Very often, people think that learning is a linear process. Learn a bunch of facts and you get an A. Simplifying the processes of learning seems to check off your list quicker but this reduction learning has been costly.
The world is very complex and this linear model of learning seemed to be insufficient in representing the complexity of the reality. Hence, the learning that we are training students for is failing to prepare students for the real world.
Learning is messy.
We need to start thinking about learning differently. Training students to practice expecting problems, extending and refining existing ‘facts’ and knowledge. Simply training students skills in an isolated manner would be difficult to develop them to be well-rounded individuals.
There's so much to explore in the world.
It is easy for us to get used to the day-to-day things happening around us. But when we really open our eyes, we will realise how much we have missed out.
Learn from everything.
“Experience teaches nothing, but evaluated experience teaches everything”
~ John C. Maxwell
Once in a while, bad things happen to us. We might suffer. We might feel upset. But most of us would say it's just bad luck.
But when bad things happen over and over again, then it is no longer bad luck but is the result of bad thinking processes.
As Einstein has once said, 'We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.'
In order to develop better thinking, we need to rely on reflection. Reflection is not a sexy word and it certainly isn't an easy task. It is often at the bottom of our priority list as it takes time, energy, and the courage to admit that we did wrong. To admit that our judgements are after all flawed at times.
But it is a necessary process to take in order to avoid suffering again, to change and to grow.
A sailor’s cabin window view of a former navy ship, Djurgården, Stockholm, Sweden (taken in Summer 2017)
A particular way of considering something. (Cambridge Dictionary)
What are you seeing today? What aren’t you seeing today?
Stop comparing your inner self with other people’s outer self.
It’s not a fair comparison to start with so don’t do it.
The saying goes if you don’t make mistakes, you don’t make anything.
I would go as far as saying if you don’t make mistakes on a daily basis, you aren’t really living and learning.
But simply making mistakes isn’t going to make you better.
Reflect and do better next time.
Having a teachable spirit would take us a long way in life. Let’s keep learning and making mistakes!
Focus not on better writings but on developing into a better writer; not on helping students in getting better grades but in becoming better learners.
Focus on making PEOPLE better.
And not on what they do or produce.
When do you feel most satisfied? I mean feeling confident after doing something?
We can fulfil our desires when having the green tea ice cream with your friends in a long while or buying a new designer handbag or getting a promotion. These things make us happy.
But only for a short while.
What I realised is that I feel the happiest not when I have gained anything; but when I have given my best.
What about you?
Life isn’t just about hitting the right keys.
If you ask young people if they play any instruments (especially in Hong Kong), many of them would say–yes, but not anymore. In fact, you might find many eight graders or diplomers (Is that even a word?). But why don’t they play anymore? Too busy?
Our society finds short-cuts to success and quick-fixes to problems. To many parents, playing an instrument was just another card to get their kids into their desired schools.
The great American conductor Ben Zander coined the term one-buttock player. He explains that the term is used to describe the transformation of a kid from simply hitting the keys at the right time; to loving music.
What if playing a piece is actually telling a story; a way to connect with and move the deepest emotions of your audience. What if everything we do isn’t just about hitting the right keys. What if we start treating life like an adventure rather than a game to win.
What would happen to the world if we all start becoming one-buttock players.
Link to Ben Zander’s inspirational TED talk: