Solutions At Hand

Handhelds, smartphones, mobile technology and the digital lifestyle.

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    Michael is a trainer and consultant specializing in making mobility technology work in people's everyday lives.
  • December 2005
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Attitude is everything

Posted by Michael Brown on December 7, 2005

I’ve always believed that attitude is everything, and is one of the key predictors of one’s future outcomes. How you approach things in life is just as important as what you do in life. Having a positive attitude towards continuous learning can really help you get what you want out of life, and make it pleasurable to learn, as opposed to fearing the changes that life tends to bring. In my own case, I went through college twice and earned two diplomas; the first in Radio & TV Broadcasting when I was 18, and the second in Electronics Engineering (Technician) when I was 27. The second time was more interesting as I was much older that most of my classmates, but my accumulated life experience to that point had made the 2 year course much easier and I graduated with honours at the end of the course. My secret is very simple: Learning is like exercise – the more you do it, the easier it is. If you don’t use it… You lose it! By being willing to learn, and by exercising that skill by reading, doing courses, attending training, working on self-study, or learning by other means, you will be better able to cope with the dramatic amounts of change we face these days, especially the rapid technological change we face today.

My Mom is a perfect example of learning being a life-long skill that must be exercised. When I was still a kid, Mom was taking University correspondance courses, bettering her education in her field so her future options would be open for her. Mom did other courses and forms of learning throughout her career, as well as doing special interest courses. At work, she also received computer training (as well as taking evening courses) and learned how to use the Internet. 8 years ago, her continuous learning skills served her well in a time of crisis; Mom was diagnosed with Cancer. Many people just wither when faced with such a drastic change in their lives, leaving their fate strictly in the hands of the medical professionals who treat them, or they simply give up and let what will be, be. Not my Mom; she scoured the Internet to find out all she could about her form of Cancer, including all possible forms of treatment. Mom was always informed (because of her research) when it came to her doctor’s visits, so they were very productive sessions. Mom also sought out homeopathic solutions as well as conventional medicine approaches to dealing with Cancer. Her learning about all possible treatment options allowed her to progress through her Cancer treatment with the peace of mind offered by “knowing your enemy” and how to battle it. Since she had searched out all possible treatment options, she was better prepared to face the challenges that the treatment of her form of Cancer would present her with. With the combination of conventional and homeopathic medicine, she and her practitioners were able to successfully treat her Cancer, and forced it into remission.

A few months ago, Mom discovered that the cancer was active again. Like her previous experience, she scoured the Internet to find the latest information on treatment regimes and homeopathic solutions. She consulted her naturopath and her doctors, and was prepared to discuss treatment options knowing full well what they entailed. Mom said it was pretty much “old hat” in having to face treatment again. This time, it was going to require two types of chemotherapy, and the possibility of Radiation treatment. Mom left the management of her treatment schedule to Dad (and his Palm Tungsten E), and focused on getting herself through the treatment program. She’s not quite finished the program yet, but she has responded so well to the two types of chemo that her doctors have declared that there is no need to pursue radiation therapy.

Both Mom and Dad know that all the technological toys we have these days are TOOLS. They are designed to serve a purpose; we merely have to learn how to use them effectively. Many people are afraid of computers and similar devices, simply because they don’t understand them, and are unwilling to learn (or maybe have not had someone who could teach them appropriately). The thing is, technology is here to stay, and it gets more powerful and complicated every year. But, as you can see, they make for powerful tools for good. The Internet provided Mom with bookloads of information on her cancer. Dad’s Palm helped them manage the numerous doctor’s visits, as well as carrying a lot of reference material and notes. They even loaded it up with pictures of my two-year old daughter in order to show friends and staff at the Cancer centre (yes, a Palm can be a great brag book!). You just have to be willing to learn how to use these tools. Mastering them can bring great benefits, so don’t forget – attitude is everything. You can do it!

On a personal note, thanks to those people who wrote to ask how my Mom is doing. She is doing well, and has her usual positive attitude towards her treatment and life in General. She’s looking forward to spoiling her granddaughter (my daughter) this Christmas and spending time with the family. Thanks again to those who wrote, or sent silent prayers! Just remember, knowledge is power; as Louis Pasteur once said, “fortune favours the prepared mind”. May your fortunes be favorable ones!

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