Why I took this class
How is what I learned in this class unique to me?
What I learned in this class was unique to me because it was about me. I learned about myself.
I have been interested in social innovation since high school (though I didn’t know what it was called until last year,) but not until this class did I understand why I am interested in particular topics. In a way it was like soul searching. The activities, blog posts, and career planning helped me think about myself, my history, my future, and my thoughts and feelings.
One activity that I think back to that illustrates this point was class 5 when we were discussing “really big issues” and “important issues”. I used to think of important issues through the lens of what affected the most people or affected people in the biggest way. This activity helped me realize that I shouldn’t necessarily be thinking about what are the important issues facing the world, per se, but rather what issues facing the world are important to me. This was a large paradigm shift, and a rewarding one.
I had been naturally drawn to several issues, including job creation, education, and environmental issues, but had never seen the overlap, and never seriously thought about why I was so drawn to them. When thinking about the 8 motivators presented in the activity (values, family, experience, recognition, faith, analysis, heritage, and legacy) I was able to more clearly realize what makes an issue important to me, and how they relate.
While in most classes I usually do the minimum amount of work to obtain an “A,” in this class, I found myself spending much more time than necessary to write the blog posts because I would spend time thinking. Sometimes I would almost have a complete post ready when I would decide to start over and write about something else.
Coming into this class I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do in social innovation. I already had a 20 year plan. As often happens, however, plans change and new opportunities and ideas arise. The last section of this course allowed me to reflect on the plans and ideas floating around in my mind, put them on paper, and really put plans into action. One idea that had been on the back of my mind for years, collecting dust on the back shelf, was brought to the forefront of my mind. If it weren’t for this class it probably would have remained on the backburner for some time, but I am now actively pursuing the idea as my primary career choice, rather than a back-up to be explored in 5 years. What a difference this could make.
How will I continue this process of self-reflection and layered learning?
There are a lot of things that I hope to do to continue the process of self-reflection and layered learning that has taken place in this class. Luckily, I feel like this process has become a part of my life over the past several years, through natural curiosity and desire for betterment. I do, however, often get too busy to keep up the habits I would like.
Going forward, I want to keep my goals in this regard simple and doable, yet effective. One of the most important aspects for me is the people I associate with. I want to continue to associate with those who share similar interests and desires. When I am with such people, we naturally discuss issues that promote self-reflection. Another important goal I have is to maintain a thought journal. Not one that focuses on daily events, but one that focuses on things that impress me or questions that have been pressing on my mind. Often, by writing about such topics, I learn a tremendous amount. Lastly, I want o keep this process going through the reading of books…I have a long list.
I don’t have any set numerical goals or deadlines for these things. Maybe I should, but I have found that doing such is hard to maintain and sometimes results in the loss of the thing all together. Rather, I want to make this such a strong desire in my life that I prioritize these things and they become habits that happen without thought.