Learning does not mean chewing, swallowing, digesting and vomiting it when required. Learning is not confined to reading books and gathering knowledge, if you want to be learned, wise and powerful you need to look beyond books. Do no confine yourselves to the library or to books, agreed that they are a wealth of knowledge but you need something more to gain true power.
If you are in college studying to get your PhD or masters then you need to spend countless hours buried in your books preparing for exams. There is no denying this fact; but real learning is something that must make you wise and give you power.
More than books much of your learning should come from the real world. Here are some sources from which you can observe and learn:
People: Look beyond books, make the whole world your library. Study people more than you study books, get a fine understanding of the human nature, observe and learn what moves men, what motivates them to succeed and what propels them.
Every person out there is a walking book of knowledge and experiences. We all have our own set of perceptions, opinions, experiences and setbacks. It is what makes us unique. Each person has something to teach you, something of value to offer to you if you are willing to learn.
The World in general: Watch the world closely. Have a firm grip on reality, the more you are familiar with ground realities the more are your chances of success. Familiarize yourself with the various human –work processes in the real world. Observe how things are done. To succeed you must have one eye on your vision and another on the reality around you.
Taking Action: Many of us study books, take courses about the things we are interested in but practise very little, or worse take no action at all. A year or two down the line we are still reading, taking up every new course offered but success still seems elusive. You need to take massive action to get massive results. The great programmers and artists did not become great just by reading books, they practise countless hours perfecting theirs skills with each passing day.
To taste success you need to take action, get into your field of interest and start doing things, get dirty, get your hands burned in the process and most importantly have fun. All these prelude success. All this is possible only when you move forward from the reading phase.
Experience: Experience is the best teacher of them all. You should learn from your failures but more importantly you should learn from the failures of others. Life is too short to make all the mistakes and learn the lessons they teach. Instead watch others, learn about the mistakes they made. The more number of people you observe the more variety of mistakes you get to learn from.
Study successful people: If you really want to learn about success you need to study successful people. More that studying about success in books you should study the embodiments of success. Watch how the move, how they work, how they interact, how they carry themselves. A day spent in the company of such men is worth more than thousands of hours of study.
Nature: The bird, trees, animals, nature itself has a lot of things to teach but you need to look closely. Take off for a day or two from your routine work and spend some time in nature. Enjoy the beauty and take in the lessons that nature has to offer you.
Being patient: No man ever became wise by chance. It takes years of work, experiences and interaction with others. Simply put; it takes time. To become wise, great and powerful it takes months or years or perhaps even decades. You must be patient, give it time and enjoy the ride.
Failures: Every obstacle is an opportunity in disguise. Every failure has something to teach you. Instead of getting emotional and blaming everybody from your dog, to the economy to god; take a step back and view it rationally. Analyse what went wrong and take corrective measures. The time and energy you spend in whining and complaining, if you spend it in looking for solutions, the results would astound you. It is foolish to commit the same mistake twice. It is insane to try the same thing over and over again and expect a different result each time.
Books are an incredible source of knowledge. There is no denying this fact, but real learning does not come from books alone. To become great and wise you must learn from people, failures, experiences and the world around you. Learning is a lifelong process. The moment you stop learning; you stop growing.