Monday, August 17, 2009
Sharpening the saw
As a young boy, it was my dream to finish education soon and start working. School seemed so boring and people who are working seemed to really enjoy themselves. I suppose each one of us goes through such thoughts. When I went for my first interview, I realised how little I knew. Whatever I had learnt and prepared for, were not the subjects discussed in the interview!! In the various jobs that I have worked in, I understood that unless one is abreast of the developments in ones field, one gets left behind in the career.
There is a story of a woodcutter who thought he can become more productive if he cuts trees non-stop. After a few days, he knew that it is necessary to sharpen the saw in order to become more efficient. This is true for all of us irrespective of what is our chosen goal. We need to keep learning and sharpening the saw.
There are very few gifted people with razor sharp memories who remember everything that they have learnt. For the vast majority of us, we remember the broad concepts and forget the details over time. Therefore, it becomes necessary to brush up and re-learn whatever we have already learnt from time to time. One way to do this is to involve the concepts in our day to day work. That way we stay in touch. The other methods are to take time to read, discuss, think and teach about the subject of our interest.
Besides the above, it is also important to learn about the new developments in our chosen field. Books, Magazines, Journals, Internet etc. provide rich information about the changes. One should cultivate the habit of being in touch with the subject and learn new skills. Our ability to talk with confidence on our subject and hold the interest of our audience is enhanced if we are obsessed with learning. Never stop learning.
“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other” - John F Kennedy
Learning is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily - Chinese Proverb