Just how much is enough?

How much can one learn in a lifetime?

More importantly, how much should one learn in a lifetime?

Is it worth learning so much when some concepts may never be applied in real life?

A few months back, I had written about the knowledge illusion (reproduced below) – where we think we know more than we actually do.

A thread from that topic is on how to improve what we know, and possible sources of such information. Yes, the Internet has made information more accessible, but with that comes an information overload – there is so much out there that we end up not learning anything – we cannot decide where to begin!

I also find this in the workplace. Knowledge sharing earlier was more personal, and ways of sharing were much lesser compared to the tools that we have now. Yet I find that there are so many knowledge gaps – precisely because there is so much out there that one does not know where to start.

So here is a way that works for me. I learn in bite-sized portions, and ad-hoc. If something is interesting, I get down to learning more about it right there. For 2-3 days, I focus on that subject and get to a point where I can be reasonably assured of competence. Not expert-level, just competence for now. I can always come back to it later, if I wish to delve deeper into that subject.

And this continues every day, at every opportunity. I don’t see myself stopping this anytime soon – it gets so exciting and opens up new doors every time. When and if such learning will be used – I don’t really know. But the process trumps the results, or such possible usage.

And the second part of this is sharing. The more you share, the more you learn. I try to share as much as I can with the team, and I have seen gaps in my methods now. One needs to structure this better, and also keep a record of such teachings for future employees. That closes the loop.

That is what I aim to do in the coming months. Wish me luck!