"You learn something new every day!" My mom said...pretttttty much every day throughout my childhood. Years later, I think it's stuck.
My parents taught us to look at the world with wonder, to appreciate its beauty and grandeur and mysteriousness. To wonder, to be curious, to search for answers ("look it up" was another favorite saying in our house, which meant: look it up in an encyclopedia or dictionary, lol!).
We were always encouraged to ask questions and ask why things were the way they were. My mom never tired of us asking "why?" over and over and over and over. She always played along...she'd also play the game right back (and STILL does sometimes) bc she's ornery like that (hi, mom!).
I'm very grateful that my parents instilled in me an appreciation for learning—to love it, to seek it out and to crave it. We were taught from a very young age that learning can be fun, opens doors of opportunity and expands your horizons so that life becomes much bigger than you can even imagine.
This was great for a creative mind like mine. I was allowed and encouraged and prodded to value learning. To explore, fail and get back up to try again....all part of the necessary learning process.
I also think that it's helped me to be successful throughout my career. I've always been willing to pitch in and help someone out on a project, even if it was completely new territory for me. I'll learn it! Now as a freelancer, that curiosity and drive to learn helps me find new ways to efficiently run my business, make more bank, branch out into different areas of design and photography and stay engaged with my peers.
From some of my first days at LPK, I went around and nerdily interviewed (yeah for real, with paper and pen) my superiors, peers and even the CCO (someday I'm going to write a book about all I learned from them!). Now, still doing the same thing years later, I'm interviewing my freelance, small business and entrepreneur peers...and then share my learnings with all of you here!
I also keep learning by attending things like AIGA's Design Week (review here!), scouting for photoshoots, hiring interns, collabing with other artists/designers/photographers, being around super-smart people in workshops and brainstorms, trying out a new coffee shop and even just hanging out with my friends. I learn so much because I'm genuinely interested in...well...everything!
Even if you don't realize it, I bet you learn something new every day too. Maybe it's something small, like that there's a hole in your favorite pair of socks, lol...or a historical fact you never knew. A new cafe you tried for brunch or a new key command. Or possibly...something from this blog post ;) Yea!
Moral of the story: Mama was right. We DO learn something new every day. If you're not already, start making it intentional. Take note of how you're growing daily and have gratitude for the opportunities that are showing up in your life.