“Never stop learning because life never stops teaching”
I like to think of myself as a part-time Doctor, part-time traveler, part-time reader, part-time hobbyist, and a full-time learner. I once watched a documentary, where Microsoft founder Bill Gates was asked what he would have done more of in life if he could go back in time, to which he answered that he wishes he had read more books. That’s great because he does come around to the point where he says he could have learned more. However, I don’t feel our learning is limited to books. We are all students in the school of life, and we are constantly learning. Here are the ways in which I feel I am learning full time :
Learning from my experiences
Whether it was a friendship that went awry or one that faded away due to lack of mutual effort; Whether it was learning how to deal with people and selectively avoiding the manipulative lot; Whether it was going through a rough ordeal and coming out triumphant, failing while watching others succeed or even experiencing an unexpected victory; Whether it was experiencing unconditional love from my family and friends or experiencing a random act of kindness from a stranger, every experience taught me something new. Every experience gifted me with a refined set of survival skills, taught me how to read people better and made me astonishingly strong.
Learning from my education
Medicine always has something new to teach me, starting right from the course syllabus where I discovered that there was a whole universe hidden within the human body and it would take me years to learn about its intricacies, to discovering intense emotions of empathy and compassion when I would see my patients suffering, but learning how to keep emotions at bay, to be a professional. Twenty four hour hospital duties, and a whole lifetime of studying, made me tough and adaptable. Aristotle rightly said “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet”
Learning from my hobbies
I’ve learned a great deal from all my hobbies. Public speaking taught me the importance of standing up and bringing unaddressed issues to light when they must be discussed. It also taught me that a little bit of humor goes a long way in brightening the moods of a dull room. Reading books taught me that years of knowledge can sometimes be held right in the palm of your hand. 2 years of vigorous exercise taught me that sometimes, pain is indeed the way to gain. Swimming and Scuba diving taught me, that sometimes it’s best to take a deep breath and delve into the world of the unknown, you’ll be surprised what you discover hidden beneath. And Wine tasting(WSET) taught me patience and persistence while learning how to assess a wine systemically and fill in my tasting notes.
Learning from my mistakes
Identifying my mistakes, owning up to them and developing the courage to apologize and then forgive myself, formed a huge part of my learning. Ensuring that I never made the same mistake twice, contributed a lot. Learning from my mistakes taught me that to err is human. It made me a lot more understanding and forgiving as well. It also taught me how to ultimately let go of them and focus on the future.
Learning from others wisdom
Intelligence without wisdom brings destruction. I honestly don’t know to what extent I have acquired wisdom and so I selfishly bank on the wisdom of those who are known to have gained it. I eagerly rely on the wisdom of my Mum and my Grand-mum and often wonder how they pick the perfect anecdotes and quotes to ensure I learn and stay unwavering and steady on the path that I am on.
Learning that I will never stop learning
The more I pay attention and learn, the more I realize that I have a long way to go and a lot to learn. Everything we learn determines our coping skills, the person we are and the decisions we will have to take. I refuse to believe that anything we learn maybe inessential,purposeless or in vain. The best part about learning of course is that no one can take it from you.