Nothing Beats This
November 14, 2010 § 1 Comment
“I have gained a whole new perspective on learning!” Jake enthused.
“Really? Would you care to elaborate?” I asked as I placed the golf ball on the tee.
“Learning is not confined to schools and seminars. By reigniting my joy for reading, engaging successful people, listening well and observing the not-so-obvious,” He said. Jake then kept quiet as he watched me swing.
“You are quick to understand. Now let us go to one of the most important,” I remarked.
“Wait! Let me take notes,” as he reached for his notebook in his back pocket.
“You always carry that tiny pad around?” I asked as I prepared for my next swing.
“Pretty much since I began learning from everything around me. Ideas just flowed like unending streams,” he said.
“Taking notes is good practice Jake.”
“I’m ready for the lesson, shoot!”
“The lesson today is practice. If you want to be an expert in what you do or want to do, there is no other way but consistent practice,” I exclaimed.
“That’s not hard to understand,” Jake said.
“Yes. The hard part is actually doing it. Since you want to be a public speaker con stand-up comedian, you have to practice your craft as often as you can. Talk to the mirror if you must as long as you do it.
“There has been research and case studies stating that expertise needs ten thousand hours of practice,” I mentioned.
“Ten thousand hours! Wow! Where may I read about that stuff?” asked Jake.
“Ten thousand hours is approximately ten years. Maybe less if you put in the extra time. I’ll give you the references on Gladwell1 and Ericsson2 later if you want to read about it,” I responded.
“I wonder how I can do ten thousand hours?” he thought out loud.
“Find every occasion to speak whether it is in a party, small group, church services, introducing a speaker, in school, before an imaginary crowd, speakers clubs…” I suggested.
“You said that this was one of the most important ways to learn. Why do you think that?” inquired Jake.
“Nothing beats experience. When you learn without experience, you only acquire knowledge. When you learn with experience, you gain wisdom. The more you practice, the more you understand how it works, therefore, the more you understand how to do it effectively,” I explained and paused for another swing.
Still with pen on pad, he looked at me, “I see. Please continue.”
“Some important things cannot be taught, they can only be caught. No one learns how to ride a bike by just reading about it. No one learns how to swim by just listening to a lecture. Knowledge building is important but it is nothing without practice.
“You have to ride the bike in order to actually learn how to ride one. You have to jump in the water and do the strokes until you get the hang of breathing and hand and foot coordination for you to really learn to swim.
“So it is learning by doing!” Jake added.
“Yes. Your assignment is to just do it,” I said. “Then tell me about the experience.”
“Coach, after driving range, do you want to go out for coffee?” Jake invited.
“Thanks but I need to extend another hour then go home and sleep early. I have a game tomorrow,” I politely declined.
“No problem coach. I understand. You need more practice, badly.”
1 Gladwell, Malacolm. Outliers. (NY: Little Brown and Company), 2008: 39-40
2 Ericsson, K. Anders, Michael J. Prietula and Edward T. Cokely. “The Making of an Expert.” Harvard Business Review. July-August 2007: 116.
© Eduardo R. Pilapil Jr. 2010