“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”
— Albert Einstein
Here’s your gentle nudge to make your week more interesting, thoughtful and productive. You can always talk to me more about these ideas by replying to this email.
What Do You Learn For?
I’m often asked this question when I tell someone I’m learning something new. To me, this question has never made any sense. I learn to learn. There’s s no other reason. No application I have in mind. No motive for social or monetary benefit. Nothing of that sorts at all.
I began learning German with Duolingo on January 1, 2020. I’m still learning. Can I speak it fluently yet? No. Do I plan to go to Germany someday? Not sure. Will I keep going? Of course. It’s fun. I got the Ukulele earlier this year. Now and then, I find a tutorial on YouTube and try practising. Can I play anything yet? Barely. Do I plan to be a musician ever? Absolutely not. Did I learn a basic version of the score from one of my favourite games? Yes, sir!
Here’s what has changed, though. I know the names of some chords. I know how to play them on the Ukulele. I did not know any of that last year. As per Duolingo, I know nearly 2000 words in German now. Even if I can’t recall them all, I know I can form rudimentary sentences in German, at least. I couldn’t do that before 2020.
That’s what I learn for, and it’s true for everything else as well. From finances to reading random articles and books on psychology to learning to play Chess on a whim, I learn to learn, and it has helped me grow in all sorts of directions.
Now, I know the consensus says the knowledge that isn’t applied is not worth learning or a different take on it which goes if you don’t apply it, you don’t know it. They may be true, but they assume you’re learning for some goal.
The beauty of learning without purpose is that you don’t force yourself to apply anything, and yet, something you learnt somewhere else comes in handy in the most serendipitous moments and places.
Sometimes the goal, if you have to look for one, is simply to see, “can I learn that, too?”
What’s On My Mind?
We have to walk the walk; there may be a plan in place, and luck and vision may play out as they may, but if we don’t walk the walk, no matter what is in store, it will never be attained.
I hope this added some value to your week. Stay safe, stay inspired, and I’ll talk to you next week.
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