The first year and a half of Blooms to Blossoms I wrote about the integration of wellness, lifelong learning, and personal development from a personal perspective. During this time, a network of colleagues and friends made contributions to building our community of scholars, practitioners, and pupils. Entering 2021, my primary goal is to add to the knowledge base focusing on this integration.  Part of my work will be through co-creating content by expanding on the work of those in my ever-growing network.  

There are two objectives for BtoB Matters:

**To share information about the integration of wellness, lifelong learning, and personal development, and
**To show that this integration can make a difference in life.

The first of each month I post feature articles on the Blooms to Blossoms homepage and in The Hive.  I plan to use BtoB Matters to share thoughts, ideas, and personal perspectives to extend and broaden the meaning within these articles.  

Learn Like an Athlete

If you are thinking about learning something new and challenging yourself with it, there is no better way than by learning like an athlete. Athletes train. Musicians train. Performers train.  Why not you?  

Whatever path you take to learn, you should think like an athlete and practice like one as well.  A practical, functional, and sequential process along with a clear understanding of your strengths and weaknesses will guide your learning.  Developing a self-directed learning plan allows you to learn at your own pace, build up your self-confidence, and achieve a sense of accomplishment.

How do you train yourself to become a better learner? You train yourself by finding out what questions to ask yourself and how to answer them, and then you train yourself to find the right answers. The second part of the learning plan is not so much what you do, but how you do it. When you are in a classroom or with a group of people learning something new consider these three practices: 

**take the time to listen carefully, 
**take part in the discussions, and 
**ask questions to gain a deeper understanding.

The key to a lifelong self-directed learning plan is to apply these principles to your personal goals and objectives.

Read the full article: Learn Like an Athlete
Read more on the topic: The Montessori Method: A Self-Education Mindset for Creating Innovators 

Improvement and Tending a Garden

Self-improvement means working on your abilities and talents and working to become the best version of yourself you can be. This may seem like an impossible task, but it is something that is best done step by step. Personal growth is a never-ending journey, as you strive to become a better version of yourself, no matter how great you are already.  If you decide to take a journey of self-improvement, the goals you set should be realistic and straightforward.  Setting milestones is a way to achieve gradual success to encourage more self-improvement. Combine these minor victories with the consistent application of what you learn through your personal development journey.

Remember, the plan you develop should allow for adjustments along the way. Lifelong learning and personal development will take patience, commitment, determination, and perseverance. Personal growth is a journey that does not end. You continue to change your mindset, so it matches your goals.

Read the full article:  In 100 Words: Improvement and Tending a Garden
Read more on the topic: Life is Like a Garden

Why Do We Feel Nostalgia?

Childhood memories play a vital role in forming one’s identity, and this holds true for adults as well. Past experiences shape us and our behavior.  Today we reflect on why the act of remembering can help us search for meaning and to rewrite the history of our lives. Nostalgia connects our past and present selves. Nostalgia can give us a positive view of the past. Indulging in nostalgia can help us gain a greater sense of continuity and meaning in life. It can uniquely enable us to communicate a deeper understanding of ourselves and our relationships with our family, friends, colleagues, and even the world.

“We are living in a time of change and instability right now. Nostalgia can actually be a stabilizing force for us. Studies have shown that people with a greater propensity for nostalgia are better able to cope with adversity and are more likely to seek emotional support, advice and practical help from others. It’s shown to boost a person’s mood, reduce stress, increase feelings of social connectedness to others and offer optimism about the future. Research shows nostalgia makes people feel loved and valued and increases perceptions of social support when people are lonely”  Nelson-Simley, 2020, para. 4).

View the video: Why Do We Feel Nostalgia?
Read more on the topic:  Are Your Feeling Nostalgic These Days?

The concepts of how the pieces of life are integrated and impact the quality of life and learning is of deep interest to me.  In the first issue of BtoB Matters I offer some insights and additional readings on the topics of learning, improving, and how the past influences the present and future.  It is my hope that you find BtoB Matters interesting and useful.  

More January Feature Articles include:

Happier January

Mental Dynamics: How to Constantly Change and Evolve Your Mindset

Five Surprising Ways Exercise Changes Your Brain