I was… even though I had tackled digital photography and blogging, iPods, Macs, and twittering. But the thought of mastering e-Learning software like Articulate and Camtasia and the dreaded F-word…Flash sent shivers through me. I had hit a brick wall. All of a sudden, I wasn’t sure I could learn it.
My son talked me through it. “Don’t be like them,” he said. “Them?” I asked. “Them,” he repeated. “Them” were the people who shunned technology because they were afraid, but camouflaged their fear by insisting they didn’t need to learn it or didn’t like it. The minute he said this, I knew he was right. I was afraid. Fear was the elephant in the room I hadn’t allowed myself to acknowledge. And what was worse, this elephant just about guaranteed that I couldn’t learn. My son told me to stop it. He insisted I could learn if I stopped being afraid. “You can do it, Mom. I’ll help you,” he promised.
From that moment forward. the fear started to shrink and shrivel like the Wicked Witch of the West after Dorothy doused her with water. Soon, it was small enough for me to dissect it–fear of failure, of not being clever enough or young enough to learn something new in an area that I had perceived as difficult. But was it really as difficult as I feared? Why couldn’t I think of Flash in the same way I had thought about blogging years before? “It’s something new, it’s fun, so let’s try it.” When I wasn’t able to figure something out right way, I had stuck with it until I could. Was this any different, really?
Well, now, I can tell you with a year or so experience under my belt, that it isn’t different at all. Being able to master something new, something out of your comfort zone all comes down to your attitude, perseverance, and identifying your resources. This last point is crucial. You need to know your go-to resources. Sometimes they are books or information that you can retrieve from the web; sometimes they are the people with “the knowledge,” and still, at other points, they might be instructional videos. This last source has been terrific. What could be better than to have someone actually walk you through a process or step? And unlike a “real person” you can “ask” them repeat this knowledge over and over.
Here are four terrific knowledge resources that I’d like to share with you:
#1: You Tube. This is a fantastic resource. There are thousands of educational “how to” videos on just about any topic you can think of. Just Google the topic and select “videos” in the “everything” column on the far left and you’ll be amazed how many you’ll find. www.youtube.com
#2: Lynda.com. This is another great educational video source which offers thousands of video tutorials on how to use technology and software for the home computer, audio, video, photography, web, design, animation, and business. Can’t figure out how to use your new iPhone or iPad? Want to know how to use keyboard shortcuts for your G Mail? Look no further. www.lynda.com
#3: Wolfram Alpha. This computational knowledge base was created by human experts. If you need to solve a mathematical problem, compute your mortgage payment for a 30 years at a 6.5% interest rate, or if you need to get data on a particular topic (the size of a freight container or even the size of a tracheal tube for a 5-year-old who weighs 45 pounds and is 44 inches tall, for instance), you can find it at www.wolframalpha.com
#4: Ted Talks. This site, run by a non-profit organization, houses a repository of 17-minute lectures on a variety of topics in the arts, science, world issues, creativity, technology, and design. The speakers are often fascinating, provocative, and highly entertaining. I am still mesmerized by the talk by Arthur Benjamin who is a mathematical “magician”, able to compute large sums at lighting speeds. Listen to him at:
Who and what are your resources? Let’s share!
Categories: Personal Change