How to be a good learner?

One needs to be a learner throughout his or her life. I suggest the following to be a good learner:

1. Always be curious to know things.

Always be curious to know things, to understand as well as assimilate. This is helpful in your wanting to know more. Curiosity, or the strong desire to learn or know something, originates from the Latin word ‘curious’ – eager to know, inquisitive.  As children, we are born with an almost insatiable curiosity which, according to famous psychologist Jean Piaget, is critical for our cognitive development – for as children almost everything we encounter is a new experience. It is children’s need to make sense of the world that results in their incessant questioning – “why is the sky blue?”, “what makes it rain?” – And it’s their lack of self-consciousness that enables them to admit to their lack of knowledge or understanding.         

                                                                     

2. Be focused.

In order that you enjoy the process of learning, be focused. If you focus you get the best out of your efforts of learning.      Focus can help you accomplish a variety of professional and personal tasks, from studying for a test to finishing your work an hour early. There are various practical steps you can take to help yourself focus better and to stop checking your Facebook or phone every fifteen minutes. To stay focused on the task ahead of you, resist the impulse to give in to distractions, make a to-do list (which has built-in breaks) and resist the temptation to multi-task.

3. Never be afraid of failure. Never be afraid of criticism. It is only this fear that does not allow you to use your mind and soul into what you do. As a learner you have to be totally dedicated to what you want to learn and therefore be fearless.  Fear is something we all experience, especially when setting out on any new undertaking. Failure is one of the most common and most damaging fears that many people struggle with. However, failure is often the first step toward success: highly successful people such as Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson are very vocal about how often they have failed and how that has shaped their success.

 

4. Learning is a serious matter. Learning is not fun. It’s a serious matter. Give the attention and the required time that the learning deserves. Be patient and try to look for the final details of any process or anything about the subject that you are learning. One of the best things about life is that we never have to stop learning. There are always new skills to learn and techniques for us to adopt. The best entrepreneurs in the world don’t act like they know everything. They all understand the fact that they have to continuously learn to be successful.

5. Whatever you learn you should make it your own.

Whatever you learn you should make it your own. You should not learn only with a short time goal like to pass the exam, the interview et cetera. You should learn with a view to imbibe you’re learning into your personality. What you learn, you must use. When you use what you have learnt. You reinforce your learning. It you have a chance you teach someone what you have learnt .In the process this knowledge becomes your own and you can use it when needed.

6. Question everything for thorough learning. A good learner questions everything. Simple because these are written words or somebody has said it; don’t just accept. Questions that come to your mind need to be answered. Consult your mentor, teacher or your colleague.  Questioning is a revered teaching technique from the days of Socrates, but there are ways, some traditional and some a bit more radical, to increase its impact and better prepare students to move beyond school in a way that provides deeper meaning and encourages greater contribution. Asking a variety of questions and question types is key to student achievement, along with increasing the amount of time allotted for students to think about the questions, but it is also vital that we move away from teachers asking questions as a solution to student learning.

7. Share whatever you have learnt.

You should share whatever you have learnt. If anybody has some different opinion just don’t override with your assumptions. Listen to him or her and check out if they know better. Sharing knowledge, while it is a noble cause, helps you to identify if you have left any missing links. Besides, you may learn more from the person you share with. However, you need to share with the right people or group. For example, if you share any learning about HR on LinkedIn, your connections will very happy.

8. Listen to experts on the subject.

Listen to experts on the subject. Attend a lecture if it is possible or simple go to the YouTube where videos are available on all possible thinkable subjects. Today, we are fortunate. We have Google. We have Quora and a number of other platforms that provide great information on any subject. Above all, we have YouTube. YouTube in the second biggest search en give on the net. It you don’t like to read, you just listen. There are many classroom lectures ever.   

   

9. Don’t multitask, for better learning.

Always follow the dictum of one thing at a time. Don’t ever do multitasking. That’s not the way a good learner should learn. Always follow the dictum of one thing at a time. Don’t ever do multitasking. That is not a way, a good learner should learn.      You may have heard that multitask is bad for you, but new studies show that it kills your performance and may even damage your brain. Every time you multitask you aren’t just harming your performance in the moment; you may very well be damaging an area of your brain that’s critical to your future success at work.

