Learning through Experiences
Every experience is sure to teach you something or the other, you just have to be aware enough to pick that learning. It once so happened, I was riding back home later in the night, when the traffic generally doesn’t follow the signal rules; I on the other hand don’t like to do so. At a signal, I stopped when the red light flashed whereas a few other vehicles zoomed past me, some even closely missing accidents with passers-by. While all this was happening, someone on a super-bike came by and stopped at the same signal. Both of us just stared at the vehicles that didn’t show any respect for the rules. A few seconds later, the signal turned green and he zoomed away on his bike. On the same route, we happened to meet each other at the next signal, and it was the same situation, vehicles just didn’t seem to care about the rules. I went up to him and showed him the thumbs-up in appreciation of following rules, to which he responded saying, “As bikers, the experience teaches us a lot, including traffic discipline.”
Both of us then went our ways, and this left me in thought about how this experience of biking taught me a lot. This blog is dedicated to many such experiences that have imparted great learnings in me over the last few years that have helped me grow in various ways:
As an amateur photographer, one of my favorite things to do is play around with the lens, try different frames and focuses, understand different light settings and various modes in the camera. This experience of being able to capture anything and everything indeed is fun.
A lot of times, photos I click may not be perfect; in all honesty, those imperfect photos tend to become my favorite ones. Photography, as an experience has taught me how important imperfections are, because these imperfections are what you work on and make the photo look better. In experience, I have understood and accepted the fact that growth or development is available only when you are imperfect! Here, I ask, “Are you accessing your right to imperfection?”
2. Learning to play the keyboard:
When it came to learning the instrument, I was self-taught. I didn’t have a teacher, I didn’t use a book or an application, but I just played around with the keys and notes on the instrument. What really made the experience of learning the Keyboard fun was the amount of freedom I had. It may have taken me longer than usual to learn it, but the time that I took to learn, helped me actually understand the instrument better. This really helped me break through the structures that were in place when it came to learning a lot of other things. I knew my instrument in and out and thus could jam up new tunes and I would know for a fact that those were perfect in terms of harmony and rhythm.
Many of us miss out on those small experiences that help us understand the importance of freedom and breaking out of those ‘traditional’ structures that are in place!
3. Art & Craft:
Being very creative and artsy since my childhood, I never backed away from an opportunity to learn Arts and creative crafts. Right from Origami, decoration and clay modeling to playing with colors, painting and drawing, everything creative I did was out of sheer curiosity and passion. Arts & Crafts taught me what I could do if I set out with a specific goal in my head, with all the resources I had in my Art Box or kit! Nothing really went to waste, not even a small bit of paper or cloth, I used them in some way or another.
Generating Idea after Idea, I even took it to a level where for a small duration I sold a few of my pieces to make small money! Well, like the famous saying goes, if you’re good at something, never do it for free; I sure did make a quick buck out of it!
4. Microlight Flying:
As someone who really likes adventure and the adrenalin rush that comes out of it, I really looked forward to activities and experiences where I could let loose and have a lot of fun. I looked at flying the microlight jet too, in the same way. As soon as I stepped into the flight, I was really excited about the experience. Out of excitement, I didn’t notice that my knee brushed against the throttle of the jet. Immediately, the Captain of the jet announced, “Sagar, unlike other adventures you’ve been to, that require movement and letting yourself loose, flying a plane requires an equal amount of discipline and focus on the minutest of things like the altitude, lift and throttle. Watch where you keep your fingers as anything you do may affect the flight and your experience.”
Little did I know that not all adventures were alike, what I took back in terms of learning from the flight was that some adventures really required greater focus and a sort of discipline along with it. Not many experiences really show you the importance of something, until you mess up and make a small mistake; in my opinion, it is worth taking a small risk sooner as these have smaller consequences and bigger learning!
5. Learning a language:
Languages are indeed fun when taught to you by someone who is equally passionate about the language. My experience of learning French and Spanish was a great experience considering I got to learn them through interactions with native speakers. What was really a task was to actually walk up to a random stranger and make a small conversation with my limited vocabulary. The experience taught me the importance of networking and the importance of being able to strike a conversation with anyone. And the best part, they really didn’t mind if you made a mistake!
What helped me further was being aware of others’ conversations. How this helped me was in understanding their use of tonality, verbs, expressions and even the colloquial bit of the language! Not just this, but also in terms of understanding Cultures, and how languages have influenced people’s’ cultures. Because when it comes to connecting with people, one thing that helps apart from language is their culture!
That being shared, what I have learnt has had an immense impact on the way I understand and perceive things. Learning from these experiences has changed the way I look at things. No wonder they say experiences are the best way to learn. Give yourself such experiences and and don’t just experience, but learn out of them, you never know, they may take you a long way forward!
Sagar R Gangwani