Are you growing?  I wasn’t sure about myself, so I tried an experiment.

Music has always been important to me, but I realized that I was stuck way in the past (my music “era” is the late 60’s and early 70’s), so I asked a bunch of music fan friends to recommend artists from the 1990’s to the present that they felt I should seriously explore.

Yes, I was curious about what I would learn about music in the process, and it was great adding 3500 songs to my iTunes library in 2016.  However, the experience taught me something unexpected – I learned the unique role that building habits plays in the learning and adapting process.

They say it takes 30 days of repetition to create a sustainable habit.  I realized through this music journey a sort of corollary to this rule – call it the Tipping Point of Learning.  You see, I had found for years that listening to new music never seemed to stick – my foundation of knowledge and interest was too big for a new song, album or even artist to really penetrate my consciousness.  However, through the sheer volume and the consistency of my new music initiative over a whole year, I realized that I had rewired my brain to now identify with a new, bigger foundation of knowledge, so the new input didn’t just bounce off – an old dog did learn some new tricks!

We’re in a rapidly changing world, so getting by without really learning and growing is getting harder all the time.  I encourage everyone to challenge themselves to grow by developing some new habits (good ones, of course) in 2017 and to experience the new perspective on life that they can reveal.

Some of the artists I either discovered or rediscovered in 2016: Porcupine Tree/Stephen Wilson; Leonard Cohen; My Morning Jacket; Wilco/Jeff Tweedy; White Stripes/Jack White; Ryan Adams; Alabama Shakes; Arcade Fire; Pearl Jam/Eddie Vedder; Sublime; Avett Brothers; Dawes; Whiskeytown; Tool; Radiohead; Beck; Courtney Barnett; Fleet Foxes; Sarah Bareilles; The Shins; Broken Bells; CAKE; Dave Matthews Band

Thanks for sharing time with me; as always, I welcome your feedback.  Please feel free to pass this message along to others who may find value.