Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
This is Leo Notenboom for askleo.info.
A few weeks ago I discussed the The one skill you should hone. That skill is web searching, and I remain convinced that it's perhaps the number one skill to help you use your computer more effectively.
But it dawned on me the other day that it's not always about skills. It's often about attitude.
What attitude am I talking about? Well, I'll put it this way. If you desperately wished that computers, software, and other technologies would quit changing then you're not going to be happy with what I'm going to say:
In my experience the people that are the most comfortable with technology, the people that use it the most effectively and are the least hindered by it are the folks that not only accept change as inevitable, but even look forward to it as it comes along. These are the folks who are curious, who are interested in learning what the technology can do for them, and how they can best leverage the latest and greatest to make their lives more effective, efficient and fun.
I'll contrast this with the many, many people out there who, for example, learn one way of doing something and steadfastly refuse to explore other or newer ways of performing that task more effectively or perhaps in new ways altogether.
The former group understands that technology is a tool to be used and exploited.
The later group? They may not realize it, but they're slaves to the very technology that they refuse to let go of.
The later group will often argue that time spent learning new things, which will also eventually be rendered obsolete, is time wasted and time diverted from actually accomplishing the tasks at hand. And I'll even agree that to a degree. It is possible to waste a lot of time picking up new tools and technologies that you'll never use. However that's no excuse not to focus on areas that will benefit you.
Now, I'll absolutely concede that change can be painful, change can be wasteful, and that not all change is for the good. But I absolutely believe that the pain of progress is worth it, that there is more positive progress than there is negative, and that the results of accepting change are more beneficial than hiding your virtual head in the virtual sand.
Let's face it, Windows 98, Word 2000, parts and support for your 10 year old computer, heck, even parts and support for your 40 year old classic car aren't going to be readily available forever. They may live on as specialty items, antiques or collectibles, but after a time they're just no longer viable as actual, useful, day-to-day tools.
Prepare for it.
Change is inevitable.
I'd love to hear what you think. Visit askleo.info and enter 11533 in the go to article number box to access the show notes and to leave me a comment. While you're there, browse over 1,100 technical questions and answers on the site.
Till next time, I'm Leo Notenboom, for askleo.info.