Is learning ever wasted?

Is learning ever wasted?

Someone asked me this question the other day. She wanted to go for a course – short-term, around 2 weeks, and an introduction to something completely different from what she had done till now.

The apprehension was – what if I don’t learn anything and it all goes to waste? What if nothing happens even after I take the course, and don’t get to work in the field?

Yes, I replied. One should not waste money. But the catch is – that is up to you, isn’t it?

If you go to take a course, and only take in what they teach you in class, the books they provide, and nothing else, then yes, there is a chance of this money being wasted. Because you studied, but didn’t learn.

But what if you use what they give you – instruction or otherwise – as a guide, and go back home to research on the concepts heard of in class? A deep-dive into each concept, on a granular level, exploring all aspects of it, from multiple sources, searching, finding, exploring…

In Kyokushin Karate, learning does not happen in class. No sir. In class you practice. But it is what you do when you go back home, when you immerse yourself in that punch, that kick, that kata – when you explore the videos of various fighters and perfect those combinations…that is when you learn so many facets of martial arts.

This is what I did and this is why even 31 years hence, it still fascinates me as much as it did the first day I stepped into the dojo. And I approach all learning in this manner. Maybe this is why I am able to learn fast – this is not a superpower, this is an approach.

One that anyone can adopt.

So take up new courses, new avenues of learning. And give it your 100%, and more. And I can guarantee you – the money will not go wasted. Worst-case scenario – you will know something you didn’t before, and know it well.

See you tomorrow!