Learning and Knowledge
"Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle: when the sun comes up, you’d better be running"
Now let's replace the term running with learning and it perfectly sums up the importance of learning in your life. It really doesn't matter who you are or what job you do, when the sun comes up you better start learning.
Forms of learning:
Learning is not a trait which is solely present in humans. It is a characteristic which is common for both humans and animals alike. Right from the process of learning to walk to learning to hunt and eat, each process in itself is a learning experience. Without this, it is impossible for animals to survive. The same can be applied to humans as well. We too must learn to eat, walk and fend for ourselves. Apart from that, we need to learn good manners, do our daily chores, study for our exams, learn new technologies, etc.
“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.” - Albert Einstein
A continuous task:
Learning is a continuous process. There is no end to it and it needs to continue until the end of our lives. Like the air, we breathe and the food we eat, we need to learn daily without fail. It is this wisdom that we gain from learning that will sustain us. It is the quintessential part of our life; without which we are nothing.
We have already discussed on how important the process of learning is for animals. However, it is even more important for people in their corresponding profession. Consider the scenario in which a person decides on buying a mobile phone. If they are provided with a wide variety of devices with no constraint on money which will the model which they choose? It will definitely be the one with the latest technology and features. Surely the other devices as well will satisfy the basic necessities of a phone but it is the up to date version of the gadget that meets the eye. Professionals are also judged by their proficiency in latest technologies. It is the ones who keep themselves on par with this fast-paced world who thrive. With such fierce competition around us, we need to ensure that we learn as much as we can to keep our software updated.
How we learn:
There are different forms of learning. Apart from learning the basics of survival, we are also spoon-fed various concepts during school and college. But once we enter a professional environment, we need to learn by our own initiative. Some people are more comfortable with entering a special course to learn new concepts. Some prefer to learn on their own or by seeing online tutorials. Many tend to learn a lot through their in work experience. Whatever the form of learning maybe it is the interest which the person has for that particular concept that stirs them forward to learn more. Without any interest, there is no use to try to learn.
Learning goes hand in hand with experience. Bookish knowledge does not help us in real life. It is how we apply this acquired knowledge that really matters. "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is to know not to put it in a fruit salad". It doesn't matter if a person has read a million books. If they have not applied their knowledge where it counts, it is wasted. Learning needs to benefit us in our day to day life. It is not a pass time. It is a part of our life.
Diversify your knowledge:
Learning is also not limited to the work we do. We may learn about an entirely different subject and there is no limit in the variety of knowledge that we accumulate. I like to learn about latest programming concepts but I also like to learn about the principles of physics. It puts my mind at ease to know what happens around me. I spend my time watching documentaries about wild animals, I watch cooking shows and sometimes end up picking up a couple of useful culinary skills. There are absolutely no restrictions on the things you can learn. All that matters is that when the sun goes up you'd better start running!
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© 2017 Sudhir