Clark Quinn's Learnings about Learning
(The Official Quinnovation blog)

16 March 2009

Do what you love, love what you do

Clark @ 4:00 AM

For the Working/Learning blog carnival, the topic is, as always, “work at learning, learning at work”.  Last time I participated (almost a year ago), I talked about how learning should be fun, so you shouldn’t be working at at, it really should be ‘hard fun’.  I want to expand on that topic, as there are probably characteristics that make it fun or not.

Most people who have hobbies invest time and money in equipment, practice, learning, and more. If you love what you do, it’s as much avocation as vocation, learning about it should be fun.  You’ll naturally be tapping into how to continue to learn.

For example, I love what I do, so I was thrilled to be able to follow the eLearning Guild‘s recent conference through Twitter (great as always, apparently); in particular Craig Wiggins, Eric Wilbanks, and heroically, John Zurovchak were really tracking the sessions they were in, bringing the content out and even bringing our queries in.  Their passion showed through, and fanned mine.

Of course, if you don’t love what you do (you work to live, as they say), there’s a different situation. Ideally, at least you’re doing something you prefer, and you just need to tap into the elements you like as motivation.  Frankly, while it should be incumbent on learning designers to help make it motivating, it’s also incumbent on the learner to take responsibility for learning too.  We, as learning folks, can’t make anyone learn, we can only create conditions for learning.

We should, however, be sensitive, and help our learners tap into their inner motivation, take responsibility for learning, and develop their abilities to learn.  If we do that, we’ve helped make it so you’re not working at learning, just learning and working.


  1. […] Quinn’s post fits right into the spirit of a session: Do What You Love, Love What You Do.  One thing he examines is the question of what makes learning fun, and therefore someone you want […]

    Pingback by Dave’s Whiteboard » Blog Archive » Working/Learning carnival: the latest session — 16 March 2009 @ 5:28 AM

  2. Clark: I’m totally in line with you here. Tapping into what intrinsically motivates learners is far more powerful than trying to entice them through external rewards. I’ve posted on the advice my grandfather gave me regarding loving what you do for work on eelearning – http://eelearning.wordpress.com/2009/03/16/my-grandfathers-advice/

    Comment by Dave Lee — 16 March 2009 @ 5:42 AM

  3. Clark, your comments both here and on Twitter are way too kind! Honestly, though, you inspire us regularly.
    Seems the least we could do is pass along a few good Tweets for you to enjoy!

    Comment by Eric Wilbanks — 16 March 2009 @ 1:01 PM

  4. Doing what you love makes learning a pleasure, and if you’re curious and love figuring things out, almost everything becomes an opportunity to learn. I agree with your post.

    Comment by Joan Vinall-Cox — 16 March 2009 @ 8:08 PM

  5. Kia ora Clark!

    Ken Robinson, in a recent video about his latest book, . . . In His Element, says exactly what you are bringing forward here. He makes the important distinction between what people may be good at and what they love doing.

    Obviously doing what you love and doing what you’re good at, if that combination can be found in the same pursuit, is extremely powerful.

    Catchya later

    Comment by Ken Allan — 20 March 2009 @ 2:33 AM

  6. This is one realization that every human should have but unfortunately our formal education robs this potential epiphany from us…

    Learning should ALWAYS be fun. It’s only then that you begin to make connect the learned material with your prior knowledge, making your learning experience effective.

    Comment by Effective learner — 28 August 2009 @ 9:38 PM

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