Tag: learning

38 Vlogs and still determined

38 Vlogs and still determined

One of my new year resolutions was to make 365 vlogs for my YouTube Channel called Lifeaholic. I decided to document my journey in the form of video. I was not prepared or had a basic plan in mind of what content I am going to put. But I was sure I wanted to post videos on how I live my passion and how I am making time for things I love.

I finally completed 38 vlogs!

Check out my 38th Vlog -> http://fxnikee.com/my-wakeboarding-experience/

It was not easy recording or editing vlogs for days when I go out of the station. Various factors came into play. Factors such as:

  1. Getting tired
  2. Getting conscious
  3. Too much editing
  4. Other priorities take over
  5. Mismanaged time
  6. Lack of creativity when you need it
  7. Laziness
  8. Going out of station
  9. Others

When you are determined, you will bypass all these hurdles and find a reason to upload that video. I feel incredibly confident when I upload that video. It gives a boost to my energy and keeps the momentum. I am getting less conscious which is good. However, some of the videos I upload, I would not watch myself.

It does not matter how the content turns out. My focus is on removing all the barriers I will encounter. Making a video everyday pushes me to think about how I can create good content. I always think of ideas I can generate a vlog. Editing and cutting out all the unnecessary bits just becomes a habit.

I stammer big time. The process of making a video every day makes me think about how much time I will take if I stammer. Now, I am looking out to ensure I speak slowly with fewer fillers and make a script before speaking in from of the camera. Recording neatly saves a lot of time, in editing the vlogs.

Modern Ekalavya Learning Technique 8 – Changing learning style

Modern Ekalavya Learning Technique 8 – Changing learning style

Learning a new subject and not getting anywhere can be very frustrating. We have all been in this situation. Why do we fail to grasp a topic while others were easy to understand?

Many times a learning method cannot work for different subjects. For example, you cannot do a fitness training for a running race and expect to perform well in a game of football. Both of them have different training routines.

Different people learn by different methods. No one size fits all learning method. Various subjects could be absorbed better and faster by different ways. Learning is highly dependant on your retention and learning capacity. If you keep experimenting different styles, you may come across a method that works best for difficult subjects.

For example, when it comes to algorithms or logic, I prefer writing it down and exploring it on pen and paper. It works better than coding or practising using the laptop. I feel there are many distractions I need to fight if I use a laptop. And when it comes to book reading, I prefer writing notes for topics that I want to internalise. Other books which are easy reads, I prefer listening to them while driving to work.

You won’t get to a suitable your style quickly. However, if you learn to identify at which point your grasping capacity is reducing, you can try out a new method and experiment. With a few tries, you will quickly recognise which process works and what does not. For learning future subjects, you will know what learning methods can help you immediately understand.

 

Modern Ekalavya Learning Technique 7 – Retrospective Learning

Modern Ekalavya Learning Technique 7 – Retrospective Learning

Losing track of from your learning objectives is easy.

Nothing can be more frustrating than spending time on learning something and not getting good at it. We all fall into this trap. Nothing uncommon.

Imagine you have to cycle from Point A to B. There are multiple routes to the end location. Some are short, some are difficult, some are tricky, some have roadblocks, and some feel pleasing but misleading. You have to choose the optimal route based your skills. Also, you cannot spend endless time exploring all the paths as it will only delay when you reach point B. It will just leave you tired and less motivated to keep going.

Similarly, we have multiple ways to reach our learning objectives. Learning a particular topic is time bound. Also, a smart choice of a leaning path keeps us motivated to keep learning.

Which brings us to the question – How do we know we are in the right direction?

Retrospective learning is the answer.

Whenever you learn something, you must also ensure you keep applying the knowledge as you learn. You can do this by either solving a situational problem or teaching the concept to someone else or hypothetically implement it in another field just like we make jokes. While applying your recently gained knowledge, you will hit possible loopholes in your understanding. Which in turn helps you figure out where you need to focus your effort on learning.

You are very likely to understand and apply few of the topics faster, but some may take longer. You can choose to spend time on the weaker topics, but not for long.

I like to begin by directly applying the topic I want to learn. For example, if I want to learn Machine Learning, I start by implementing a primary method. Naturally, I may suck at the first attempt. Then I discover some topics and apply again. I get better by maybe 1%. I keep doing this till eventually, I gain mastery over it. Not only that I also teach it to others whenever I find the time. It helps me strengthen my hold on the topic.

Do you have any other ways that help you learn faster? Please mention your methods in the comments below.

 

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 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 forms of Ekalavya’s learning technique

Modern forms of Ekalavya’s learning technique

Ekalavya from ancient history proves that self-learning is the best form of learning style.

Dronacharya (also Guru Droņa) was a master of advanced military arts and was the preceptor of Kauravas and Pandavas in the epic of Mahabharata. He also is known to be a teacher to Ekalavya but by indirect methods.

Ekalavya approached Guru Droņa to learn the art of war from him, and the Guru rejected his request. Deeply hurt by the rejection, Ekalavya did not give his resolution of learning the art of war.  This situation gave birth to one of the oldest forms of self-learning.

Ekalavya took the mud under the Guru’s feet to the jungle and made a full statue of Guru Droņa. It was a symbolic gesture to follow his knowledge and footsteps. With Guru Droņa statue placed under a tree and with a high amount of self-motivation, Ekalavya practised every day for many years. He chose archery as his focused art of war and gained exceptional prowess. He was even greater than Guru Droņa best pupil, Arjuna.

During that time, there was a ritual of Guru Dakshina. It was a form of paying respect to the Guru for his services. I could not even imagine why Guru Droņa could ask such a Dakshina from a self-taught learner like Ekalavya. Guru Droņa asked Ekalavya to cut his right thumb as Guru Dakshina. Eklavya with a smile cut his right thumb and handed it over.

What Ekalavya did was great. In today’s world, we do have many good sources to learn. Not as difficult as learning from a statue. And definitely, does not involve cutting our thumb as Guru Dakshina.

What are the modern forms of self-learning? 

With access to every information at our fingertips due to “Internet”, we now have access to YouTube, MOOCs and mobile apps that can help us learn anything we want.

We just need to have the self-motivation to learn and even stronger reason of why we want to learn.

Of course, we cannot deny that a mentor/guide/guru would improve our learning. But, let’s face it, racing against yourself becomes of more importance than learning either from Guru or being self-taught. And there is a good chance we might not find the right Guru at the time we require him. And then there is a way that involves the exchange of massive wealth to gain knowledge.

The question you must ask yourself is whether you learn something to satisfy your Ego or you want to learn it because you decided to improve yourself. Once you have this piece figured, you need to find a way to avoid distractions.

How to avoid distractions?

With many resources we have, we also double the distractions. It’s not like the forest Ekalavya practised. The environment was conducive for his learning. Yes, the environment is the answer. We need to create our environment, a system to stick to it to gain maximum from self-learning. Also, it’s a known fact that you must have a defined objective of what is the intended outcome you want from learning something.

Once your system is in place, it’s easier for you stick to it. You gain momentum when you begin to results you could not imagine. You may face down times, but it’s important to get back up and start learning again. You might not be able to make enough progress for 100 days in a row, but you need to keep your senses open, as the world has its way of getting the answer you need when you need it.