Learning from the Best, free of Cost!

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.Learning from the best

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.



Follow your passion!

Dr. Naushad Forbes, while addressing a gathering of students strongly emphasized that one should always do what he likes. He advices that one should change what he is doing if he does not enjoy it.
The first thought which comes to our Mind after reading this, is not very positive. When it is repeated a many times, truth loses its value. I think same has happened with this statement of Dr. Naushad Forbes. At first appearance it appears to be a very common and casual statement. But, when one stops for a while and starts contemplating over this statement, then he realises the true value of the statement. The realization becomes even graver and darker when one starts to think of it keeping his life in front of his eyes. For me, this statement is holier than scriptures because it is more relevant in today’s life. Giving a thought to these words can change one’s life.
It is very surprising to see that very few persons enjoy the work they are doing. The result of this is even graver. In the same speech, Dr. Naushad Forbes mentions that if one likes his work, there are high chances that he will do it in a better way. If we observe around, very few people like what they are doing. The result of this is, they suffocate while doing the work and at the same time, the work is not done in a better way.
The gravity of this issue cannot be realized unless you are constantly in touch with young students and freshly graduated fellows. Hardly anyone knows why he is studying his field. The result is, the passion for one’s work is missing, the involvement is missing. Yes, there are some of them who realize somewhere in between that what they are doing does not appeal them and then change the way. The experience tells, such persons have done better jobs and are happier.
But the issue does not get solved if two or three out of thousands of students find out the way. Ideally, everyone should be able to find out the way of his choice. This ideal situation should be a practicality.
The issue will not be completely solved if we do something when these students are in college. Something should be done from the very birth of these children; or even before that.
I think the awareness about work satisfaction, individual natures of different persons, different priorities is missing. Parents take it for granted that their kid (and they!) will be happy if the kid earns huge lumps of money. Somewhere they are unaware of what the tendencies of the kid are, what matters the most for him.
I guess, it will be a golden day when everyone is doing what he loves to do.


Did engineering teach me this?

In my life, I have always experienced educational gaps. I took my education in all types of schools and colleges- from dirty and ugly village schools to one of the best institutes in India. I always used to face a gap. When I passed out of my engineering college, which is supposed to be one of the best engineering colleges in the country, I felt biggest gap ever. It was time when I started to explore the world around me. The realization was, actual life was much different than what we perceived it to be.

In engineering college, we were taught that technology is everything. That is not the case. The product consists of technology but the person who will be purchasing the product is a human being. We never were taught this ‘Personal’ aspect of engineering. In today’s world, even technical products are designed considering the mindset of human beings who will be using the product. The whole stream of design and innovation is an effort to study psychological aspects of a product. Did engineering tech me this? The answer is no.

Any engineering college has to cover too many topics in a short span of 4 years. What a college is supposed to do? Should it cover the basic engineering subjects or these new trends which are ruling the field? My opinion is, all the things like innovation and human touch which I talked about, are attitudes to be developed. Innovation is an attitude which can be taught as a bye- product while teaching the mainstream subjects.

The point which I want to raise is, no one cares about innovation. No one even thinks about human users. Companies which are giving due importance to all these things are prospering like never before. On the other hand, the giants which are neglecting these issues are going the way down.