Being a learner

Mumma, what does all these appendices and references mean?”, blurted my son while looking at the end pages of a book on my bedside. “These are the sources that the author read or may be indirectly came to know while writing this book”, was my try to explain him the significance of those ending pages. “So, to write one book we need to first read so much”, he was clearly amazed to an anxious level. May be what he thought to be a task of just mind and pen, seemed to be more complicated to him now.

This simple incident tells us about something very critical in our lives. Learning is core to everything. To spread knowledge we need to first attain some knowledge. Learning is usually seen in blocked or compartmentalised ways. For most learning ends once they have reached a particular stage in lives; may be passing out of school, college or attaining some professional benchmark. The reason may be we see learning as a medium to reach somewhere. The mixing of gaining target oriented education and learning creates a blockage for us to follow continual learning throughout life. Learning is to be seen as a way to grow, evolve and to add to one’s personality. It has no boundaries of age, domain or methods. We can learn anywhere and anything, if we are spirited to learn and grow. Basically to remain a learner we need to be aligned with few basic things.

Be open to trying something new : All of us tend to fall in trap of having learned enough once we have reached some set level of professional learning. We fall into the vicious cycle of earning and planning life. This brings a lethargic mundaneness to lives. There are always some areas that we want to learn and know about. This requires us to move out of our known shores and try some new paths. There can be chance of failure but we will atleast come out of the guilt of not giving it a try. Daring to embrace some new areas of learning can bring changes in us beyond our imagination. Parenting gives wonderful opportunity to be learning partner to your child and grow with them. The things that we could not try in our childhood, may be we can try them now. I have tried this and can assure, it is a tremendous experience to learn and grow with your child.

Remain humble and novice in your thoughts: We play to our thoughts. The moment we get the feeling of being a learned man, we loose the future prospect to learn anything more. This creates a virtual boundary between learning and us. Thinking like a beginner gives us advantage of being open to the facts and knowledge around. It prevents us from falling into the trap of assumptions. We happen to be more open and receptive.

Learn without boundaries: At times we create boundaries to our learning journey. I cannot do this or I can only do this. Becoming a master in some field is no doubt a huge and commendable task always. However, remaining open to varied learnings also adds to the overall growth. In fact the basic rule of being a learner is to rise above all biases. To a learner only truth is the truth of knowledge.

Setting targets help: Setting up specific learning targets help us to keep track of our growth in the hustle of life.

I would like to end this with great lines from Brian Herbert

The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice.