Thursday, December 15, 2016

My Maverick Ivy League Education and Addiction

Knowing a bunch of stuff isn't that valuable. Knowing what you need to know to solve a problem, reach a goal, or become a better version of yourself is hugely valuable. 
-- Isaac Morehouse,

Here's a financial truth: Over the last decade, I've invested tens of thousands of dollars in my education and personal development.

(Deeper financial truth: it's actually my husband who's invested tens of thousands of dollars in my education.)

Fully customized, I've followed a meandering path, immersing myself in studies which fit the present season.

Learning for the sake of learning is exhilarating.

Except. . .

Hi. My name is Sharon. And I'm a hoarder.

Concepts, ideas, stories, and theories give me a constant supply of dopamine.

Information? Does that come with a drip line?

I'm a knowledge junkie. Though, anytime now, my family is bound to hold an intervention.

Please understand, I don't mean to make light of addiction. I know it's serious. It's that I feel convicted about my incessant consumption with a disproportionate amount of contribution.

My proposed solution? To take more risks. To renounce perfectionism. (A friend once told me the "i-s-m" at the end of a word such as alcoholism stands for I-Self-Me. Yes, I can see that. If I'm trying to attain perfection, I'm really hoping you'll be impressed with me.)

I could spend the rest of my life learning how to make a difference for good in the world. 

Or, I could take a step of faith, and risk that I might actually make an impact.

Instead of hoarding education, what if I practiced generosity? What if I loved people by listening better? And what if I used my knowledge to ask better questions? 

What if I invested tens of thousands of hours sharing my ongoing projects, work, and ideas with others? So that we might be a whole community invested in becoming better versions of ourselves?

Now, that would be exhilarating.

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