I’ve been buying, enjoying, growing, and killing orchids for at least 20yrs. This year, I have reached a new level of orchid ownership: I learned how to care for them, why they die and how “Big Orchid” sets us up to fail.
As an L&D nerd, I’m wondering why now? Why do I suddenly care enough to learn and change my habits of buying, enjoying, and killing?
- Self-directed: we all know self-directed learning is a driver in adults converting a task into long-term memory. The why, the WIIFM. With orchids, I have chosen my entire field of study including my instructor (Michael’s Orchids on YouTube).
- Attention: the orchids have had my attention for about 2 decades. Now they have my attention to help them live their best possible life. I think for me, this has accidentally bumped into my growth (ageing) into appreciating nature more and my move to minimalism. Old me saw orchids as flowering centerpieces to collect and discard. Today’s me sees them as a challenge to my (green thumb) skills and something to concur. I don’t value disposal things anymore either.
- Transformative: Michael, my unknowing instructor, has challenged my previously held notion that orchids bloom and die. In a video, he taught me how “Big Orchid” sets us up to fail with the peat moss, mildewy, root clump. Who knew! (Big orchid is a tongue in cheek phrase that I am using.) Michael has excited me which makes me share which aides in converting to long term memory. I’m excited by learning that it is not all my fault that they die which increases my attention, which aides to the transformative of me, my learning, and my skills.
- Emotion: Orchid flowers literally spark joy for me. And I have mentioned that I’m excited by the rewards of my orchid care? I have one that is in full bloom and another growing an impressive bloom spike! This makes me more excited…I see the flowers of my labor and I want MORE. This aide my transformation and ups my attention even more.
- Spacing: This is the biggest thing that I don’t think we do well enough at work. But here, in self-directed land, I tend to be a bit of a weekend orchid warrior. When do I drill holes in the pots? On weekends. When do my deep inspecting and flushing? On weekends. When I started with the orchid rehab process, it required doing a tea bath for a day and dry for a day, repeat until the leaves are fully hydrated. Orchids are living creatures. And like humans, sometimes they need to dive in deep to the tea bath and then take a break and focus on something else. Then dive in again to the tea bath. This is what I don’t think most of the industry does well with adult learning. Budgets, time away from home or job, and waining attention levels mean we tend to get in and get out. But how does that lead to transformation, long term memory, and the deep reward of flowers? It doesn’t. When the learning does sink in, I wonder what else aided it or if it was a fluke.
Why now for me? A combination of interests running into each other.
What makes it work? Desire, attention, efforts, spacing, and seeing rewards/
How can you do this in your L&D world?