Category: Ekalavyas Learning Technique

Modern Ekalavya Learning Technique 6 – Sustaining Daily Habits

Modern Ekalavya Learning Technique 6 – Sustaining Daily Habits

Goals set. Daily habits are in place.

But.

There are days where our work demands more time and sometimes unplanned activities. Also, we cannot ignore our responsibility towards our family and close friends.

While starting off my daily habits, I faced many challenges do sustain them. Many years of habits were hard to shake off. Habits such as spending pointless hours on Social Media. Hours spent worrying, thinking about my future and dwelling on the past. Feeling of guilt if not doing the things I like. Fear of missing out. To shut these thoughts, watching movies and binge-watching TV series.

The fact is we are a generation with knowledge on our fingertips. For the previous generation, knowledge was power. Our generation has so much knowledge; we don’t know how to use it. For us, fighting distractions have become of prime significance.

What do we do in such situations where distractions are a part of daily life? 

I know I will reach my goals if I put in the daily hours. However, on days where distractions win, I ensure I do my daily activities even if they have to be for few seconds. It helps me to sustain the habit and not break the continuity.

Reading is one habit I wanted to cultivate. To sustain the habit, I read minimum one line with full awareness. If one line was not possible, then I just read just one word.

Writing is one habit I still struggle with, so I decided to write my original quotes. Now it has become a game. I try and summarise every situation into one line quote. I plan to use them in my articles. I got the idea of the quote below when I too tired to even sit.

Make your daily goals so tiny that you can achieve them even if you are half asleep.

Yes! that’s it. The solution is simple. For any habit, make it so tiny that you can do it every day.

Please share your experience of starting a new habit and how you overcame challenges to sustain the habit?

 

Modern Ekalavya Learning Technique 4 – Overcoming significant hurdles

Modern Ekalavya Learning Technique 4 – Overcoming significant hurdles

A journey without hurdles is not a journey you should not wish you had. Ekalavya had faced many obstacles during his practice. Most of them involved with fighting himself.

One year back I set a Goal to write a blog every week. The most significant hurdle I faced was my grammar and the number of words in my dictionary. I think I had probably under 500 words when I started. Both of them seemed enormous in my mind. Without wasting time, I started learning grammar. I installed an app and began building my dictionary.

Facing Hurdles is a sign of progress. If you don’t have any, success may be delusional.

Perfecting grammar is a long process. I still wanted to write and not wait till I learned proper grammar. I bought a subscription of Grammarly which is an app which corrects my grammar as I write. Before I purchased the subscription, I ensured I built the habit of writing four days a week. It was sufficient to help me publish one blog every week.

If you look at the first blog, I wrote and compared with it my recent ones. You will observe a stark difference. It is effortless to give up when the work you produce it ugly. All I had to do was to set my habit and then remove my most significant hurdles.

Am I satisfied with my work?

No, not yet!

Have I improved?

I might have improved 1%. I still have a long way to go. Today I am enjoying the process rather than worrying about reaching the end goal.

What hurdles have you faced and how did you overcome them?

Modern Ekalavya Learning Technique 5 – Protect your schedule

Modern Ekalavya Learning Technique 5 – Protect your schedule

Once you have your sound habits in place, the next step is to protect your schedule. We now know that mastery is all about doing it every day till the rest of your life. Our schedule plays an important role.

Suppose you have four habits in a day and you need to 30 minutes for each activity. It means you have to schedule 2 hours each day outside your day job working hours. Ensuring you get the 2 hours every day would say you have to start early.

Getting up early in the morning was never easy for me unless I have some adventure activities lined up in the morning.

I first started getting up around 8 am. Slowly improved the time to 6 am. Currently, I am now targetting 5.30 am. It was not an easy journey. I used to get up to a task, feel sleepy and fall back to sleep. I have more hours a day. It is easy for me to complete 90% of my activities every day. Of course, I still have to fight the distractions and battle the obligations thrown at me by friends or office colleagues or family. Dealing with family and friends is a different topic altogether.

Getting up early in the morning is an art. You can do it by carefully monitoring your quantity of food during dinner time. Light and less spicy food work well for me. As a person who does not drink coffee to get me activated in the morning, this formula works for me. You have to figure out your formula.

In this process of closely monitoring and protecting my schedule, I found new respect for working women. They have additional responsibilities apart from their regular work. I have seen many ambitious friends in my circle who have managed squeeze in time for their interests. Thier schedule has more activities than we could ever imagine. We can take inspiration them and learn from them on how they handle a packed schedule daily.

If you have not yet built your schedule, I believe you should get started with it immediately.

Modern Ekalavya Learning Technique 3 – Daily Practice

Modern Ekalavya Learning Technique 3 – Daily Practice

You already know that daily practice is needed to master any skill. However, to be able to do it you need an environment, and you also you need a time of the day when you can practice. Louise Armstrong rehearsed the trumpet every day since the age of 11 to become a master. Ekalavya was also known to practice daily without fail.

