The answer to a great many things
“I have a feeling that in the end, probably, that training is the answer to a great many things. You can do a lot if you are properly trained, and I hope I have been.”
— Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
With characteristic reserve, Queen Elizabeth II summed up her secret for handling the demands of her long career as she marked the 40th year of her reign. As her biographer Sally Bedell Smith pointed out, “Her formal education was spotty by today’s standards. Women of her class and generation were typically schooled at home, with greater emphasis on the practical than the academic.” Now, with the Queen having passed the 60-year anniversary of her reign, and seemingly destined to be the longest-ruling monarch in Britain’s history, it would appear that her practical education has served her well.
As Matt’s multiple learning disabilities were diagnosed one by one, we learned firsthand the invaluable role of training, as developmental milestones that happen naturally for most children had to be taught to Matt with patience, practice and repetition. It’s really no different for anyone; when it comes to becoming more adept at a skill, even the gifted must rely on hours of disciplined training and practice.
The good news is that training for competence is within the reach of anyone who longs to improve, and is willing to put in the time required. Often, we will have to prioritize among many opportunities and focus on one, or just a few, to achieve mastery before moving on to other skills. But the opportunities for training, whether self-taught or with help, have never been as widely available and relatively affordable as they are now.
What would you like to get better at? Do you know of any online learning opportunities you’d like to share? Feel free to post links in the comments below.