10. Don’t expect too much for your efforts.

Don’t expect too much of your efforts. Real learning requires persistent efforts and sometimes you need to persevere. Be prepared for that. Why do we expect great things and end up crying over it, people tend to exert too much effort in some things that’s impossible and expect it to turn out in their favor. We must learn that a person can’t have all the things in the world.

11. Develop emotional intelligence.

Develop your emotional intelligence under guidance of a teacher or a mentor. Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to tap into your emotions and use them to make your life better. Being in touch with your feelings allows you to manage stress levels and communicate effectively with other people, two skills that enhance your life both personally and professionally. Unlike IQ, which remains constant throughout your life, EQ can be developed and honed over time. Do all that you can to strengthen your emotional intelligence. It in an investment that will help you throughout your life. Daniel Goleman has made a yeoman’s service to the development of the society with his work on emotional intelligence.

  

If you follow above there is nothing that you can’t learn and you will really enjoy learning and be proud of it.

Thanks for reading!

                                                           

                      

 

                    

                                                               

How to be an Effective Leader:

passion for work
In the competitive environment of today, it is essential for all Leaders (even if you lead one person) to be passionate and highly motivated. Leadership by hierarchy is no longer valid.
How to be an effective Leader? How to develop Leadership Qualities? What is the first step?
The first and foremost quality leaders must have is a passion for whatever they do? Doing anything half-heartedly does not work today. A passion for becoming an excellent public speaker could be the first step. A public speaker is like a performer, a stage actor – they eagerly desire to perform. Passion enables them to perform. They enjoy what they do, and their passion to do the same more and more wholeheartedly increases. Initial difficulties are eradicated and they become successful in their mission.
Furthermore, if a leader is passionate about a job, followers are likely to follow suit. Business becomes easier. Passion also helps to maintain enthusiasm which in turn is contagious. That should therefore be the foremost quality of an effective leader. Being a store house of energy. In fact, most of the time that people are away, they are at work. So if during the work you are enjoying and happy, life becomes very interesting and significant. One starts loving life. That is what Leaders do.
hunger for knowledge
“Stay hungry; Stay foolish!” were the words of Steve Jobs which was the essence of his famous speech at the Stanford University. Hunger for knowledge can never be satiated. The more you learn, the more you desire to learn. Knowledge is endless. A good Leader’s hunger for knowledge should also be endless. That is what made Steve Jobs a most revered Leader in technology and business. Quest for knowledge makes you realize that you never know enough. Besides, this also helps in keeping your ego at bay. And growth comes as a by-product of your efforts to learn and to thwart ego.
Leadership-and-Discipline-2
The next important quality a Leader must have is discipline. If you are passionate and if you are hungry you will probably go on the right road of your destination. But the road is never smooth. It may have many hurdles which you have to overcome. Discipline teaches you to do something that needs to be done at a particular time. Sometimes you may like to do it, and sometimes you may not like to do it. But discipline motivates you to finish your task in both situations. As a Leader it is critical to have 100% commitment for your mission.
A Leadership Skills Development Workshop helps offer the right inputs which brings out the qualities of a Leader. For more information visit: http://nimblefoundation.org/leadership-skills.html
Thanks for reading.

Happiness is not expensive.

