Learning Is the Key to Your Personal Development

Learning Is the Key to Your Personal Development

So many of us dismiss learning as boring or as a chore that we have to go through when we are young, then once we hit the age to leave school, we never need to worry about it again.

In this interview, Jennifer Lindsay-Finan explains that by keeping this opinion, we are only limiting our ability to grow in life, and that by embracing the need to continually learn as an adult, you are allowing yourself the opportunity to open so many new doors and experiences in your life. 

As an enthusiastic educator, Jennifer discusses that learning as an adult means that you have a choice in how and what you learn. She chats about how we can find the right method of learning that suits us personally, and also tips on how to find and manage time so that we can fit our learning in to our busy adult lives.

Looking to broaden your horizons, but don't know where to start? Then I recommend you take a moment to listen to this podcast episode.


Meet Jennifer

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan founded River Park Learning and Development in 2013 to provide businesses with training that was quick and easy to put into practice straight away. 

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan

Jennifer gives people the skills and knowledge they need to increase productivity, improve performance and facilitate personal and professional growth.

Jennifer specialises in using technology to provide relevant, effective and affordable training that's engaging and interactive.

She loves learning and it’s her mission to inspire a culture of continuous learning. Jennifer believes that anyone can do anything with the right training and support.

How to Contact Jennifer

For more details of the Learning Journal and Facebook Group, mentioned in the interview, and to find out how to get involved and to contact Jennifer, please visit:

Website: https://www.river-park.co.uk

Learning Journal: https://www.river-park.co.uk/resources

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/riverparktraining

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RiverParkLearningLounge

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/riverpark

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thelearningbird 


Gillian Duncan 0:00
Hello and welcome to the Clarity Junction podcast. In this episode, I am excited to be chatting with Jennifer Lindsay-Finan. Jennifer is the founder of River Park Learning and Development, and today we're discussing why it is important to keep up your learning as an adult. Or our world is constantly changing, and every day new things are being discovered, created and developed. As an adult, it's easy to fall behind and become out of touch with what's happening around us. Although many of us would like to continue to learn, we are often discouraged or overwhelmed by the process either through bad past experiences, lack of time or being confused as to where to even start looking for material to learn from. To help untangle all of these negative thoughts and emotions, I'm happy to be joined by Jennifer, who brings clear and practical advice to help us find our feet again, when it comes to learning as an adult. My name is Gillian Duncan, Positive Life and Wellbeing Coach, inspiring women to live the life that they want, and I am delighted that you're here with me today.

Hello, Jennifer, welcome to the Clarity Junction podcast.

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 1:22
Hi, Gillian. Thanks for having me.

Gillian Duncan 1:24
I'm really pleased to have you here as a guest on the show. Today, we'll be talking about something that tends to divide us as a society into two groups. We either love it or we hate it. And I'm talking of course, about learning. Some of us love to learn and some of us just don't even want to think about it after we've left school as a teenager. Today, you're here to share with us your thoughts and advice on how to approach learning as an adult, and how we can have a less scary experience than any other school experience that we've had from our past. So Jennifer, before we dive in, please can you tell our listeners a little bit about yourself and how you came to be passionate about supporting others to continue their learning?

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 2:14
Yeah. So Hi, everyone. My name is Jennifer Lindsay-Finan, and I'm based just outside Perth in Scotland, where I live with my husband and our two sausage dogs. And I'm really hoping that they are not going to contribute to this podcast today. I founded River Park Learning and Development a few years ago to provide businesses with training that's quick, practical and easy to put into practice straight away. So, really passionate about helping people to develop the skills that they need for whatever it is that they want to do, and I'm really passionate about inspiring a culture of like, continuous learning in the workplace. So it's not, for me, learning is not something that we just do when we're a teenager or, you know, a child, and then we leave school or university and then we don't need to worry about it, because, well, personally, I think that's quite an arrogant approach. I think we're all going to continue to learn, there's always something new for us to learn.

