Learning is a learned ability.

The ability to learn is a learned ability. While the previous sentence may appear be circular, in reality it is not. What I am saying is that learning, like swimming, is an ability that can be learned. It is not something that we are born with.

Learning like any other ability can be cultivated, honed and sharpened.

There are no stupid people. In my opinion people are either lazy thinkers, erroneous thinkers or distracted thinkers.

We usually tend to assume that when a child or a person has difficulty to understand or solve something that he/she is innately stupid and nothing can be done about it.

Some people have difficulty because they do not want to exercise their grey cells. Absorbing, thinking and analyzing require effort much the same way like lifting a heavy object. Some people are averse to putting in that effort and try to take the easy way out by guessing or randomly choosing a possibility which invariably is wrong.

There are others who follow erroneous thinking. Here, I have observed is that people tending to rush to understand. This cannot happen. The right amount of effort in the right amount of time is necessary to understand and absorb. If this is not done then nothing can be achieved. Here I am reminded of people trying to learn swimming. In their haste of swimming like a pro they thrash and splash the water. The only result is a lot of water being splashed all around with little or insufficient movement.

Then there are others who try too hard to learn. This is not going to work for obvious reasons because “if you stare you will not see”. The approach to learning must be relaxed and easy.

Also, what is needed is focus and concentration. We must have adequate attention on what we are trying to learn. There should be no constraints of time or quantity. We should go with the flow.

Finally there must be a strong desire and an urge to learn.

So, in conclusion, learning to learn is a learned ability. We need focus, concentration, a relaxed approach and adequate effort.

If these are followed learning will not only be easy but also enjoyable!

The curse of inertia


All of us come under the curse of inertia in our lives to a greater or smaller extent. How often have we postponed something, procrastinated or just felt downright lazy in doing something.  All of us are guilty of indolence and we keep accumulating a list of things to do. We are soon left with a long list of things to get done.

In fact we can rephrase Newton’s 1st law of motion and safely claim that “A person under the spell of laziness will continue to be lazy unless acted upon by an external agency”. What typically happens is that we tend to avoid doing something because it appears distasteful. When we postpone doing it this distaste soon turns to hatred and we cannot get ourselves to doing it. We either avoid completing our tasks or just try to ignore. But it always tends to lurk in the back of our mind. Eventually this task which we chose to ignore suddenly becomes extremely urgent and we undergo enormous tension.

Then there are some who tend to keep a “to do” list. Unfortunately to a lot of people this remains a “to do” list for a long time. The list just keeps growing longer. Sometimes we just convince ourselves that certain things are unimportant and remove items from the list rather than completing them.

In my mind having an unfinished task is like having a weight attached to a chain around your neck. As you accumulate more tasks you are in reality adding more weights to this chain.

What is required of us is that we just get on with any task that we are faced with. We may face an initial resistance because of an assumed distaste for the task.  Once we get started we may find that our initial distaste was really only imagined. We may actually find that we like doing the task. It is all just in the attitude. It is really important that we do not procrastinate but get things done as soon as we can. In other words we need to do first “what we dislike doing the most!”.

Completing tasks that come to us on time helps us in 2 ways. For one it keeps us light. We don’t have to live with the burden of nagging thoughts. We can live lightly and in the moment. Secondly completing tasks also gives us a sense of achievement and helps us to get more things done.

Prudence requires that we tackle the issues in a timely manner and not spend time now in completing tasks that was supposed to be done ages ago. We need to stop procrastinating. We need to build efficiency and alertness into our mental attitude and complete tasks as they come to us.

When we are more efficient we also become more active in our lives.