My mentor once asked me, “What’s the best way to learn?”
We’ve all been brought up and taught that the best way to learn and THE place to learn was the school. And books was always the answer whenever we needed material.
Now while books are great enriching tools and possess a great deal of information on how we can improve ourselves, buying and reading the books do incur some sort of opporunity costs too. For one, some good books can be very expensive and reading can take up lots of time!
Forunately I came to realise one day that, with enough curiousity, we can virtually learn anywhere, anytime from anyone – for free! Yes, free even if you learnt from the best speaker in the world (well, at least for considerably less)!
No, I’m not asking you to turn to piracy. Like what my mentor said, we can learn simply by observing!
Let’s take an example. During a seminar or talk on public speaking, most trainers will go about talking about the skills and strategies that are in their handouts and notes. Now most attendees would either be busy copying down everything that’s said, or they would be ‘busying’ themselves by staring and listening to the speaker.
I on the other hand, would be doing those two mentioned above, in addition to observing WHAT the speaker is doing. His every move and word is screened and those that are most effective are quickly printed on my notes. It could be a funny joke that he said, a series of movement that strikes the audience or a mere inflexion of voice that enchants the audience. Everything goes down, in addition to whatever material that’s already been provided!
So, as most participants are armed with only “words and sentences” on how to improve their public speaking skills, I’m going back armed not only with theoretical information, but with detailed practical examples and ready tools! I’m getting 2 things for the price of 1!
Now the above is an example of observing a current instructor at a seminar. But seriously, are we really confined to observation only in seminars? No! We can learn through observation anywhere at anytime! It can even go both ways. Remember a negative example and avoid it as much as integrating a positive example into your daily life!
So how about that? Learning without paying! It’s efficient, it’s cost effective, and the best thing is, there’s really no limit to what you can gain when you’re learning through observation.