Should I learn for the sake of learning? Or should it be because I want to apply it somewhere or to something?
At various times in my life, I’ve vacillated between the two approaches. I recollect wanting to learn about things just because I was curious about them. I’d read books – that was all I had access to – and marvel at the imaginative ways I’d find the characters in the books behave. Then came school, and I *had* to learn things because they were on the test. Some things were really interesting but they were “out of syllabus”. I recollect the teachers telling me to shut up with my questions because “you don’t need to know that for the test!”. It must have gotten into my psyche and for a while after, I remember ignoring things I was really interested in.
More recently, I’ve begun learning things that don’t necessarily have an immediate application. I started an online course on “Game Theory” and “Design Fundamentals” (which I finished today). At a cursory, daily, practical level, both have little application. At a deeper, daily, practical level, they will help me understand interactions a little better than I do right now, and to communicate better through my presentations and written communications.
Showing up every day, and doing the work every day. Those are promises I make myself – and have failed to keep up in the past. I’ve got to learn how to do this better, and with a system I can put my efforts behind partly working for me, I put myself and my learning to the test.