Learning Fortunes: The #Blimage Challenge

I love blogging. It’s one of the most powerful ways I learn. It allows me to reflect, contextualize, and expand upon the new things I’m learning each day. I also love to give myself unique writing challenges that challenge me and force me to operate outside my normal writing comfort zone.

It’s this theme that got me excited to see a recent post from Steve Wheeler titled Blimey, it’s #blimage!. Steve shares my passion for blogging and in this post he shares a new and unique blogging exercise that emerged from conversations he had with Amy Burvall and Simon Ensor; it’s called The #Blimage Challenge.

“Blimage” is a term formed through the amalgamation of the terms “Blog” and “Image”. The rules for the #Blimage Challenge are quite simple: Someone sends you any image and you then need to write a learning-related post that is connected to / inspired by the image. After writing the post, keep the challenge going by passing a new image onto a few of your friends and colleagues.

It’s a great exercise, and one that I immediately wanted to participate in. I probably would have done so without being challenged, but as it turns out, that wasn’t necessary. Shortly after I read through Steve’s post announcing the challenge, I received a challenge myself.

So without further ado, here’s the image I was challenged with, and the post that was inspired by it.

fortune cookies

The fortune cookie is a pretty common site in my house, the traditional coda that ends a meal of Chinese food. While I’m the only family member that actually likes to eat a fortune cookie, everybody always looks forward to getting one. We take turns opening our cookies, eagerly anticipating the reading of the fortunes contained within.

The fortunes can be inspirational, cryptic, silly, potentially insulting, and more, but they’re always fun to discover. Some of my favorite fortunes include things like:

  • You learn from your mistakes… You will learn a lot today.
  • You cannot love life until you live the life you love.
  • Meeting adversity well is the source of your strength.
  • The greatest risk is not taking one.
  • Never give up. Always find a reason to keep trying.

When I saw the image Jane Bozarth had challenged me with, I instantly knew what I was going to write about. If I was going to give out custom fortune cookies to my fellow learning and performance professionals, what would the fortunes be? Here’s a partial list:

  • Now is the time to try something new.
  • Stop Talking. Start Doing.
  • It’s not about the content; it’s about the context.
  • You will never find out what is possible until you let go of what is
  • Don’t wait for opportunities; create them.
  • Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.
  • Before you start. delete the “Click to add text” box.
  • What did you learn today?

I could go on, and in truth, I probably will expand upon this list. What would you add?

That’s my response to Jane’s #Blimage challenge. I love exercises like this, so I hope to get some additional pictures thrown my way.

Now it’s my turn to pass the challenge along. I formally pass this image to Karl Kapp, Tracy Parish, and Mark Britz, and informally invite anyone else that wants to take the challenge to do so. Just be sure to share your post using the #Blimage hashtag.