-By Aditi & Ratnesh Mathur
Learning always lies in individuals – not institutions. Just because you belong to an institution, it doesn’t necessarily transfer the learning to you. You will have to constantly make your own singular effort to make that learning happen – for you.
Some of us think, learning can happen “from” others. But this, according to me, is a misplaced notion. Learning rarely happens from others. It may happen “because” of others or “through” others – but not from others.
For centuries we have sprawled on a “guru’s feet” thinking learning (or even sometimes enlightenment) will happen. Some of us even keep books below the pillow at sleep time :-). The belief is the same – somebody will “give” us learning. But that’s not true, for me:
Others can only stimulate you – you still need to do;
Others can only show you – but you still need to see;
Other can only explain to you – but you still need to think;
Others can only bring you to the well, but you still need to drink;
Many of us join classes, courses, institutions and even organizations thinking that we would learn. But unfortunately that doesn’t happen. People go about wearing this degree
or the institutions name on their forehead touting their assumed intellect.
Converse is also true. A friend told me – “I am what I am because of this institution I went to”. I said to him, “Wrong – you are you because of yourself. A particular piece of earth might be more conducive to growth of a rose, but a rose bent on growing will even grow in rocks”.
The key to learning is then work – effort, diligence, and industry.
And work requires energy. Our ancestors recognized the importance of WORK and ENERGY as core to learning. That is why all our ancient institutions expounded the gurukul system of learning where work, effort, rigor and discipline were key aspects.
But carrying much more potential, much more impact is an energy which many of us miss – that is the creative energy. The sheer energy release when we embark on a creative endeavour is truly unmatched. Time blurs, world around
us blurs, past and future blurs, when this creative energy drives our complete being into a productive and industrious state of operation.
This is the energy of being in the present. As the neurons of our brain go into a tizzy – in such an unleash of energy, we are absorbing, doing, creating and most importantly learning. Creative energy is the energy of freedom, where thoughts, emotions and effort freely mingle and explode in many directions. The result is oneness with ourselves as well as the world around us.
Each one of us would have experienced this in some form or the other – be it cooking, gardening, writing a letter, sport, and so on. Creative energy is the energy of doing – not from a mechanical state of mind – but from an unleashed, inhibited and unassumed mind which is bent on experimenting, exploring and experiencing – itself as well as the world around it.
So the question is what releases this creative energy. Very simply purpose with passion and persistence.
For most of us, many things that we do serve secondary or unreal purpose – like making money, or completing a chore. No wonder there is no excitement (passion), we take shortcuts (no persistence) and we feel “tired” even before doing it (no creative energy). “Oh no!” – is the beginning exclamation.
But the moment we turn to something that we believe has a great purpose for us, what we are passionate about, what we would like to persist with no matter what odds – the great well of creative energy opens up magically inside us – providing us with whatever resources we would ever need.
Gandhiji, Mother Teresa, Hellen Keller are just few names which come to my mind immediately.
So if you are in search of learning – follow this flow:
Dream a passionate purpose – dive into it with full persistence – and with your then released energy create!
And if you in the business of teaching (which we all are) – I will ensure children around me are passionate about a purpose that their potential has
dreamt off and then I would encourage them to follow their calling with the
true freedom of creative energy.
Let me conclude this with a quote from Gandhiji:
“I claim to be no more than an average man with less than average abilities.
I have not the shadow of a doubt that any man or woman can achieve what I have,
if he or she would make the same effort and cultivate the same hope and faith.”