Why a passion for learning is vital to success

Digital & Online

Today I mastered the art of Facebook markup language.

What on earth is Facebook markup language? It’s the web coding used by Facebook that allows fan page administrators to add fun stuff to their pages such as images, additional tabs and more.

I’ve battled with it for several years. It’s only after getting a better grasp of HTML that I was able to do this.

I think it’s fair to say that there isn’t a week that goes by when I don’t achieve some kind of personal goal like this.

I read all the time.

I wake up most mornings excited to go to work.

I don’t have a degree.

At school my favourite subjects were history and communications studies. I excelled at them.

I did go to university but I was a little older than most in my year because I had to re-take courses and exams.

I left after six months. I was bored rigid. My major was women’s studies with communications and sociology.

I’m 35 and until three years ago I regretted not completing my degree.

At that time I got very lucky. I found my passion – a passion that I was able to experience in my day job at the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) where I’m the digital media manager.

I manage the NSI Online Short Film Festival. I commission content for the NSI Online Industry Centre. I also produce content myself.

I manage NSI’s online spaces – I’m the voice of Twitter, Facebook and all the other online places you’ll find NSI. I deliver social media workshops in Winnipeg.

Why does this excite me more than getting a degree or propell me into the office every day?

Because I live my life on an ‘acclerated learning curve’ to coin the phrase from Adam Singer’s recent post on Future Buzz.

I’m entirely self-taught.

I’m hungry for information like you wouldn’t believe.

I spend a large part of my spare time learning. Learning about the internet. Learning about anything I can get my hands on that interests me.

Nobody made me do this. And nobody told me to do this. It’s just the way I choose to live.

In his post, Adam says, ‘You know nothing.’

I think that’s my motivator. I have a perpetual appetite for knowing as much as I can. And as soon as I do, more comes along.

If you aren’t happy in your job or feeling unfufiled I urge you to read Adam’s post – one of the most important posts I’ve read in a very long time.

Yes, it’s true, most people don’t live like this. But they should.

I feel extremely lucky to be one of them.

With that self-recognition I’ve been able to pay it forward.

My learning doesn’t start and stop with me. I’ve travelled to Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary to deliver workshops on social media. For me, that is the ultimate fulfilment.

Not only am I learning like crazy but I’m trying my hardest to teach others.

What purpose does knowledge serve if it sits inside one person’s head?

So if you’re scratching your own head wondering why your life seems incomplete, please remember that a passion for learning can be vital to your success.


  1. Liz , that's so true. I am learning so much more these days than I ever used to and it's because I am enjoying what I do, more than I ever used to. There is always so much to learn everyday and I love it! I am going to pop over and read Adam Singer. Thankyou

  2. I think we're living in a significant transition period. Things are shifting. There's SO MUCH to learn.

  3. I feel exactly the same way Liz! I love learning and my husband is always telling me the things I've learned are amazing. And meeting you today was so awesome – it is just such a treat to meet and talk to someone in REAL LIFE that speaks my language!

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