“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”O.W. Holmes
Right there, do you see what our mind is capable of? It can grow. It can expand. But how?
Learning is a process and can be accomplished by a combination of different methods.
- Taking a class
- Reading a book
- Conducting an Experiment
- Participating in Group discussions/conversations
- Attending a seminar
- Interviewing / Asking questions / listening
The list can go on and on but learning starts with one thing, being open.
In a movie scene, Bruce Lee’s ghost appears to an aspiring student. At one point the master raises two glasses, one filled with water, one filled with soda. Water represents everything that the student already knows. The soda represents what Bruce Lee wants to teach. He now starts pouring the soda into the glass filled with water. As expected, the glass overflows. It can no longer hold the soda since it’s already full. At that point the student understood. He must first empty his glass so he can be filled with something new that the master wants to teach.
Learning in real life is the same thing. We must first empty our cup. That means we must be willing to be taught. We must be willing to listen. We must be willing to fail and do better.
We can always learn by ourselves or through other people.
Every day scientists and all of the great minds in the world discover something new. Everyday too, we are surrounded by people, full of wisdom, and whose lives are built upon rich experiences. All we need to do is tap the source and knowledge will flow.
I love learning from other people. I don’t mind being the most stupid person in the room. If I don’t know, I don’t pretend that I know. I ask. I look for answers. Funny, when it is not knowledge but the wisdom you seek, oftentimes the answers are there staring right in front of you.
At this point, I think you and I can agree that knowledge is information, and wisdom is that deeper sense of understanding. We can have all the information in the world, but knowing what really makes sense and meaningful to you, is a different thing.
All of us have the capacity to fit millions of stuff into our brains, but we have to be careful though. Our mind is like a garden. The seeds that we sow, bear fruit. The key is, be responsible.
The Next Level
Up until now, we have only emphasized the capacity of our minds to receive information. The next level is it’s the ability to create.
Most of us have become comfortable with the idea of just consuming. Creating requires more muscles to work. So most people would avoid that. If you really want your brain to expand, inspire it to create. Other than that, why do you think should you bother?
You plant, you harvest. You breathe in, you breathe out. Have you tried inhaling oxygen and not exhaling? You won’t be able to do it for more than 20 seconds.
We are not just consumers in this world. We are also called to contribute. Every good thing that we create or do, sends positive energy to the universe and that single thing will have a ripple effect.
In the vast sea of information you find out there, take one that you could use to create something good. A simple one will do.
Maybe, it’s “How to make a homemade brownie”. Make some, and invite friends over for tea or coffee. That’s you investing in relationships.
Maybe, it’s “How to grow vegetables in your balcony garden”. Grow some. That’s you being practical, feeding on healthy food, getting involved in producing.
Maybe, it’s “How to play the violin”. Learn, practice, master, and play not just for yourself but for the people around you. That’s you embracing art. It’s good for the soul. Music can soothe weary hearts and lift people up. Just imagine how many lives you can touch playing a beautiful masterpiece.
Simple or complex, it doesn’t matter. Just do something, create something.