02 January 2009

Focus for 2009

I like the idea of choosing a learning focus for the year. A focus that I wouldn't naturally navigate toward. (I got the idea from Peter Drucker, a big advocate of lifelong learning, who would focus on an area he knew nothing about for something like two or three years.)

For this year I think I'll focus on learning more about Asia. Yes, a bit broad! I'm thinking particularly of China and southeast Asia (e.g., Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam). Not just the wars but what are the cultures and people like? What are the histories? I'm hoping that in addition to being interesting, it will push my brain outside it's western-world focus. I know next to nothing about this area of the world. I'm notoriously distractable so it will be interesting to see if I can stay with this.

Earlier I thought I'd really challenge myself by concentrating on economics or something math related. I am not gifted in these areas and frankly, they freak me out. For longevity's sake it's probably best not to focus on something that makes my stomach seize up.

But for now I need to finish When the Astors Owned New York. It's not about Asia but it's another world -- ueber wealth -- I know nothing about.


~moe~ said...

This is a great idea. I love resolutions where you strive to improve your life by doing instead of subtracting (you know...I will learn about Asia versus I will stop doing...whatever).

I've toyed with getting back into Hebrew again. And I realized the other day that I really miss being in an academic setting. Things to think about myself, I guess.

Happy New Year!

Sophzilla said...

Thanks Moe! The academic setting is hard to shake once it's in your blood! I love the idea of getting back into Hebrew. It's fun to do things that you just want to do. There is no "purpose" as the skeptical might call it. You're not doing it because you have to, or need to for your job, or think you have to, etc. Just for the joy of it.

Happy New Year to you, too!