Today when there is so much information available on all human emotions and the reasons there of no one has any right or business to be unhappy. Actually there was never a reason for people to be unhappy. Abraham Lincoln said in the early 19th century that ‘most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.’ However at that time there was no internet, literature was scanty and hardly available. Today, with the internet all the information and the images that one may require to collect about happiness, are easily available.
Vikram a student of 6th standard volunteered to collect the relevant information and the images on ‘how to be happy’. I reproduce the material collected by Vikram in about half an hour. When I went through it, I found that anyone who would spend some time to read the knowledge collected by Vikram and see the pictures again collected by him should be never unhappy.
He informed me that he collected the pictures from Google images. Further he collected the entire written material from Wikipedia. Please spend some time to look at the pictures and also a few minutes on reading the text which he collected from Wikipedia.
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A smiling Rebecca L. Felton
Research has produced many different views on causes of happiness, and on factors that correlate with happiness, but no validated method has been found to substantially improve long-term happiness in a meaningful way for most people.
Sonja Lyubomirsky concludes in her book The How of Happiness that 50 percent of a given human’s happiness level is genetically determined (based on twin studies), 10 percent is affected by life circumstances and situation, and a remaining 40 percent of happiness is subject to self-control.
The results of the 75 year Grant study of Harvard undergraduates show a high correlation of loving relationship, especially with parents, with later life wellbeing
Psychologist Martin Seligman asserts that happiness is not solely derived from external, momentary pleasures, and provides the acronym PERMA to summarize Positive Psychology’s correlational findings: humans seem happiest when they have

  1. Pleasure (tasty food, warm baths, etc.),
  2. Engagement (or flow, the absorption of an enjoyed yet challenging activity),
  3. Relationships (social ties have turned out to be extremely reliable indicator of happiness),
  4. Meaning (a perceived quest or belonging to something bigger), and
  5. Accomplishments (having realized tangible goals
  1. Abraham Harold Maslow, an American professor of psychology, founded humanistic psychology in the 1930s. A visual aid he created to explain his theory, which he called the hierarchy of needs, is a pyramid depicting the levels of human needs, psychological, and physical. When a human being ascends the steps of the pyramid, he reaches self-actualization. Beyond the routine of needs fulfillment, Maslow envisioned moments of extraordinary experience, known as peak experiences, profound moments of love, understanding, happiness, or rapture, during which a person feels more whole, alive, self-sufficient, and yet a part of the world. This is similar to the flow concept of Mihály Csíkszentmihályi.
  2. Self-determination theory relates intrinsic motivation to three needs: competence, autonomy, and relatedness

HEALTH

  1. Richard Davidson‘s 2012 bestseller The Emotional Life of Your Brain argues that positive emotion and happiness benefit your long-term health. From a study conducted in 2005 by Andrew Steptow and Michael Marmot, findings have found that happiness is clearly related to biological markers that play an important role in health.
  2. At University College London, Steptow and Marmot collected health and well-being data from 116 men and 100 women. All 216 participants were middle-aged, British civil servants between the ages of 45 and 59. The researchers aimed to analyze whether there was any association between well-being and three biological markers: heart rate, cortisol levels, and plasma fibrinogen levels. Interestingly, the participants who rated themselves the least happy had cortisol levels that were 48% higher than those who rated themselves as the most happy. The least happy subjects also had a large plasma fibrinogen response to two stress-inducing tasks: the Stroop test, and tracing a star seen in a mirror image.
  3. In Happy People Live Longer, Frey reports that happy people live 14% longer, increasing longevity 7.5 to 10 years.
  4. Steptow and Marmot furthered their studies by using their participants three years later to repeat the physiological measurements. They found that participants who scored high in positive emotion continued to have lower levels of cortisol and fibrinogen, as well as a lower heart rate.

Despite a large body of positive psychological research into the relationship between happiness and productivity, happiness at work has traditionally been seen as a potential by-product of positive outcomes at work, rather than a pathway to success in business. However a growing number of scholars, including Boehm and Lyubomirsky, argue that it should be viewed as one of the major sources of positive outcomes in the workplace.
Thanks for reading.

Speech Controls Your Life.