Gillian Duncan 3:13
That's excellent. I completely agree with you about continued learning, but I do know that other people have that, sort of, sinking feeling when we talk about school and learning something, and it's obviously something to do with a past experience. So, I'm so pleased that you're here to chat with us and make us think a little bit differently about it all today. And yeah, I've got dog as well, so let's fingers crossed that he doesn't decide to join in the show as well today! Listeners will probably have noticed that we have a similar accent, and I will just sort of bring in just now, because just in case we start speaking in our native tongue, or we speed up a little bit, it's because Jennifer and I actually grew up very close to each other. We grew up in an area in Scotland, very close, and so we've got a very similar accent. And it was lovely to discover each other a few months ago. We were on a social group together, and we bumped into each other, and it's been lovely to be able to chat with Jennifer ever since. So, thank you again for coming on to the show today.

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 4:17
Thanks, Gillian.

Gillian Duncan 4:18
So, as I mentioned earlier, so many of us don't want to think about continuing with their learning once they've left school, and I can understand why. We go to school, every day, from a very young age, and we're made to study subjects that we may or we may not like. We may not be interested in this, and some of us will feel that this is a complete waste of time. So when we get the chance to leave the system, we really don't want to face anywhere lessons in our life, and we just want to get out of there, but, in your opinion, however, how important is it to keep up to date with your learning after you leave school and continue in life as an adult?

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 5:00
You know what, it's so important, but what I would say is, as soon as we leave school or university and we become an adult, learning becomes a choice. So it's no longer something that's forced on to us by the government or by our teachers, it becomes our choice. And you know what, just by choosing to listen to this podcast, I know that everyone that's listening is passionate about learning. You just might have a slightly different definition of the word, 'learning', than, than me but by choosing to listen to this podcast, you're doing something very positive for your own personal development. So, personal development and professional development doesn't need to be about sitting in a classroom. It can be listening to podcasts. It can be reading books. It can be talking to other people, either face to face or of course, online. There are loads of online communities that are so valuable, and where we learn so much from each other. But the main reasons to keep up with development is, things change. So, software is changing all the time. You know, almost every week you switch on a programme, or go to a website, and something has moved. And it's about keeping up with those changes and learning the new things that things can do, because it will save us so much more time. So, even if we're not at work, though, approaches that people take, you know, I was with my em, excuse me, with my four year old nephew that weekend, and my Mum was playing 'schools' with him, and of course, my sister and I were like, 'Mum, schools aren't like that anymore.' You know, so just the way of life changes so much. The people that we spend time with change so, everything in your life is changing. And that's a good thing. And if we don't continue our learning, then we can't possibly keep up with all those changes.

Gillian Duncan 6:48
I think you've just completely hit the nail on the head there with that comment about how things have changed, and they keep changing. I recently have had this pleasure of chatting with my Mum and Dad online. As I say, my folkes are in Scotland, I'm down in the south coast of England, and yeah, I've not been able to, you know, I don't see them very often. So I've not been able to convince them to use a webcam until very recently. I bought them one for their Christmas, and I set them all up with, you know, quicklinks on their computer, so they just need to click the link, have their camera plugged in, and they're ready to go. And, just by learning to do that, and just by going through that process, I am now able to speak to my Mum and Dad. We meet up every single weekend now, and we have a chat for about an hour or so. My kids are there and they can speak to their Granny and Grandpa, and it's made such a huge difference. So definitely, if we can keep learning, and learning the new skills, it brings a completely different element to our lives. It's not just, we're not just talking about careers here. We're not just talking about work-related cases here, we're talking about in our own personal life. I mean, my goodness, I need to sometimes get my kids to turn on the television via the smart x box or whatever it is, so I can watch a programme that we're doing. I haven't got clue somedays. So yeah, it is really, really important, isn't it?

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 8:10
Yeah, absolutely. Definitely.

Gillian Duncan 8:12
You mentioned that whole change in school. When I went to school, the internet had not even been released to the world, and it wasn't around until I went to university. In terms of learning and research, you know, this meant for me, to learn something, I had to go physically into a classroom to be taught, or I had to go to a library to find books. Now, there's something quite rare these days. Libraries have changed completely over the years. They're not the same places that used to be. They used to be fairly quiet and very staid, and you weren't allowed to talk, and you weren't allowed to move and now they're all filled with people sitting on computers and, you know, the kids are able to chat, there's sing-along song times. There's, you know, a whole different environment now for the library, and the local libraries, I also find, don't have as many books. Instead they've got computers, and they've got, they've got magazines, they've got areas for meetings, it's completely changed, really, with our society. But, with all this going on, it might have changed with the positive, but there's more and more ways to access this information. In fact, there's so many online courses and podcasts and YouTube channels, that you've mentioned, there's so many out there, that it can be a little bit overwhelming, in fact. How can we be confident in finding the right courses or the right learning source for ourself?

