share my thoughts, ideas, and knowledge was a huge self-esteem booster. In short, there will always be people who are learning just like me, and a portion of those people will know less then I do. Therefore, there will always be an opportunity for me to teach and share with the world.
The second is accountability. Understanding that I have so much to share also showed me that people need to know what I have gained from life. I have the power to help others and lend a hand to my fellow man. For this reason, sharing my understanding is not only a good thing but is honestly my obligation. To do otherwise would be selfish.
The skill I’ve gained is organization. Having a place to store this knowledge that I can retrieve and use when needed is the most effective way to create content. Relying solely on my memory almost guarantees that I will forget vital nuggets. The way I go about capturing and storing this information is through my Second Brain. In short, this is a digital collection of everything I have ever learned organized in a manner that is easy to retrieve and use.
There Is Always More To Learn
The world is exceedingly vast and there are millions of people who each have their own viewpoints and perspectives on life. That’s a mind-boggling fact and pretty exciting. With this understanding, it is clear that there is always more that can be learned. This again has taught me two traits and one skill.
First, humility. Just as the understanding that I have so much to share brought about confidence, it also showed me that I have so much to learn. No matter how experienced I may think I am in one area of my life, there will always be someone who knows something that can be added on. Here’s the really powerful truth, I can learn great amounts of knowledge from people who would appear to know less than I do. Everyone sees life differently and therefore can add to another person’s perspective. That’s the cool thing about this life journey is that we’re all on it together.
The second is a hunger for learning. It’s one thing to say you want to learn something, it’s another to actually learn it. The difference between these two outcomes is the driving force of a hunger to learn. Due to this 30-day challenge, I no longer say “someday I’ll learn that”. I do it now. The only time you have to improve yourself is this moment right now.
The last skill is the ability to learn. Wanting to learn, as mentioned above, can only be accomplished if you know how to learn. This is the understanding that new knowledge is only a Ted talk or google search away. The ability to actually search out knowledge, hunting it down until it is captured and made my own, ensures that I will forever be improving myself.
Over the last 30-days, I wrote and published a blog post every day. Sure I’ve become a better writer, no doubt about that. Looking back though I can see that this experience has taught me so much more than just grammar and spelling. It has taught me how I can learn and invest in this journey we call life, each and every day.