Yes, your speech does control your life. When you say something, it’s a kind of commitment you are making to your own self. Therefore it is significant. Your speech depends on your thoughts. It is instrumental to your actions. So the speech is connected with both, your thoughts and your actions. When you are careful about what your say, in fact you are controlling your actions. Further it also means rejecting some of your thoughts and selecting some others. On an average an individual has 60,000 thoughts during 24 hours. Even when you sleep, thoughts keep working in your mind. But your conscious speech surely tries to give some direction to your thoughts.
Knowledge depends on what we read, our interactions with other people and our experiences. All these form the background material. It is upon us to make choices on what to use and how to use. Some people do not learn from their own experiences, however bad. They keep on making the same mistakes again and again. Shakespeare’s tragedies explain the phenomenon in greater detail. Each of the tragic heroes of his plays is inflicted by a habit which in the end causes his destruction. In Shakespearian literature, it is known as the tragic flaw.
One may argue that it is only fiction and has no relation with life. These tragic plays were written about 500 years ago. The tragic flaw or the destructive habit may be an exaggerated one. Yet, if we look at our lives closely, we will find that many of us keep making the same mistakes again and again. These faults are known to others through our speech and/or dependant actions. Often these are also known to us. But if we strictly control our speech these faults will also be controlled. We can change our lives altogether.
Some people are prone to corruption due to greed. Some others are obsessed with power. Even though we all know that arrogance is not good, yet many are extremely arrogant. They cause immense harm to the society and often to themselves as well. Arrogance or any other personality flaw is evident in our communications. These are visible to others as well as known to us. The moment we decide to control our speech, these flaws are also controlled. What you speak and how you speak also displays your manners and culture.
I consider that for most of us who are fortunate to be blessed with 3 basic needs i.e. food, shelter and clothing; speech becomes the most important human need. Thus desire to express is important. Leaders lead by expressing what is good for the persons they lead. Their expression or speech surely impacts their behavior and actions. Likewise people who want to progress in their respective fields have to use their speech with discretion.
Now let us see how to create and maintain good communication. The Bhagwad Gita emphasizes that clear, controlled speech is a great human asset. In order to have good voice and develop clarity in speech one has to practice deep breathing. Besides you have to maintain good health by taking proper care of your food, exercise, abstention from worrying and tensions. Thus when you are caring for your speech you are also looking after your health. Deep breathing as a habit empowers you with more enthusiasm as you consume more oxygen. Deep breathing is also a requirement of good speech.
Throughout the world we have good examples that great leaders have excelled with their excellent speeches. Our own Mr. Narendra Modi is a shining example.
narendra modi
Thanks for reading.

What is most Important for Success- Knowledge, Power or Wealth?

At our learning centre, we recently held a discussion on- “What is important for success- knowledge, power or wealth?”

knowledge
Importance of Power

The participants in the discussions were entrepreneurs, corporate executives, bankers and others. Different views were presented by the speakers. Some considered knowledge as most important factor. They enumerated examples of successful people who had risen from being unknown to highly rated successful individual by consistently acquiring knowledge and gainfully using it. Knowledge in such cases did not necessarily mean any university degree or such other qualification. Knowledge, here, denotes application of mind of the practical knowledge received through any medium and using the same for earning name, fame and wealth. Steve Jobs is one such example. Our own Dhirubhai Ambani is another. Even Warren Buffet’s story is no different. It is rags to riches. While academic Knowledge has also helped lots of people to become successful and famous.
power
Importance of Power

The role of power in success, too, cannot be undermined. Politicians achieve power and then use the same to achieve greater power. This is how power helps them to be successful. In the present scenario, a powerful politician can introduce his/her son or daughter to become a nominated leader and in the process achieve success in politics. Many politicians, today, are following this model of leadership succession. Likewise, a powerful bureaucrat can use his power to help his friend relative to achieve success.
wealth
Importance of Wealth

Wealth can buy knowledge and power. So, one may say that if you have money, you can achieve any goal by hiring people, facilities to create any large project and achieve success.  But without Knowledge achieved through experience it is very difficult to see the success of a large project. Political leaders can no doubt introduce their wards in leadership succession through the power they wield, but unless they   ensure that the latter gain sufficient experience, the entrant may not be successful.  Knowledge acquired through experience alone will bring success to them. Here too, Knowledge gained with experience becomes important. Power alone will not work.
So, the fact of the matter is that knowledge learnt through studies or gained through experience is indeed very important in any field.
But, it needs to be remembered that the meaning of success has to be defined by each and every individual in his/her own terms.
How should one do that? That will be a subject of another post.
Thank you.