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 9:33
You know, you're absolutely right. We are so lucky to live in this time, where if we have a question, we can, we don't even need to type it into our phones anymore. We can even just ask one of those voice assistants, that I wouldn't say in case I've left any switched on.

Gillian Duncan 9:48
Oh don't! They pop up and give me the fright of my life all the time.

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 9:53
You know, but any questions we have we've got the answer just at the touch of a button, or just by speaking it out loud. Which is amazing. But you're right. There's so many out there that sometimes we think, 'Where do I start? You know, I really want to learn about x, y, and z, where do I start?'. And you do a quick search online and you're like, 'Oh, my goodness!'. There are so many courses. There are so many people talking about it, how do you know you know where to start? And so, I think you've really got to start by asking yourself, 'What is it I actually want or need to learn, specifically?'. So, like anything in life, get really specific about it. What is it you actually want to know or be able to do, and to what extent? And that will give you a clue as to whether you're looking for a course or something a bit shorter, like just some articles to read or a YouTube video to watch. So really, just asking yourself those questions, and also asking yourself, how you want to learn. So you could read about it, you could listen, you could watch something, or you can actually attend something either physically or virtually. But the key here is to remember that it's not always the easiest way is not always the best. When it comes to learning, we actually learn more if we struggle a little bit. So you might think, 'Oh, you know what, I could listen to podcasts all day. So that is definitely what the route that I'm going to go down to learn this new thing', but because it's so easy and so normal for you to do that, there's just a part of your brain that doesn't activate and doesn't engage as much as if you're doing something that's a little bit more of a stretch for you.

Gillian Duncan 11:29
So it becomes more passive, and more relaxed. Perhaps you're switching off when you're listening to it?

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 11:35
A wee bit, yeah, or you're just - it's just, there's part of that struggle. So I think when we look back on some of the key achievements that we've made, you know, whether that's been learning to drive or learning to, I don't know, learning to make something really exciting in the kitchen or, you know, whatever it is, we've learned, probably the things that we remember when I asked you what's been the most, the hardest thing you've ever learned is, or what's been the most exciting thing that you've ever learned, you didn't just wake up one day, read one blog post and then understood it. It was a bit of a struggle.

Gillian Duncan 12:08
Yeah, you're right. You're right. Yeah, definitely. I mean, obviously, I play the violin. Everybody knows that I'm very much into my music and that I started when I was seven years old. And I did have a break in it, and, you know, after having that break, and coming back as an adult, now in my 40's, that has been a huge jump, and the commitment that I have had to make in order to progress from that point that I was when I gave up when it was 16, it has been huge, but the rewards have been absolutely amazing for me. It's come at a sacrifice to time and an awful lot of other things like sore fingers, but it's been, you know, to get that, my last certificate through the post to say that I'd passed, it was, it was just so rewarding.

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 12:50
Yeah. Yeah, and that's one of the other things to think about, actually, is the idea of getting a certificate. So, maybe we're learning something because we need that certificate. Maybe you need that qualification in order to apply for a particular job, or maybe you just really want the certificate, and so if that's important to you, then make sure that you, wherever it is, whatever way you choose to learn, is going to result in that certificate. Otherwise, you'll always feel like it's not, you've not finished.

Gillian Duncan 13:19
Absolutely. I again, that's another reason why I've gone back to my music lessons. When I was a child, I would play in orchestras, and I would play, you know, big pieces, and I had been playing in an orchestra from, I think I was 10 when I started. And then as an adult, I'm trying to get into an orchestra, and they say, 'No, you need your certificates'. And it wasn't a big thing, when I was a kid. We just went in and played. But as an adult, they're looking for proof that you can play and the competition is huge. So that's another reason why I've come back and started my studies again because I need those certificates.

