I’m lucky in that I’m connected to a lot of smart, generous people in my field or closely connected to it. A great deal of my professional (and personal) development has come through those connections. When I think about the next opportunities or challenges I’d like to encounter, I may not be sure of the details, but I do aspire to accomplishments like these people achieve.
Sometimes, though, I get real benefit from people whose specialties are much further removed from my own — lawyers (and more than one barrister in the UK), nanotech scientists. Even a well-done Twitter parody account (of which @AngrySalmond is a lapidary example) brings unexpected insight and ideas.
That’s something Damian Roland has done for me. I honestly don’t recall how I first learned of him — most likely through a retweet. He’s a specialist in pediatric medicine in the UK, and “a passionate believe that education exists to be shared.” To that end, he participates in #FOAMed, a movement for Free Open-Access Medical education.
One thing that Roland does on his blog is to post WILTW — “What I Learned This Week.” As of this writing, he’s got 101 posts in that category. (This week’s is “Children’s Experience of Emergency Care as a Measure of Quality.”)
This kind of reflection is aspirational for me — as with going to the gym, I know it’s a good idea, but I don’t manage to pull it off that often. That means Roland’s regular reflection is inspirational as well. It goes with James Clear’s idea of committing to a process, not a goal.
I’m trying out some new or modified processes to encourage reflection and exploration. (One of them, which I’ve been calling “the tool of the month,” has me consciously trying out one new or unfamiliar tool over the course of a month.
I’m not necessarily going to write a post or review about it, but I’m going to kick it around to see how it works in my own life. An example of small but very welcome results with the first tool, IFTTT (If This, Then That): I’ve learned how to:
- Have my phone automatically set itself on mute at 10 pm.
- Have it set itself to 30% volume at 6 am.
- Have it lower itself to 10% when I connect to the wifi at work.
- Have it set itself to 80% when I connect to my home wifi.
(I tend not to carry the phone around the house, and so I’ve often missed calls and texts because the sound was off or nearly inaudible. That doesn’t happen any more.)