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Preeyan tells us the value of learning – a process that’s unending, a habit, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.
Every one of us, at any given point in time, is learning something or the other, the learning process is complete only when that learning gets registered in the brain. Till then, we are just doing something without realizing the value of the lesson we are going through. Hence, learning is such an integral part of our lifestyle that we need to accept it as a habit. Habits are the building blocks of our way of life. Every one of us needs to understand that we really do not know everything, the realization of this will help in invoking the learning ability in us. In this write-up, I would like to share with you some of my thoughts and ideas that have helped me in my career to help me in my growth path.
“The word learn has earn in it.” A statement that a friend of mine made to me some time back. Think about it and you realise that “you learn, you earn”. Simple, learning increases our knowledge quotient and that practice what we have learned is wisdom. It is this wisdom that helps us grow in our career/life, and this growth helps us earn.
Knowledge quotient is directly proportional to the position you are at in your career. But the simple formulae to understand this better is knowledge quotient multiplied into the application of knowledge is equal to the position you are at in your career. Since this is multiplication, we need to understand that the more we apply the knowledge gained, the higher the position we take in the system. This is the only difference between you and me, else everything is the same. We find ourselves either in a higher position or in a lower position to the person who has the same level of knowledge quotient. It is just that the other person just applied it a little “more” or “less” to his routine.
The lesson that this teaches us is that learning has to be abundant because you will not be able to apply all that you learned in your life and there are so many times in life that we wonder that we don’t know enough. For abundant learning you will have to be open, you should accept that you don’t know everything and you should be open to learning new things. Learning then becomes a habit.
How do we learn? Learning is something that happens to us on a daily basis. Like when you learn to drive a car, the first thing you are taught is steering control and the last thing you learn is clutch balancing. Yet we are the best at steering control but still KG about parallel parking and clutch balancing. With time practice and experience we end up being expert at driving. But are you really an expert? I realised that after 15 years of driving, I did not know how to get to test the pickup of your car from 0-60 or 0-100. This was demonstrated to me by a service advisor. It was only after that that I used the right technique to drive as such. And I agree that I am learning every time I am behind the wheel.
No matter what form or shape the learning is given to you, you need to be able to identify what you need to know and see how you can apply it in your life. Like reading a book, doing a course, undergoing a training getting certifications and so on are just of no use if not applied in real life situations.
A first-aider doesn’t know how good they are till the time they face a real-life situation. A cook does not know how well he has cooked till the time the food is eaten by someone and feedback is given. Knowledge is such that unless applied you really don’t know how much you know. It’s like these theorems in applied mathematics that unless you visualise it or use it in situations you really don’t know how it works or the understanding is very grey. The more you apply your learning to the situations, the better you get at it.
Focused learning helps if you want to master a subject, you should have a target of what you want to learn. It is like in school. In school, the learning was only to excel in the examinations. But that is where our brain gets trained to tune in towards learning. Though there is an information overload that happens in school as we mature we realize what we want to use and what we want to reject. This helps us to gain knowledge of the specific subject in a focused manner.
Learning thus becomes a habit, our way of life, and an integral part of our growth.
One thing you should be careful about is that fact that you should learn from your mistakes but that could prove very expensive and may render you in a position of compromise. We need to be very careful with this, in our careers, we are paid to do our job, and any mistake on the job may not be accepted well and it could prove economically expensive for both for you and the organisation. Take that risk only if the economic value is low. Sometimes preparing by discussions or reading up some material on similar situations will help you avoid committing mistakes at work and it is important that we do our best to be ahead of the curve.
Learning is the only thing that our brains will not stop doing, nurture it and do well.
You learn, you earn.
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