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 13:54
Yeah, definitely. Definitely, and just one other thing to add on there is around interactions. So sometimes, depending on what it is we want to learn, we know that we want to learn from lots of other people, so sometimes if we are, say, for example, we wanted to learn how to create a successful podcast, there our books on it. I'm sure there are podcasts on it. There are lots of ways, lots of courses on it. But one of the most valuable things would be to speak to people, like yourself, who've been there and done that and learned, you know, learn from other people, not just, you know, not just what the textbooks say. So I think that's really important when you're choosing a course or any kind of...selecting resources to learn from. It's about, you know, 'Do I need that input?', and most of the time the answer is going to be, 'Yes'. So asking yourself, 'Does it come with a community that I can be part of, so that I can ask questions, or just listen to other people's challenges and experiences? Is there a class that I can go to to actually meet people that are learning along with me?'. Those kind of things. I think that interaction can be really key when you're learning.

Gillian Duncan 14:59
I think it's really important, actually, to have people who are on the same wavelength as you at the same time. It's, I think it's really good to have that sort of solidarity and accountability. But also, like you were saying, when you're going to speak to somebody who's had an experience, or they've gone through something that you want to do and want to learn, it's good to talk to more than one, because sometimes, I find, advice can be really conflicting. So, I think you've got to be on your guard as well to make sure that you find that the right advice and the right path of learning for yourself.

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 15:37
Yeah, that's key. It's the, is the right advice for you. So absolutely, speak to a few different people, and then pick the bits that you think will work for you.

Gillian Duncan 15:47
Yeah, one size doesn't fit all.

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 15:49

Gillian Duncan 15:50
And that works in learning as well.

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 15:52
Yeah, totally.

Gillian Duncan 15:53
So, one of the biggest challenges, I think, adults face going back into learning is that there are so many demands on our time, and we just feel that we can't spare those extra hours to go out and learn a new skill. What's your advice, Jennifer, on how we can make time to learn?

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 16:12
Gillian, you are so right. This is the, this is the biggest barrier, I think, when it comes to learning is that it's not always a priority. And so one of the key things that we can do is make it a priority. And so for a lot of people that is as simple as blocking the timeout in their calendar. So, every, I don't know, every Tuesday morning, as if we're going to an actual class, block it out, as if you were actually physically going somewhere. Even if you're just walking around the block and listening to an audiobook or something. Doesn't matter, block it out. So there are lots of famous people such as Oprah Winfrey that famously set aside five hours a week for what they called 'deliberate learning', and we've probably all heard of Google, famously giving everyone 20% of their time to go and work on other projects. And I think that's, they're really great ideas, if you just set aside some time for that deliberate side of learning. So like I said earlier, we're all learning all the time. So simply by listening to this podcast, you'll learn something. Simply by, you know, reading, even a magazine or reading a book, you're going to learn something. But there's a big difference between consuming content and actually learning. And so even if it's just 10 minutes a day, you know, or half an hour while you eat your sandwich at your desk or, you know that, the 20 minutes that you're in the car doing the school run, make a deliberate thing that you do, and not only make it consistent, but also make it deliberate so that you're really listening and paying attention and that you're maybe making some notes on it afterwards. You know, you're not just passively consuming that content because we consume so much content every day, and it's not all actually, it's not all learning, it's just just observing half the time.

