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Prashant Munshi
Prashant Munshi • May 4, 2012

Learning

Many a times I come across people, particularly fresher, who say they have / had the qualification and "trained" in the particular skills to fill a position, but they are / were not selected. In turn, they blame everything and everybody else but their own inability to show that they are "learned". So is this quality of being "learned" different from being qualified, educated and trained. One definitely earns a qualification through putting efforts and at times burning midnight oil in studies. But how much these efforts and "studies" would make him "learned", is really a question.

This reminds me of a very popular story about Albert Einstein, who was once challenged with a question that how many feet make a mile. The most intelligent person ever known, politely accepted that he had no idea, but revealed a great principle behind him being a revered scientist, even without a laboratory and no formal education, that the brain has not been made to store the facts but to analyze. The mile to feet may be known from any conversion table easily. There are a few points here -

Real Learning is not facts but it is the relationship of facts -
When you "study" any subject / major, then you are actually gathering the "facts". Like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, these facts are scattered, and similarly as an individual piece of the puzzle, the fact is not a complete thing. To solve the puzzle and reveal the original form, you need to start putting those scattered pieces together, matching them by shapes and colors and thereby "discovering" the relationships among them. So that makes "learning" a post "study" process of "discovering" the relationships among the "facts". No mean exercise. You demonstrate a rare presence of "analytical skill" by projecting yourself a "learned".

Learning is knowing how to find out a thing rather than knowing the thing as it is -
How many of you remember now the table of 26? answer quickly, what 26 sixes are? But was it the same when you were in a KG class. As this principle applies to the table of 26 in this example, also applies to the concepts in the grown up stage. Know the process and understand it. Learning is not cramming the answers but knowing how to find the answers.

Learning is the end product of mistakes -
Experience is a hard teacher; it gives first a problem and leaves it to you to draw a lesson. That reminds me of another popular story of, this time, a very successful business baron, Henry Ford. He was once asked the secret of his success, the first reply was "I make right decisions". But then how he could know that the decision was right, was the obvious next question, and the answer was equally obvious - "I take wrong decisions". The principle is clear, you learn from your mistakes. You must dare to start at some point and then face whatever may come in your way, a wrong way would lead to the right way. The process of learning.

Confused state of mind is a learning opportunity -
Confusion is the feeling you get when you are trying to figure out the things and you don't know were to start and where is the end. It looks like vicious circles. Again the case of solving a jigsaw puzzle. Our mind perceives the things as may be laid out linearly. However, they are only seldom so. Here again we come across the relationship of "facts" and deciphering those relationships. The point has only been separated out, for most, who think that being confused is the exact point either to bypass the problem or leave it altogether. Actually, there is an opportunity to learn, if you take it head on.

The purpose of the post is that the newcomers and fresher always seem to feel a bit overwhelmed with the initial failure, but when an old proverb says that failure is a stepping stone to success; I say, success is way away, being not a destination but a journey, failure is first a stepping stone to "learn" and being "learned", the success is always along.

Hope everybody would like this thought. Your views are welcome in the comments, which I hope will help enrich the post.
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • May 4, 2012
Confused state of mind is a learning opportunity -
Beautiful article! But, did you mean 'curious' state of mind, than confused? I figured out that when I got curious about something, learning & understanding followed naturally. I no longer needed anyone to 'teach' me and I found out everything I needed to learn on my own.
Ankita Katdare
Ankita Katdare • May 4, 2012
He was once asked the secret of his success, the first reply was "I make right decisions". But then how he could know that the decision was right, was the obvious next question, and the answer was equally obvious - "I take wrong decisions".
Loved this example. Decision making has always been a tough task for me. Whenever I am given a choice, I fail to choose one even after analyzing both sides over a hundred times in my mind. I guess I am too much bothered of what I lose when I choose something else. I shouldn't worry about taking wrong decisions.

The mile to feet may be known from any conversion table easily.
This is where lies the difference between toppers who are toppers due to mugging up and the ones who are back-benchers but know a whole lot about hundreds of things around us. There is no point in mindlessly remembering the things that are accessible to us easily (thanks to the Internet). Instead we should focus on doing intelligent/creative things that need actual usage of the potential of our mind.
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • May 4, 2012
Sada , Praveen-Kumar , ianoop, Reya , Dancer_Engineer - Bringing your attention to this post 😀
Dancer_Engineer
Dancer_Engineer • May 4, 2012
Thanks Biggie for the tag. 😀

Prashant Munshi, very good points there.
Prashant Munshi
failure is first a stepping stone to "learn" and being "learned", the success is always along.
I have experienced this. Failure has taught me what success would not have taught me.
I can confidently say I have tasted failure. 😀
Prashant Munshi
Prashant Munshi • May 4, 2012
The_Big_K
Beautiful article! But, did you mean 'curious' state of mind, than confused? I figured out that when I got curious about something, learning & understanding followed naturally. I no longer needed anyone to 'teach' me and I found out everything I needed to learn on my own.
Actually being curious is "finding things on your own than knowing them as they are" and it has already been dealt with under second sub-heading. I was referring to "confused state of mind" as "confused" for sure. For many of us confusion is stop line or diversion. It leads to frustration whereas if perceived as an opportunity, the other end is enlightenment. In pure hindi it may translate to "Darr ke aage jeet hai". In my opinion, "being curious" and "being learner" are two sides of the same coin. Newton, Archimedes ... were all curios not confused. But Rontgen was said to be confused when he saw the shadow of his keys lying in folds of his book lying in drawer on a film, but did not know where it came from, what made it and where to start... and had to figure out the cause was x rays .... Of course the confusion lead to curiosity in this case and not frustration. That is the point. Thanks for your interest and point.
Thanks for tagging me.

How did I miss this wonderful post. All the points were so so true.

Confused state of mind is a learning opportunity -
Confusion is the feeling you get when you are trying to figure out the things and you don't know were to start and where is the end.
This always happens with me. I always start my learning with confusion. The more I confuse - the more I learn.


Learning is knowing how to find out a thing rather than knowing the thing as it is -
How many of you remember now the table of 26? answer quickly, what 26 sixes are? But was it the same when you were in a KG class. As this principle applies to the table of 26 in this example, also applies to the concepts in the grown up stage. Know the process and understand it. Learning is not cramming the answers but knowing how to find the answers.
Nice example.

Not one, all the points there are the real things. Wonderful!
Reya
Reya • May 4, 2012
Prashant Munshi
Learning is the end product of mistakes -
Experience is a hard teacher; it gives first a problem and leaves it to you to draw a lesson.
Confused state of mind is a learning opportunity -
Loved these lines 😀 We always learn a lesson from the mistakes we commit.
Anoop Kumar
Anoop Kumar • May 4, 2012
I like the "jigsaw puzzle" example . Your post is just concrete explanation of abstract view of Learning.
Learning is the end product of mistakes -very true and I would like to add my personal opinion here that Learning from other's mistake , Life is too short to learn all things from your mistakes.

I think two terms Curiosity and state of confusion can lead vice-verse and in both cases there is learning in the end.😀

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