The L word

Learning is about inspiration, not information!

You are never really “done” learning. Learning is a constant process that keeps your mind alive and functioning. It can be thought of as breathing for your brain, once you stop doing it, your brain becomes dead<so to speak!> Idle mind is a devils playground. And when you stop assimilating knowledge, your brain becomes idle and starts wandering off in unproductive directions with you having no control over them!

When you do not feed your mind important, informative, intellectual <and other words starting from i that’ll make you think I’m smart> things to think about, it’ll usually result in you pondering over problems and overthinking, which is not healthy for either you or your brain. Keep your mind busy enough so it does not have time to think and worry about all the things that do not exist. Overthinking causes you to worry about the most unlikely scenarios <Imagine some witty example of why overthinking is a mess!>

We can all agree that education system, which says it is teaching something to kids, is heavily flawed. A bunch of kids — each definitely unique in their own ways, with obviously different interests, and who will all take varied amounts of time to comprehend and learn something are taught the same thing over a same period of time and are tested on the basis of their understanding of that! In my opinion, these tests determine the ability of the teacher to convey the information more than the student’s intellectual ability. <Many Indians nodding furiously in approval>

Since the obvious choice of learning seems to be below par, what do we do? Well, the Internet is a wonderful place to turn to at this time. We are fortunate to be a part of a world where you can Google anything and information about it appears for free, at your convenience.

Think about it, Internet is like your portable library+personal advisor+intellectual partner in crime.

In a world where information is so easily and readily available, the irony is that not many access and make use of it. We instead use the Internet for social media stalking and validation purposes. There’s nothing wrong with that but I urge you to take one small break from that routine and to focus on learning something new. It is a very small change in your life that could lead to many good things.


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Overcome Bias

We have lived in a society that feeds on prejudice. All of us, at some point in life,  have come to conclusions about people we don’t know based on what we see and hear about them. While a few of us acknowledge that this is wrong, a great majority doesn’t. There are plenty of people talking about that great majority but I am going to talk about the few of us who realise the wrongness and still choose to do it anyway!

We convince ourselves that we are good people and we choose to be good people. While this seems like a noble thing, it is actually the root cause of problem. Because the first step to solving problems is to acknowledge their existence. This set of people want to be unbiased and unprejudiced when faced with a new person and/or situation but somehow that subconscious bias overrides their ‘wants’ and they come to a conclusion.

So, here’s a system you can employ to overcome bias:

1. Acknowledge the bias

You need to understand that if you intend on solving the problem, you have to first choose to see the problem. Recognising bias doesn’t make you a bad person. Sometimes we lean on biases we didn’t even know we had and that causes us to question our beliefs. So, make an active effort to understand your perspective instead of denying it.

“Stop trying to be good people, and be real people” – Vernā Myers

2. Speak about it even if it makes you uncomfortable

This is important, if you truly want to improve then you have to speak about it, be open to learning and being challenged by learned folks. Speak about it, seek help and choose to be better than before. It is no shame to reach out and ask for help. Try to get more people talking and if they are struggling with same issues, help them get over theirs as well. Do not run away from conversations, which are necessary simply because you’re uncomfortable.

3. Move forward with it

After you have understood what biases you have, then move forward carrying them and try to change. When you are trying to understand how your bias system works, you can tell you mind when it is doing something wrong. And  repeatedly being told what is wrong will make your brain believe; because that is how bias is formed in the first place — repetition! This will work far better than being in denial about the bias and being biased. Make a conscious effort to bring a change in the way your brain jumps to conclusions you don’t want to!


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