Gillian Duncan 18:11
Yeah, I love this concept of blocking time out. That's exactly what I have to do with my music because when you look at it in the grand scheme of things, you know, I'm running a business, I'm running a household, I got two kids, I got my husband, I got my dog, you know, I got a very, busy, busy life and music and learning to play the violin or the piano - I'm coming up for a piano exam soon as well -you know, that is, well, people see that as a hobby, don't they? They see it as something that's a sideline, and, you know, it's not really important. Now, to me, it's really important. I want to go into an orchestra and I want to learn more music. It's a passion. You know, it's a hobby that I've got with a passion. But it's, it's a little bit more than that, to me, it's learning. There's a lot of different things you learn with music, it's reading the music, it's interpreting it and it's, there's a whole lot of things. But in order for me to do that, I have to practice and I have to set time aside, you know, you can't, you just can't all of a sudden pick a violin up and know how to play it. And even if you play something, in order to make it sound good, you still have to practice. And that is the key. So I have to make sure I set a time every single day to practice. And the only way I can do that is by setting an alarm on my phone. So that I say, 'Right, each day I've got, you know, it can be 10, 20, 30 minutes a day practice', and as I get closer to exams or closer to, you know, finishing a piece, the time gets longer, but I have to have smaller sessions during the day. I might spend 10 minutes, but the 10 minutes I do have is very focused. So I'll, on my music mark out, maybe 8 to 10 bars that I'm needing to learn. I need to learn off by heart or I need to have a better control of them or there's a technique with the bow I need to you know, develop, whatever it is, you know, intonation, you know, really bad notes getting screeched out here! You know, I focus on that. So, if I've got 10-15 minutes, that's where my focus goes. And that's my target.

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 20:10
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And I think that also goes back, just to reassure those that were thinking, 'I don't want to go back to school I don't want to...', you know, anybody that was feeling a little bit scared of continuing their learning, it doesn't need to be scary. It doesn't need to mean evening classes. If you don't have time for that. You know, start with what you've got. So if you can, if you can carve out 10-15 minutes while, you know, an hour while your other half watches something on the TV that you're not that interested in? Go and listen to something else. Go and watch something else. Sign up for an online course. Just make it a priority, and you know, this is the same advice that, if I was a fitness or health professional, I would say the same thing, wouldn't I? I would say, 'Mark it in your diary as a priority and then you're more likely to actually go and do it'.

Gillian Duncan 21:06
Yeah. It's managing to break things down into small chunks. So, you know, when you sign up for a course, and you're saying, online is brilliant, because you don't need to leave the house, and you can study anywhere you want, as long as you book that time, and you do a section of it, and bite it away in little chunks. You know, each chunk, you've learned, you move on, you've got another one, move on. That's the way we learn it. We can't learn it overnight, and it's usually the best way to learn as well, isn't it, in small doses?

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 21:32
Yeah, absolutely. We really can't concentrate for any more than, sort of, 90 minutes without a decent break. So, even if you're going on full day courses, they'll have breaks built in and they'll have those built in for a reason. And it's a neuroscientific reason that I won't go into too much detail, but it helps the brain just, you know, those days where you're in the shower, and you're not thinking about anything and all of a sudden you just have this great idea?

Gillian Duncan 21:58
Yeah, yeah.

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 21:59
That's what happens when we go on a break. So we do need those breaks. So don't, don't think, 'Oh, I've got all Saturday. You know, the kids are at football. I've got the whole day to myself. I'm going to learn. I'm just gonna knuckle down and get through this whole course in one day'. That's a huge mistake.

Gillian Duncan 22:17
Yeah, that's gonna put you off from day one, isn't it?

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 22:19
Well, it will put your from day one, but also that you're just going to get exhausted after about an hour.

Gillian Duncan 22:25

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 22:26
or an hour and a half, and you're just not going to be taking any more in, so if you are...

Gillian Duncan 22:31
That's when you start, procrastinating, isn't it? And that's, and that's when the laundry gets done. And your house has never, never been as clean.

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 22:41
Yeah, exactly. And then you know what, you'll look back and you go that course was a waste of time, whereas actually it wasn't. It was just you weren't, you know, you weren't taking those breaks, you weren't following the course with the energy that you need to, in order to actually understand it and embed that learning.

Gillian Duncan 22:57
I think that goes back to the days of our school and being in a classroom. Some of our classes, we would have like double periods, and we'd be sitting in the class or, you know, like an hour and 20 minutes, some days, and you'd be like, in the same subject doing the same bit of work, and you really, oh my goodness, you lose focus, you maybe not be in the class that you want to be in, like you might not be studying a subject that you enjoy, and you just have to be there. It's just such a chore for you and it drags on. And I think that kind of triggers off memories, doesn't it? When you're sitting and you say that, 'I have to sit here for this length of time and I have to study for the whole time', I think that's, that triggers all that, those memories back.

