Why is there no learning equivalent to The Running Room? Something like “The Learning Room”. The Running Room is a phenomenally successfully chain of stores catering to runners. Founder, John Stanton, built that success partially on the idea that people are a lot more successful achieving running goals when they do it with others.

I used to run Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights with a Running Room group. The group was a mix of people taking the Running Room’s paid running clinics and folks like me joining them for free as a way to keep motivated to run. The clinic folks were almost all training for “goal runs”; a 5k, 10k, half or full marathon. Being around them motivated me to sign up for, and complete, my first half marathon.

So how come there isn’t the same readily available support for people who want to learn things other than running?

Everyone knows how important, and hard, it is to exercise regularly

If you asked 10 people, “Is it important to exercise regularly?”, you’d almost certainly gets ten yeses. If you asked the same ten how many actually do exercise regularly, the numbers would fall off fast. However, if you asked the same ten, “Is it important to learn regularly?”, you might get all ten agreeing but I bet you’d be lucky to find one or two with established systems/habits for doing it regularly.

Yet, in a knowledge economy, learning is to your brain what renovating is to someone’s house: a direct increase in value.

So, if it’s so valuable and so hard to do regularly on one’s own, why aren’t there more well known ways to hook up with others to pursue shared learning goals?

Well, maybe there are, so I’m going to do an experiment to find out.

I’ve got a guitar that’s been sitting idle in my living room for years and every time I walk by it I think, “I’ve got to learn to play that.” I don’t know anyone in my city with a similar goal but what if I could find someone online? Is there someone out there who would be interested in a learning buddy to help us both get this done?

To find out, I’m going to set the goal of learning to play Sting’s song Fragile in the next eight months.

Let the quest begin.

Have you got a learning goal that a learning buddy, or group, could help you achieve?

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