Nurture the Habit of Cultivating Knowledge

If money is your hope for independence, you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability.   

Henry Ford

I am a believer in seeking knowledge. I have done graduation in electrical engineering. To teach the best use of the latest computer technologies in electrical engineering, I completed my master’s in computer engineering. In an attempt to identify some potential solutions, I went ahead to do my Ph.D. in electricity distribution management. I strongly believe that the moment you stop learning you stop growing, and when you stop growing you start dying. So, don’t die before you die.

HABIT Read books. Books are the best source for getting knowledge. Every book has the potential to reveal something good that results in widening your knowledge. Some books are so good that even one book can significantly alter your life journey to the extent you find yourself transformed. My mother had no education. Even after marriage, raising a family and household works kept her illiterate. But, in her later years, the quest to learn and know more, she started reading and went on to read tough religious scriptures.

REMEMBER Every day provides you with opportunities to learn and grow. Be open with your eyes, ears, and entire receptive system to learn from your everyday interactions, conversations, and experiences. Even though lectures, talks, articles, interviews of successful persons help a lot, an ordinary person can be a source of vital knowledge and useful idea. Remember, ideas are fruits of your thinking. Ideas require special attention from the time they originate until they are transformed into practical ways of doing things. Harness these ideas and implement to best use. Resolve to put your idea in the form that can be easily recalled and put to use. For example, an idea in written or pictorial form is many times more useful than an idea presented only in verbal form.

You need not immerse yourself in the library to become a knowledgeable person. The living and non-living things around you present loads of good ideas. Pets prompt you to learn so many things with their action and behavior. My German Shepherd dog has made me a better person in many respects. He made me smile more times than that of my wife or kids; especially during the moments, I felt low. Plants and trees teach us so many things during their different stages starting from germination till their fruit giving stage, bearing the brunt of the fall season and growing again in spring. During its cycles round the year, nature presents you many learning lessons to keep evolving yourself day by day, year after year.

Ideas of others can help you to spark your own ideas leading to improved creativity and better results. The ideas and suggestions of others can act as ingredients to help you build the structure of your success. This is the reason good leaders spend much more time requesting advice than they do give.

BEWARE Sometimes the perception that you have acquired so much knowledge, experience, and expertise can narrow your view; making you blind to so many new ideas and opportunities available in different forms. The mind that feeds only on itself is soon undernourished, becoming weak and incapable of generating creative, progressive thoughts. So, to keep on learning new things, become your child version and adopt a beginner’s mindset. It will help you to rediscover the joy of learning. It requires you to acknowledge the limits of your understanding and embracing curiosity that makes you believe that there is always something new to learn in every situation and condition. With an open mind, it is so much easier to enjoy the wonders of the universe and learn useful lessons. Remember, this pursuit of open-mindedness and learning is a continuous process; not a one-time goal.

You are gifted with two wonderful listening valves, your ears and one asking valve, your mouth. There is no limit to what you can learn by sincerely asking and attentively listening. These important valves facilitate your mind raw materials which can be converted into creative power. Mental stimulation is your excellent mind food. To provide mental stimulation in your field, join and actively interact with at least one professional group of your domain. To further widen your horizon, participate in at least one group outside your professional interest. It will expand your thinking and help you see the bigger picture.

IMPORTANT One bad chapter does not mean the story is over. Sometimes we are tested not to show our weakness, but to discover our strengths. With 9999 failures before the first success, Thomas Edison is one of the best examples of it. If he did not have that unwavering determination to learn, he would not have been able to register more than 1000 patents in his name and succeed in many important inventions; including his most famous, the electric bulb. Nor, he would have been able to found General Electric, which even today is one of the greatest companies in the world.

To nurture your habit of cultivating knowledge, ASK YOURSELF:

What new can I learn today?

What new habit can I develop this month?

What new course can I do this year?

Ask similar other questions from yourself and start implementing to keep seeking knowledge.

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