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 23:40
It does. It really spoils the idea of learning for you probably for life, actually, but again, that comes back to this idea that as adults, we've got a choice. So you know, we've got a choice as to what we learn. We've got a choice as to how we learn. If we don't have that choice, because, for example, we've got to do some compliance course for work or something, then it's about thinking, you know, 'What's in this for me?', and trying to remind yourself of why you're doing it.

Gillian Duncan 24:08
Yeah, that's quite a big one, isn't it? Because we can't all do things just for fun, or just for our own personal interest. Sometimes we have to do courses that are, you know, set to us by our employer, or that we need to do in order to get into a career, and that is obviously going back to the school days as well, when, you know, I had to sit certain, I remember, certain subjects in order to get to university, to study the degree that I wanted to do, in order to get the job that I wanted. There was a whole load of subjects, over those years, that I didn't even want to touch on. I didn't, I was interested in, but I had to do them. So I had to have that goal, at the end of the day, where I was going, and that drive.

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 24:47
Yeah, definitely.

Gillian Duncan 24:48
That's brilliant advice. So I'm going to ask you for some more advice, however. With anybody listening, who has been thinking about continuing their education and skillset, perhaps in order to improve their success in finding employment, perhaps or coming back after a career break, or, you know, having children, or they want to boost their current career, but they're feeling a little bit nervous or reluctant to start learning again, what would you like to tell them?

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 25:20
Well, that as I keep saying, learning as a choice. So either you choose to keep doing things the way that you've always done them, or you choose to learn new ways of doing things. Pick a way to learn that suits you. Find a course that you enjoy. Listen to an audiobook that you're just really engaged in. Something that really gets your attention. Something that really sparks something off in your mind. Something that you can relate to, and whatever method you choose doesn't really matter, but it's that, it's that feeling of, 'I want more. I'm looking forward to sitting down with my book. Sitting down, putting on that audio, that online course, or I'm looking forward to next week's evening class because I want to learn more about it'. And I think the key for me is that I strongly believe that anyone can do anything with the right training and support.

Gillian Duncan 26:11
I think that you're completely right. I do agree with you. I think that's brilliant advice. And we shouldn't be put off by past experiences and your advice, the whole podcast interview today, has been spot on. It's finding out the best method for you. And you can dip your toe in the water, can't you? You don't have to go in full whack. You can talk to people about the courses that you want to enrole in. Find out a little bit more by them before you make that commitment. And you can try the subjects out by listening to podcasts, or downloading books, or visiting your library, if you look fashioned like me, and you know you can do all those things, and then give yourself permission to learn, and perhaps treat it as part of your self care. We're big, huge believers, these days of, you know, promoting self care, giving that time to yourself, so why shouldn't learning be part of your self care routine?

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 27:05
Yeah, it absolutely is.

Gillian Duncan 27:07
Now Jennifer, as founder of River Park Learning and Development, you've created a Learning Journal to help those who are working through a course. I have this journal and I have used it myself and found it to be really, really helpful. Perhaps you'd like to tell us a little more about the journal and why you created it?

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 27:27
So I created it because so many of us are listening to podcasts while we're at the dog or we're listening to audiobooks while we're in the car, and as I said earlier, the key difference between consuming content and actually learning it, is what we do with all of that information. So it's about processing that information, and the best way to do that is by taking notes. So the learning journal is a bit more than just a notebook. So the first few pages are filled with prompts to get you thinking before you actually start to learn. So before you switch on the podcast or before you even enrol in the online course, it asks you just to really be more specific about what your objective is. And then there are pages that help you take notes with tips on how to do just that. And then there's some reflective pages at the end so that you can really sit down and reflect on what you've learned, think about how you're going to implement what you've learned, and think about how learning in that way worked for you so that you know next time, whether to choose the same kind of resource or whether you need something else.

Gillian Duncan 28:35
As I said, I found the journal extremely helpful. I've been using it to, again, learn my music studies. I've been using it for the theory side of my music. So I'm trying to learn how to write small compositions and oh, there's all different questions that I have to, all different things I have to learn. And one of the things I love about the journal is that reflective aspect. So once I've written my notes, and I've written down what I'm wanting to achieve and what, you know, where I want to go with it, at the end, once I've sat down and done my studying, and once I've done that area, then I can sit down and say, 'Well, how did it get on with that? How did it feel? Did I progress the way I thought I was going to progress? Perhaps I should try studying in a different way? Or, what more can I do to improve my ability to, to learn this and to let it sink in? And also, how am I going to proceed? What's the next thing that I need to focus on?'. So I really, really enjoyed using the journal.

