Consistently, I give myself to contemplations in a search for the building blocks of life, a great life in particular.
I’m a high performer, and I settle for nothing less than the best obtainable. I’m on a journey to living my best life!
Whenever I stumble upon traces of truth in my journey, I do my best to study, ponder, document and share them with others on the same journey, perhaps to save a few from the manifold turns we’ll all experience in life.
Let me digress to establish something about leadership.
One sign to know you’re following a progressive leader is the fact that their methods keeps improving, adding newer layers of simplicity (not complexity) to the solution.
There’s truly no growth without change. The change is hardly in convictions, but in methods which fit the phase of the actor (the person playing out the life).
Back to our discourse.
I observed that in this our time, and perhaps within the geo-psychological location we live in, the term “learning” has taken up a form or definition which presents it quite vaguely to us.
The abundance of information flying everywhere adds even more confusion to the worthy task of learning. So everyone around you is “learning” something, whether in a formal educational setting or some form of training. However, it does seem more and more as though learning has stopped paying.
What is learning?
I won’t be shocked if you’ve never sat down to find out the definition of learning. Yet, we think we’re learned. Sigh.
Assumption remains the worst/least form of knowledge.
Learning is the activity or process of gaining knowledge or skill by studying, practicing, being taught or experiencing something.
Two things stand out as the motives for learning: “Knowledge” and “Skill”.
From there comes my proposition for two kinds of learning.
1. Acquiring Knowledge: This form of learning is targeted towards mental upgrade. The focus is on how to improve one’s power to process issues. The end of this is mental transformation. We see the world through the lens of our minds. We make decisions (percieve things as good, bad, better, best) based on our mind.
The quality of our lives are dependent on whose perpective of life we adopt for ourselves. No one came to earth with a mind frame. All frames were and are being built by our interactions with people, books, TV, Social media, music, art, and just about anything that can suggest to us what to do next.
This, my friends, is the kind of learning many of us do not pay attention to.
2. Skill: This kind of learning is what we’re mostly used to. The type we gain from formal education. A huge part of formal education is centred around skill. However, an issue with skill is that it has a relevance period. Here, we must understand that what we learn is not an end in itself. This kind of learning to the end that we know exactly what to practice.
Practice is the life (blood) of a skill. Without practice, incremental practice at that, a skill decays.
This second form of learning is aimed at exposing us to what to practice; what to increase.
Now, having established both kinds of learning, we see that one form tends to helping us gain wisdom, the other helps us gain mastery.
What I observed in our world today include the following:
Some have decided to pursue “knowledge acquisition” as the only requisite for living. They end up “intelligent” so to say, but unrewarded. People pay for the fact that you “can” solve a problem before minding “the manner” with which you’ll do it.
Some have decided to pursue only skill and neglect discretion. They end up solving for only a few people for many reasons.
Some have mixed the approach to both kinds of learning, hence they are reading several books to gain mastery, meanwhile, full mastery comes by learning and PRACTICE. You don’t read your way to mastery of a skill (except you’re mastering how to read). Others want to acquire discernment and wisdom without reading.
Experience is the best teacher. Yes, in “PRACTICING” to gain mastery. But a big no in the acquisition of knowledge for life. You see the point.
So what are we then to do? First, we must be deliberate about what we do. We must be clear about our learning goals.
Am I reading this book, or attending this class or seminar, or church service to acquire knowledge? What aspect of my decision making process will it affect?
Or am I reading this book, article, material, or attending a seminar to increase my knowledge of what to practice? You don’t gain mastery by reading. No matter what, you can’t learn how to ride a bicycle by reading a book. But you can know what to focus on, what next to do by reading a book.
In closing, I opine we approach learning with a balanced perspective. Improve on your skill by learning what to practice and practicing. Improve on your wisdom, discretion, and processing power by acquiring the knowledge for life.