Seth Godin: You can learn just about anything now. So what did you learn today?

By April 18, 2020Current

TL;DR – NTUC LearningHub is offering over 100 online courses free during CB period. I’ve signed up, have you?

I love Seth Godin and the way he writes. So clearly, so crisply.

I’ve loved him for years and I love him so much that I need to hear from him everyday, LOL! Yeps, I’ve subscribed to his daily newsletter so that I don’t miss a blogpost from him. His posts are usually short and thought-provoking.

But occasionally, he will indulge himself and his readers like me with longer posts. Sometimes he shares stories, sometimes he shares thoughts. I love them all and lap them all up.

Here’s a recent blogpost from him that I really like.

But what could you learn instead?

My favourite part of this post is here, and the emphasis all mine.

You can learn just about anything now. Thirty years ago, that statement was ridiculous. In just one generation, we put everything you need to know about anything you want to know just a click away. The hard part isn’t access to it, the hard part is finding a cohort and a system that helps you do it. Because learning comes from doing.

We talk about ‘learning’ as though it’s as easy and natural as shopping or watching or doing errands. But it’s not. It’s a commitment, one that we regularly make up excuses to avoid. This simple idea from John Smith, for example. Easy to imagine, not that easy to do. Because you’ll have to get good at it as you go. Learning doesn’t have to be expensive to work.

Learning takes effort, and it’s hard to find the effort when the world is in flux, when we’re feeling uncertain and when we’re being inundated with bad news. But that’s the moment when learning is more important than ever.

This shift is difficult to commit to, because unlike education, learning demands change. Learning makes us incompetent just before it enables us to grasp mastery. Learning opens our eyes and changes the way we see, communicate and act.

“What did you learn today,” is a fine question to ask. Particularly right this minute, when we have more time and less peace of mind than is usually the norm.

It’s way easier to get someone to watch–a YouTube comic, a Netflix show, a movie–than it is to encourage them to do something. But it’s the doing that allows us to become our best selves, and it’s the doing that creates our future.

It turns out that learning isn’t in nearly as much demand as it could be. Our culture and our systems don’t push us to learn. They push us to conform and to consume instead.

The good news is that each of us, without permission from anyone else, can change that.

So what did you learn today?

I have to confess that I did not have a spectacularly productive day today. It’s a workday (Friday). In the morning, I had an online training session for work. In the afternoon, I had an interview with a freelancer for a story that I’m working on.

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But through that long conversation with the freelancer, I learnt how life is about for freelancers right now, caught up in the midst of this COVID-19 storm.

It’s an interesting exchange for me since I’m a salaried person and income is still stable during this time and for her, her usual paid work has practically come to a standstill since we’re on this circuit-breaker period.

I learnt about how human beings can be so adaptive and resilient. Instead of just moping around the house, feeling sorry for herself, she has been attending webinars and online dialogues with entrepreneurs and other self-employed persons.

These have opened up her perspectives and triggered her creativity to see if she can digitalise some parts of her business. And digitalise she did, and she has already started, in a small way, some paid work delivered online. But more about that in a full story later.

I got quite motivated by our conversation and was also reading what Seth Godin said about how learning opens our eyes and changes the way we see, communicate and act. And he also said this is the time when we have more time and less peace of mind than usual, so I was thinking, why not challenge myself to not conform and consume, but go learn as many new things as I can.

After all, like he said, it’s the doing that creates our future.

67 free courses by Harvard University

So I checked out some free courses online. The one that everyone should have heard about by now is the 67 free courses by Harvard University.

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I had a quick look and found some that are related to history and music that I am keen in. Mighty good!

Free SEO course by MOZ Academy

And oh, there’s also this free SEO course that I am keen to pursue.

This would be highly suitable for anyone in comms and social media work. For freelancers and self-employed persons too, since personal branding is important and SEO knowledge will help loads for online branding and marketing.

Over 100 free online courses by NTUC LearningHub

I also just signed up for an account at NTUC Learning Hub, a natural choice since I’m NTUC member and enjoy $250 UTAP every year for courses.

But but but, they’ve work together with GO1 to launch over 100 free online courses during this circuit breaker period!

Just in case you’re wondering about what GO1 is, it’s an e-learning platform provider. It’s an online learning startup and it’s backed by Microsoft and Aussie recruitment giant SEEK. So yea, totally legit.

Since it’s for a limited period only, I highly recommend that everyone go sign up for an account and go through as many of these free courses as possible!

Believe, you, me, being multi-skilled and adaptable are the game-changers at the workplace these days. It’s too risky to just have one skill, especially if it’s an “old” skill that you picked up in university X years ago.

If you would check out the recruitment postings today, you will see that majority of the positions are jobs that didn’t even exist, say, three to five years ago. So what makes us think that our current jobs will still be around in three to five years? Or that our skills and experience will still be relevant in three to five years?

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So read diversely, expose ourselves to as many industries and perspectives as possible and learn as many skills as possible. That’s investing in our future selves.

Let me quote Seth Godin again (and again, LOL!),

It’s the doing that creates our future. So start doing now.


The Dive: Lessons from The Covid-19 Storm



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Gabrielle Teo

Author Gabrielle Teo

I read lots, and I also spend an indecent amount of time trying to get my mostly unpopular opinions published. Oh, I argue a lot with fellow Singaporeans who complain incessantly about Singapore too.

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