Over the years we have discovered some helpful guideposts to help orient us and find the path again whenever we have been lost, or simply to find our way back after some bushwhacking.
Understand what you long to do, how you want to go about it, and why.
set clear intentions
Your intentions can change over time, but always know what you are trying to learn and how you plan to do it, so that others can help you, and so that you can better learn what works and doesn't over time.
craft a vision
Paint a picture for us. Make it tangible. Describe who you want to become, and what you want to be able to do when you get there. Make this the north star to orient all of your learning.
Even when you have clear visions and plans, we are making the path by walking. Be ready to say yes to surprises waiting for you around every corner. Allow goals and structures evolve with your needs and those of others.
No one knows better what you need to learn and how you can best learn it than you. Take full responsibility for this. Get comfortable asking for what you need.
use it as the glue
Today, our lives can feel fragmented. The Open Master's can be a container for holding together your interests, projects, and long term visions—allow it to be the excuse for bringing them together and making them tell a bigger story.
Let yourself get into natural cycles of preparation, action, reflection, and rest; a cadence of seasons and semesters feels good when pursuing long-term goals.
Let go of pre-existing ideas of where and how learning should happen. Could you make learning part of your job? How could you incorporate adventure into your plans?
commit real time and energy
Make a clear investment of your time and energy to make it real. Think about how much time a part-time degree program would require, and invest at least that much time in your self-made education.
Share the adventure
Build a core crew to meet regularly and witness each other; find and build relationships with key learning partners who are committed to each other's long-term dreams.
“Chunk” your larger goals into more manageable bite-sized ones that you and your community can hold you accountable to; celebrate when you reach them.
Create memories, adventures, projects, and unique experiences together. This is your school; what would you do if you could design the best school day ever?
make it visible
To make what you have done credible, make your goals and progress seen and heard, online and off. Invite others to endorse the good work they have seen you do.