Learning: the need to relentlessly acquire knowledge

i had a long talk with my kids today.

much of this was with the intent of creating an understanding why the relentless acquisition of knowledge is so important. ie learning & studying. i found that constant berating of the kids to study hard was not working well. time to change plans.

after thinking a bit on the subject, it all comes back to creating leadership behaviours in people. studying hard is not a natural behaviour that kids of the playstation generation would do in their default mode.

i needed to create a purpose for them. kids are leaders in the making. but they need a vision.

the most important is to constantly talk about their dreams, ambitions, desires etc. they could relate to this a bit better than the need to study. in some cases, i needed to work a bit more on the subject as some of the dreams needed to be clearer, and strengthened in order to be a compelling reason to acquire knowledge & experience.

i would often use a lot of probing “why” questions to understand what and why they have these dreams, ambitions and aspirations. but this is where it gets difficult, because not many people understand “why” they do things.

you’d be surprised that this lack of understanding “why” also exists in adults well into their working careers. so it is not just kids.

i look to society as a whole to find my answers why people in general do not understand the “what & why” questions. i conclude that we are not trained that way.

look all around us:

  • we are always told what to do, and what not to do ~ we are seldom asked what we want to do, and why – not a lot of thinking & soul searching required here
  • we are always told that many things are impossible
  • we are always told not to dream but we should focus on today ~ short term vs long term thinking
  • we do not have tolerance for mistakes, whereas i believe that learning from mistakes is one of life’s most valuable lessons – this lack of tolerance also inhibits creativity, risk taking and innovation

although very simplistic, but these are very key environmental factors influencing the way we are. these restrictive environmental factors are even more apparent in our country – as compared to (say) some developed countries.

so i tell my children that they have to develop their own thinking. my job? is to provide them with the correct environment.

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