Living is more or less like performing an appendix operation on yourself riding on a bike, while your spouse is giving you directions on how to do it. Everything that can be learnt, that can be experienced and explored has to be done while you are at it. There is no off the job learning here.
Just imagine; when you were a kid learning how to walk, if you had said, ‘There is no way I can do this, first let me learn everything about walking; I will Google it, watch a few YouTube videos, document all the rights and wrongs of walking and then some day I will give it a try.’Probably you would have never walked.
Learning is an intuitive process of the mind which happens by itself, when you are following the desire of your heart. You don’t have to break your head to learn, you only have to make sure that the direction in which you are headed is right and the desire to pursue the path is strong enough. Mind is just a hutch (now Vodafone!) puppy dog of your heart;it only knows how to follow.
The mechanics of learning is always secondary to the purpose of learning. If you don’t have a strong enough purpose and reason to learn something, learning becomes an eternal struggle. It is passion and desire that numbs the pain of learning; if you don’t have enough of it, you will simply give up unable to bare the pain.
One of the easiest and simplest ways of learning is by integrating it with living. If what you are learning is an integral part of your life, then there is no struggle between learning and living. There is no other better way to experience the magic of learning than to just head out into the horizon. It is as simple as; pack your bags, strap your shoe lace and take a walk into the wilderness; living will follow this.
The greatest challenge and reward of learning comes when it is integrated with living. There is a joke – ‘A famous heart surgeon is having a friendly charity barbecue when he is approached by a loud mouth. “Hey, Doc,” the guy says, “I am the best mechanic in town. I can take an engine apart, take the valves out, clean them, tune them and after I put everything back together the baby will purr like a new born kitten. We are basically doing the same job, so how come you are making more money than me?” The heart surgeon says’, “Try doing all that with the engine running.”
The most enriching of learning experiences are always deeply connected to our way of living. If you reflect on the lives of the most successful people in the world, you will notice that it is impossible to separate their lives from their process of learning. Just imagine how difficult it would be to separate Picasso from painting, or Beethoven from music, or Tendulkar from batting.
We recognize successful people only by their work. Their whole process of living is nothing but a process of learning in order to follow the desire of their hearts. While most struggle to make some time for learning, the ones who succeed make a living out of learning.