How we learn can be a terribly complicated topic.
Reading textbooks, observing behaviours, listening intently to those who may have some wisdom worth absorbing or hooking up to a neurofeedback device that enhances brain activity may all come under this complex umbrella.
Or we can simplify it.
We learn by doing and relating to our own experiences.
Take for example: an incredibly awe-inspiring nugget of information spouted from a friend of ours in conversation… If this does not have any relevance to us – to our experience – we never really absorb the lesson.
On the other hand, if we claim to embody a superior degree of intelligence but have no real experience ourselves; well, then we are just a talking head – most of us do a pretty good job of identifying one when see them.
The secret to learning is having an authentic experience then converting that into a relevant lesson.
This is the case when we train – we learn by doing.
As many times as a coach may remind us not to go too hot in a workout, that advice won’t really mean anything until we’ve tested our capacity, and halfway through a conditioning piece we find ourselves sprawled out over the gym floor.
“Huh… Now I know for next time”.
As Confucius said: learning through experience is the bitterest, but these lessons are usually the ones that stick – they have a lasting and meaningful impact on our lives.
So don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do; ask the question, go out and make some mistakes (within reason of course – don’t mistake your arrogance for intellect). Having experiences and ultimately learning the lessons is way more fun than watching from the sidelines anyway.
– Serge Houhlias –