Lifelong Learning

Nulla dies sine linea is Latin for “No day without a line.” It’s a phrase that over the centuries has inspired countless painters and writers to practice their craft every day. The idea resonates with me because I’ve never been achievement oriented, but I do love learning new things and developing skills. I’m more interested in practicing, practicing, practicing than I am in reaching goals. A lot of people think that’s a dull way to live—people like me tend to be called nerds or geeks—but it enriches my life. What do you think?

Thanks to Evan, Mike, Rummuser, tammy, Cathy and bikehikebabe for commenting on last week’s post.
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16 Responses to Lifelong Learning

  1. Nick says:

    No, I prefer to reach the goals. To my mind, the practising is just a tedious necessity which is seldom enjoyable.
    Nick´s last blog post ..It doesn’t take much

  2. Jean says:

    A lot of people feel the way you do. I’m the weird one!

  3. tammy says:

    i’m with you monk. i am not a goal person. never was.
    nor will be. and yet everything seems to get done!
    just still the raindrop on the leaf. but a happy one.

  4. bikehikebabe says:

    “What do you think?” I think you are a delightful nerdy geek. Remember when “nerd” was a put-down label. Then came Steve Jobs & Bill Gates. But they were goal oriented nerds. How ’bout Socrates?

  5. bikehikebabe says:

    P.S I forgot Mark Zuckerberg. He’s a nerdy geek. (goal oriented)

  6. Evan says:

    I think it makes sense to enjoy what you do (the process, the actual doing).

    Delaying gratification is overrated. Current gratification beats it hands down I think.
    Evan´s last blog post ..We Apologise for this Break in Transmission

  7. Mike says:

    I’m not so much for practicing as I am for doing whatever it is that I enjoy working on – and learning as I go. I’m usually a fast learner, but if it takes practice, I’m likely to be in trouble.

    Currently working with new blogging framework to build static pages. Example:
    Mike´s last blog post ..☺The Yellowstone–and some progress to report and show. ☺ ☺

  8. Jean says:

    It sounds like you too enjoy the process. 🙂

    Thanks! I love being a nerd. Actually Socrates was one of the wise old men I hung out with when I was a teen. 🙂

    I agree! For me the secret of happiness is to ask myself every day:

    (1) What’s good about my life?
    (2) What needs to be done?
    (3) How can I get this done and enjoy the process?

    I spend a lot of time figuring out that last one.

    I combine my practicing with learning new things and working on projects that interest me. It’s not at all boring. I do my best to avoid working on things that don’t interest me or else to figure out a way to enjoy it.

  9. Dixie says:

    Wow Monk, nice one! I may have to borrow your ‘secret of happiness’ life questions. I can always use a new infusion of dwelling points.
    Every morning I awake and write something. I may not ever use the results as a post, but it is good practice for my enjoyment of writing.
    Also I practice keeping my expectation level low and my acceptance level high; it gives me a great sense of peace.
    Hope you have a good geek week!
    Dixie´s last blog post ..First touch ~

  10. Cathy in NZ says:

    I have/had goals – but because I have health issues – they don’t always get *done

    *on time; at all; delays and delayed; changed for xyz reason; or keep falling to bottom of **To Do List

    ** don’t have one if at all possible…
    Cathy in NZ´s last blog post ..Less than 5million here

  11. “No day without a line.” For a piano player, it’s “Butt on the bench.” I love the practice, but it wouldn’t chap my hide if I ever completed something.
    Murr Brewster´s last blog post ..Getting A Big Head

  12. Jean says:

    I agree with your “I practice keeping my expectation level low and my acceptance level high….” One of my favorite sayings is, “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.” That isn’t a license to be sloppy, it’s just an invitation to get our egos out of the way and honor the work.

    I don’t do well with goals either. I become overly motivated and get annoyed by interruptions, by life intruding. I do much better having a general direction and enjoying the work. Instead of a To Do list I have a Possibility List. It gives me a lot more flexibility.

  13. Jean says:

    Yes, another version for writers is, “Butt in the chair.” That wouldn’t work for me, because I type standing up. 🙂

  14. I’m definitely process-oriented.
    This month is (for me) “No day without a blog post.” I’m doing NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month, which is more results-oriented, but I don’t mind. Sometimes I need to push myself to get results. Because when I look back on my life, results are all that’s there to see!
    Square Peg Guy´s last blog post ..Fifty is the New Twenty

  15. Rummuser says:

    I am like you. I enjoy the journey more than reaching the destination!
    Rummuser´s last blog post ..A Long Awaited Tryst With Laurie Baker.

  16. Jean says:


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