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 29:35
I'm so pleased to hear that. Thanks Gillian.

Gillian Duncan 29:38
Oh, it's my pleasure. Jennifer. Over on the website, you have some great informative blog posts surrounding learning and a fantastic list of courses that you have on offer. Would you be able to tell us a little more about your courses?

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 29:51
Yeah, so the courses that we offer, their generally aimed at businesses, smaller businesses who don't necessarily have training department within there, but the courses are designed in such a way that they can bring people together from lots of different organisations or from no organisations. So perhaps you run your own business, or perhaps you're not employed at all, but you just are interested in a particular subject area, and that won't matter at all, because everyone there will be from a different place. And we can all come together and learn. Some of the courses are self-paced, because some people prefer that to just stop it and start it and access it whenever. And others involve virtual workshops. So, a bit like a webinar, if you've ever been on a webinar, but more interactive, where we get that real sense of sharing experiences with the other people that are present.

Gillian Duncan 30:45
So that really encompasses everything that we've been discussing about the positive side of learning. So you've got all these different options in which you can learn, and you've also got that supportive community there if you want it.

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 30:59
Yeah, absolutely. I think that's really key, is to have someone else that you can talk to, whether that is, you know, if you're, if you're working in an office, maybe you can just turn your chair around and ask someone else, but if you don't have that luxury, or the other people in your office are not have the same kind of mindset as you, then I also have a Facebook group, where anyone that's participating in a course, or actually, even if you're not participating in one of my courses, but you're still interested in learning and development, then you can come and join my facebook group, where you can meet other like minded people and talk about the challenges that you're having with your learning and get some other ideas about how other people managed to find that time and how other people take notes and things like that.

Gillian Duncan 31:42
That's brilliant. So it is a great supportive community that we can share our own knowledge, experiences of learning and help other people to overcome any challenges that they're facing with it as well.

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 31:55
Yeah, because you know, see if, you know, what you've been sharing today, Gillian, about learning the violin. While someone else might not be learning, even a musical instrument, they might be learning. I don't know how to work...Microsoft Excel is one of my, one of my most popular subjects. Someone may be learning that, but what you've just said about spending, spending that little bit of time each day and what you said about reflecting on what you've learned, might just help someone else.

Gillian Duncan 32:22

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 32:23
So, that's why that's key.

Gillian Duncan 32:24
So it doesn't matter what you're learning. It's, it's really just about the learning process rather than the subject.

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 32:32
Yeah, definitely.

Gillian Duncan 32:33
That's great Jennifer. So, everybody listening who wants to get involved in learning and have that supportive community, then head over to Jennifer's Facebook group, and I will share all of the details about the group on the post page for this podcast at clarityjunction.com/learning and it will also include links through to your website where you can find the courses and also that brilliant Learning Journal.

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 33:03
Thanks Gillian.

Gillian Duncan 33:04
Thank you so much for chatting with me today, Jennifer. I hope that this chat will have inspired our listeners to take the next steps towards continuing their learning and to realise just how important learning is to our personal development.

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 33:20
Me too. Thanks so much for having me, Gillian.

Gillian Duncan 33:23
It's been an absolute pleasure talking to you, Jennifer. Thank you for being on.

Jennifer Lindsay-Finan 33:26
Thank you.

Gillian Duncan 33:27
That's all for this episode. Thank you so much to Jennifer Lindsay-Finan for bringing and sharing her advice about learning to the Clarity Junction podcast today. I hope that you have been inspired by Jennifer to continue your learning journey as an adult, be able to look at learning in a different light and incorporate it into your daily or weekly personal development routine. To find out how to connect with Jennifer, please visit clarityjunction.com/learning. There you will find links to Jennifer's website, Learning Journal and her Facebook group

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Thanks for listening. Bye for now, and keep being awesome.

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