Extending Your Reach: In-Depth Learning.

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Photos by Wang Xi,  rawpixel,  William Iven and NeONBRAND on Unsplash

In-depth learning about a specific area gives you not only depth of knowledge having studied the matter from all angles, it also gives you the mental agility that you need to be able to reorganize the information and apply it in a variety of settings.

I have to give credit to Dr. Ben Carson for this week’s aspect of extending your reach because it impacted my life some years ago after I read his book, Think Big.  In-depth learning is essentially about being immersed into the topic of interest through all the media that we have available to us – audio, video, articles, and real life experiences.  While it does mean having a firm grasp on the concepts and how they work with other larger systems, it is not about being a know-it-all that you are no longer teachable by an expert.

Your in-depth knowledge will be valuable input to your team!  Whether your team is a family that you care for as a stay at home mom or a multi-million dollar organization that you lead, your firm grasp of your responsibilities affords others the opportunity to fulfill their obligations.

So, let me ask you this: What’s your goal for the future?  Do you want to become a better spouse, a better parent, a better teacher, doctor, lawyer, community leader, and more?  How are you preparing for that next step?  If you have traveled and exposed yourself to new ways of solving problems that you face at home, how much work have you put in to make it a more realistic approach to problem-solving in your neighborhood?  If you haven’t done much then it’s time to get started.

Take for example, my lifelong love affair with water – swimming, splashing, and being with friends and family while it sluiced over my skin was always an enjoyable experience.  Also, anyone who knows me well knows that water is my beverage of choice, followed only by herbal teas.  But, what’s the global state of this essential commodity?

Photos by Bram Naus, Helloquence , Nick Morrison, and Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

A few years ago, while taking a course in climate change, I was once again enthralled by the captivating beauty of water and the power of it.  So, I created a water artifact for my final project (https://www.dropbox.com/s/civ6jnmfx6lsmdm/Jamaica_CC%26Water2.docx?dl=0 ).

As time passed, the power of water and the increasing frequency of severe storms in the Americas interested me.  So, I did a little more work to learn about this essential natural treasure, and I shared it with my colleagues at http://ijcar.net/assets/pdf/Vol3-No2-February2016/11.pdf .  It was validation that what I was learning and sharing was welcome among my colleagues and facilitated discussions about the way forward.

But, the need for water is also combined with the need for power, particularly in cities and suburbs where I have lived all my life.  With severe weather events, the temporary, sometimes protracted, loss of power, can make life in communities quite challenging.  So, I did a little more work, and floated my analysis among my peers.  Once again, what I shared found a place, and the results were published at http://crosscurrentpublisher.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/CC-42-12-17.pdf a few months ago.

The skills that you develop in pursuing in-depth learning are transferable.  So, since I started this blog, the severe hurricanes have forced me to offer some consolation and insight into the power of water.  The first was in the middle of September 2017 (https://crystalclearvisionblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/14/finding-your-way-out/) and the second was a year later in September 2018 (https://crystalclearvisionblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/15/because-of-you-we-will-survive-gracias-a-usted-que-va-a-sobrevivir-grace-a-vous-nous-survivrons-%E8%B0%A2%E8%B0%A2%E4%BD%A0%EF%BC%8C%E6%88%91%E4%BB%AC%E4%BC%9A%E6%B4%BB%E4%B8%8B%E5%8E%BB/).

So, in-depth learning is not boasting about your expertise, but rather refining it and sharing appropriately with varying audiences.

How do I know this?  Because one of the most pleasant characteristics of water is it calming, relaxing, and rejuvenating capacity.  So, when a friend shared  with me photos of some of Jamaica’s most beautiful coastline beaches and swimming pools, I had to get permission to share a little bit of that beauty of water with you.  You can view it for yourself at: https://crystalclearvisionblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/27/gratitude-in-rest/?relatedposts_hit=1&relatedposts_origin=434&relatedposts_position=0 .

So, my life-long love affair with water has taken a different form as I have a much deeper appreciation of its usefulness, its power, and how careful we must be in managing it through using water saving strategies, preservation techniques, and purification methods.

So, what’s the point?

Don’t overlook your interests! 

The thing that is just a personal concern can grow to become something that will inform you, help your family, and raise the awareness of others who are connected to you.

But, prepare yourself well through in-depth learning, so that you will never have to be ashamed of your presentation when called upon to speak about or share your expertise in another form with others.

While you are digging a little deeper to equip yourself, visit http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72naSH5fst4 to see how I have been watering my garden.

Photos by Paul Schafer and NeONBRAND on Unsplash .

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