Even in September, the heat in Arizona is incredible. If you stand in the sun, it feels like you’re being simultaneously plugged into the mains electricity and enveloped by a thick blanket of heat. For someone used to the misty murky Autumn in London, it’s very invigorating.
But I wasn’t there for the climate, or even for the monster trucks and the vaping bars. I was there for a two-day conference - not the "networking" kind of conference, but one for actually learning something new. Out of around 120 participants at the event, only three (including me) were from Europe. I didn't want to be the kind of idiot who would abandon their family, brave the jetlag and travel all the way from London, England to Tempe, Arizona for nothing. So I decided to get the most I possibly could from the seminars over those two days. I came away with pages and pages of notes. That was a couple of weeks ago. I'm still working through those notes, and have implemented maybe 5% so far.
The funny thing is, I've probably been to hundreds of high quality seminars and conferences over the years, but most of the time I was just letting the information wash over me and waiting for the biscuits. I was deluding myself that I was achieving something just by being there. This time was different, thanks to the positive effect of not wanting to seem a fool in front of my colleagues and family.
The bottom line is that no matter how smart someone thinks they are, there are always some things that other people do better, because that’s their focus. And knowledge is worthless unless it is put into action.
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