2014 was the year of the brain.
I decided to put aside most of my other reading materials and concentrate on reading books about brain function. I read up on neuroleadership and cognitive science and motivation.
I got into a lot of content, and learned a lot of interesting things which should help me not only to coach and lead others, but to manage my own mental state better than I ever have before.
Some of that learning was from The Leadership Gift, where my involvement was kindly sponsored by Industrial Logic.
Underneath all of these studies and stories and new understandings, I learned a lot about empathy and sympathy and caring for others. What it means to be human is essentially that we're stumbling through a paltry handful of decades with impaired ability to gather, assess, judge, and accept reality. We're all from different places, with different mental models and mindsets, and we can work this all out together if we're willing to open up.
But we can. We can improve ourselves and we can support each other, and we don't have to be "stuck." We can get "unstuck" if we're willing to learn, thing, examine, and put aside judgement and frustration for a little while and let our curiosity and natural intellect lead us to clarity.
That's a lot of stuff for a quick blog post.
Let's leave it here: I know enough (head-knowledge) to have a much better impact on my own behaviors and habits and on helping others deal with theirs than I've ever had before.
I'm still burning down the reading list, so 2014's Year Of The Brain will spill over a bit. But no rush now.
2015 is upon us.
But this year will be more intensely pursuing skills, using what I've learned about my brain in the meantime.
I need and want to learn at least one proper functional language (python's semi-functional features, C# LINQ, etc don't count).
My son bought me a mandolin for Christmas. I'm going to play some songs on it publicly by the end of the year. I'm also going to deepen my guitar skills. I will learn some sight-reading and some music theory. After all these years of playing, I should learn something about music, I think. ;-)
I don't know what other skills I'm going to learn, but I'm basically going to stop procrastinating and eat what's in front of my nose. I have awesome resources (computers, the internet, books, friends) and there's no reason I don't soak up a ton of tech in 12 months.
Wish me luck.