One has to always learn new things in his or her life. When I say so, I say ‘has to’ not in sense of compulsion but I accept it as a way of life. Life is ever changing, constantly evolving. As we all have heard quite many times, nothing is permanent in the life. To keep on with its pace, constant learning is the only way.
I remember the days when I was a student. It was the time when I had started to realize this bitter truth of life- you have to keep learning. Surprisingly, if you accept anything totally, it loses its bitterness. Life is bitter when we resist it. Acceptance is magical; it changes your way of looking at things and hence the way things work.
I am really fortunate that I accepted this truth and soon started acting upon it. Many students in my class also faced this situation, many just did not. Actually most of them were happy with the life as it was- steady and secure. A few realized that they need to flow with the time. It was fun to watch everyone responding to this dilemma in a different way.
I had concluded that books can’t take me ahead, to be precise, ‘only books’ can’t take me ahead. At that time, I used to read a lot. When I realized this, along with reading, I started many other activities. Toughest task was to find out how can we learn constantly. The search went on for almost 3 years. I tried out different ways of learning in this time.
One of the activity which we did was meeting and talking with persons who had found something. I remember those days when I was constantly keeping an eye on people who, as per my criteria ‘had achieved or found something.’ The list included many musicians, spiritual teachers, rich people in the town and many more.
The list was elite. It included artists like Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia to industrialists like Dr. Naushad Forbes. We met at least 30 people, without facing any problem. They were open, willing to share and concerned about us.
We used to ask for an appointment or used to catch them up at public places during events. We always used to ask questions which we really had inside us. In case of artists, we used to take their formal interviews for this web site. As it was my own web site, we could ask whatever we wanted to know. No bosses to take permission from, no subscribers to worry about.
This activity is still on. We keep on meeting many persons and get our questions answered directly from them. This way, we learnt from the best.
Later I realized that learning can happen even through ordinary things and you do not need to hang around the towering figures. But still, we love to be around these persona because they inspire us. Each successful person usually has a story behind his success- a story which is worth sharing. What people are, is decided by how they respond to different situations. One hour talk with the person gives you clear idea about how different their decisions were than those taken by the others.
After all this exercise and many more experiments, I now realize that learning is free. The only cost which you have to pay is your time and nothing else. I won’t say it is a cost, it is an investment. We do not need big universities for this kind of learning. This learning teaches you how to learn. And yes, you learn from the best, free of cost.