Consider your current age. Now imagine the number of days you need to practice to gain mastery of a skill of your liking.

No matter how busy you are, practice your skill daily till it becomes a habit. Do it for 5 seconds if you have to. I believe that we are a product of our habits. It takes one bad habit to make us think we cannot do something great. It is a misconception. We can. We are often afraid to get rid of that habit.

I was fortunate enough to read the book – Power of Habits by Charles Duhigg. It was pivotal for getting me started with a key habit. It helped me further to develop many other good habits.  I decided to start playing keyboard and meditate. I stuck to doing them for 21 days then for months together and now its a part of my life. Just like brushing teeth.

A few good habits changed my perspective. I learned to schedule time from the activities love. Now I write, make Youtube videos daily, play the keyboard, meditate, read and learn every day. I pushed my self to do many things. I could have never imagined doing all of these activities on one day. Apart from the sound daily habits, daily personal journaling was of phenomenal help.

Identify that one habit that you can keep doing for days. Do it every day. You will notice that you are slowly cultivating other habits you wanted to imbibe in yourself. One micro habit will boost your confidence. When in the process, focus on the habit you have to develop rather than the one you need to stop.

Which is that habit you want to cultivate?

 

Modern Ekalavya Learning Technique 2 – Selecting a Learning Path

Modern Ekalavya Learning Technique 2 – Selecting a Learning Path

With an attention span of a fish, we can hastily abandon the course we have selected. It’s not a surprise that just one course would not suffice for learning that skill. We would not require a 4-year bachelor’s degree otherwise.

Many of the MOOC platforms have already started curating individual courses into learning paths. These learning paths help you master the skill in a much more comprehensive manner. I have tried out Lynda’s and Coursera’s learning, and they seem to be good enough to pick any skill. We could even apply those skills immediately after we have completed the learning path. Even Marketing guru in his article talks about the importance of MOOCs not just only for adults but for children too.

Suppose you want to learn Machine Learning. Without a doubt, Andrew Ng’s Machine Learning course is good to start. However, when you register on Coursera, you will notice that it will ask you about your learning goals and suggest you a learning path accordingly. In the learning path I have chosen, there are three courses I need to complete. You can select Python or R Machine Learning paths depending on the skill you want to specialise.

Ekalvya was clear he wanted to become the best archer in the world, and he would not have done it without setting up strict learning path. He stuck to his path no matter what for years together.

In today’s world, the learning paths should not only contain courses with skill you want to learn. You also need to keep yourself updated with where all you can apply this skill you have acquired. For example, if you are want to become a data scientist, you also need to improve your visualisation skills or presentation skills.

Once you have completed a course, you need to apply them. Platforms such as Kaggle or KD nuggets help us with that. May real life problems are put up as competition on these platforms. Also, Kaggle now has Kernels and forking which can help you get started quickly.

What are you waiting for, choose your learning path on Coursera and create your account on Kaggle and start participating?

 

 

Modern Ekalavyas Learning Technique 1 – Start with Why

Modern Ekalavyas Learning Technique 1 – Start with Why

Coursera has more than 8 million registrations, edX has more than 3 million, and Udacity recently crossed the 2 million mark. While these numbers seem staggering, the course completion rate tells an entirely different story. Across all MOOC platforms, the course completion rate stands at a measly 7%. Much research has been done to identify the reason for this abysmal completion figure, and methods to control the dropout rate. Some research indicates the lack of motivation or a healthy “why?” being the primary reason for the low completion rates. The lack of negative repercussions of abandoning a course midway also contributes towards the dropout.

Think about college. If you quit college midway, you have to enrol again to finish your course. However, with MOOCs, you do not have any penalties for abandoning a course. Enrolling again is easy, and many courses are not even time bound. Even if these courses are time-bound, they are generally spaced out enough for someone to finish them without experiencing a time constraint.

Companies have tried experimenting with various fee structures, but they do not seem to have any impact on the completion rates. This pattern appears to extend to my professional field too. For example, I interact with many professionals who want to switch to analytics, but the average tenure in the field is small. What could they do better? As in the example above, people need to start with their “why?” – Why do they want to switch to analytics? If a better salary is the sole motivation, they might want to reconsider their decision. Anyone who intends to shift to analytics needs to have a love for playing with data, so he or she can use that data to help solve business problems. Simply taking a course does not transform someone into a good fit for a new domain.

Ekalavya had an unshakeable urge to gain mastery over archery, which is why he did not give up even when Dronacharya rejected him, and instead, found his unique way of training himself. Much like Ekalavya, if we are resolute in our determination to complete a MOOC, we will reap benefits quickly, and who knows, we might even master it without having to lose a thumb!

If you want further motivation on starting with “WHY?”, Simon Sinek’s TED talkperfectly explains it. You can also visit his website for further reading. Also, if you like to read his book, you can purchase “Start with Why” on Amazon.