Robert Fulghum, one of my favorite authors, claims that all he really needs to know he learnt in kindergarten 🙂 I believe that all I really need to know, I have learnt from TV. I am, and always have been, a TV freak. Work or play watching TV is as comforting to me as classical music playing in the background is to others. I actually did all of my studying in front of the TV: from Oprah to the news, from reruns of I Love Lucy, detective series to dramas and documentaries – anything goes.
My earliest memory of TV goes back to when I was no more than three. Through the magic of the wooden box in the corner of our living room, I could join the Disney Mickey Mouse Club – every day sitting there with my Mickey Mouse ears perched on my head I could sing and dance with Annette Funicello and the rest of the Mousketeers.
One day when I was about two I decided to help my mom wash the dishes. Unfortunately, I went tumbling down landing flat on my face resulting in a visit to the ER. When my father came home that night, or so the story goes, I ran to him all excited, “A policemen took us home, but he didn’t shoot us!” You never know what littlies absorb when we think they are not watching or don’t understand the images flashing on the screen …
One of the best pieces of advice (one that I have passed on time and time again) I got from TV. I can clearly remember where I was and what I was watching. It was an interview with a popular TV anchor. Having been asked how she became a TV anchor, she responded with a smile, “When I was little my father told me, ‘First, figure out what it is you love to do; then find a way to get someone to pay you to do it!'” Hmm …
I have always believed that this has been the story of my life, convinced that I am doing what I love and on top of it all blessed with the good fortune of being paid to do it! Time and again I have asked myself, “Nu, and if you had the chance to start over – what would you do?” Time and again my spontaneous response has been, “The same.”
Once I pushed myself a bit harder and increased the challenge, “What if, what if you couldn’t do the same and you had to choose something totally different – what then?” That, I admit, was a scary thought! What’s worse, I couldn’t think of anything else. Rather than reassuring, I found that to be quite pathetic. Am I so stuck in my ways? Am I so afraid of the unknown, of challenges, of failure that I have convinced myself that I couldn’t possibly want anything else – without even knowing it??
Amazing how things come to you when you least expect it. Yesterday, Belinda, my personal trainer, asked if I could schedule a morning session. “I don’t do mornings,” I was quick to respond, “you see,” I felt the need to explain, “it’s not that I sleep in. I am actually up before six. It’s just that I have my morning routine, which I love. Me Time.”
To be honest, I don’t think that my morning routine, is all that different from that of many others. As day breaks and the city wakes up before our eyes, AR and I enjoy our morning cuppa in bed. With our his/hers laptops perched on our laps we listen to the news, read newspapers and newsletters, catch up on Facebook/Linkedin, listen to TED Talks and go through our emails. But, while AR simply takes in the information, I am busy passing it on: posting youtubes onto my Facebook page for the pure enjoyment and enrichment of others, commenting on Linkedin discussions, sharing articles I have read with my team and other colleagues, fwding emails to individuals I believe may be interested and/or benefit. I would say that it is pretty much an obsession. I just can’t seem to let go and move on without sharing. One click and it’s out there 🙂
This morning it dawned on me. I am a maven. In his book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell describes mavens as information brokers. But, what sets them apart from other types of information accumulators is that mavens are driven by the need to pass on the information. They want to tell you about it too.
I always thought that teaching was my true passion. I always saw myself as an educator, and recently I re-invented myself as an edupreneur. Those who know me, will probably confirm this description without giving it a second thought. But, today, for the first time, I truly understood what I am about. I am a busybody; I am a matchmaker at heart; I delight in making combinot – all the necessary qualities of a Life Maven.
As I sat in bed, the happy moments of my life went flashing by. Whether in the classroom or a meeting, whether sitting on the steps talking with a student or having coffee with a friend, whether cuddling up with one of my grandchildren or on the phone with my mom, whether writing an email to colleagues or to one of my kids – there is one common thread, one glittering golden thread: my need to share knowledge and information with others. I do it all the time. In the middle of a conversation or a meeting I will relate an anecdote to exemplify; in the middle of a lesson I will stop to tell a story; my emails, both personal and professional, are filled with concepts and examples I have read about or seen on TV, and since I have discovered how easy it is to create hyperlinks I can’t help myself and search for just the right link to enhance my reader’s understanding of the topic. And, I am doing it here too.
So, now that @ 59 I have had an epiphany and have finally come to understand where my passion lies – what I want to do with my life – I have to figure out a way to get someone to pay me to do it!