Friday, January 28, 2011

Learn a Language

In Western society we should put much more emphasis on learning a second language. In Europe, Asia, South America people speak two, three, four languages and don’t think anything of it. Why don’t we?

It’s easy, not enough emphasis is placed on learning a second language in our schools. Once we decide to travel we begin to see and feel how important speaking another language is, how useful it is! A second language feeds the curious mind. The world is becoming more globalized – that means we are interacting with people from different cultures every day.

Learning a second language creates another avenue of learning; through its people and literature. How awesome would it feel to go to South America and instead of having a typical tourist account – tourist towns – tourist restaurants, you’re confident enough in your communications skills to travel into smaller towns? It’s empowering!
            I don’t think I can put enough emphasis on learning a second language, but in order to show you I recommend everyone of my readers to check out a community culture hall, if you haven't picked up the travel bug yet. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Curiosity and ideas.

Curiosity in life and business has started to pick up steam and recognition. National Geographic's theme is live curious and In Losing my Virginity, Branson writes, “by nature I am curious about life, and this extends to my business. That curiosity has led me down many unexpected paths and introduced me to many extraordinary people.”

So what does this curiosity mean? It means people like Richard Branson will be constantly exposed to new unexpected opportunities. I see curiosity in a person as somebody who exposes themselves to an unpredictable world: soaking, eating, absorbing all the new information around them. And the beauty of it!!! Taking that new information and applying it to your business. Let me give you an example:

I’m currently a student studying business, but my curiosity has allowed me to spread my interests – so I have taken a large amount of philosophy, psychology, and other classes. For this example I’m going to use poetry. In our creative writing (poetry) class we had workshops for our poems. Now what this means is every class students would bring in their own poems and the teacher would choose 4-5 of  these poems. The poems were taken home by peers and reviewed and revised with new suggestions and ideas. Next class those reviewed poems were brought back and talked about in class. The writer told us a little bit about the poem  and took their poem home along with the (20 reviewed copies) and revised their work.

Now, I took poetry not knowing what to expect – (aside from writing poetry), and I found a brainstorming exercise that works really well. If I were looking to do something differently than conventional brainstorming I could apply this. Now sure this could be brought to smaller frame by reviewing ideas/proposals in-between lunch. Even starting with conventional brainstorming to get ideas, during lunch– break off into individual or small groups to review them, and give suggestions/feedback to the ideas themselves. The purpose of the individual breaking off is so those generally quieter can write suggestions down, and not feel overwhelmed by strong-talkative personalities.

If I had never exposed myself to something that seemingly has no relation to my ultimate goal, then I would have never known about this. And that!! That is important. In the most unlikely of places, as long as you’re aware, something can always be found.