Before you read, do yourself a favor and watch this video.
Why did I want you to watch a boy doing amazing things with ping pong balls, plastic cups and household items?
Because this video, in less than four minutes, illustrates a number of important points about learning. More than just “points” though, these are more like profound truths.
Here are some of the truths I see . . .
Learning Is an Upward Spiral
When learning something new, we start small, and as we master one thing, we have the opportunity to expand our knowledge (and in this case skills), from that base on to the next thing or next level of complexity. While I don’t know that this video is shown in the order of the completion of the tricks, you can bet the last one you see isn’t the first one he mastered. And when he started, he likely couldn’t imagine what was later possible.
So it is with us. As we learn and our horizon and perspective grows we see possibilities, opportunities and levels of productivity we couldn’t originally fathom.
There is virtually no chance that any of these trick were completed on the first try – and even if they had been, there wouldn’t have been a video camera running. I wish we had a video of some of the practice that went into those four minutes. It might not have been as entertaining (though it might have been), but it would have been more instructive.
Practice is a necessary part of learning a skill – knitting a sweater, riding a bike, playing the piano, anything. This young man put in the practice and reaps the rewards. Are you?
Mastery Takes Time
Practice takes time. And to become a master at anything takes time. Much has been written about the 10,000 hour rule – that 10,000 hours are required to master a skill. I don’t know how many hours this young man has put in, but it is clearly many.
What do you aspire to master?
Are you putting in the dedicated, intentional time to get there?
Learning Can (and Should Be) Fun
Yes, it was fun to watch this, but look at the young man – he is smiling and having a good time succeeding at what he learned. And more than that, if there wasn’t enjoyment in the practice process, how likely would he have ever gotten to the end point?
We can easily enjoy the fruits of our learning, and we should, but are you enjoying the process of learning? If not, you might be doing something wrong.
Learning Creates Energy and Confidence
Again, look at the young master. Do you see the confidence? Do you feel the energy in the fist pump? You know how it feels when you have nailed the performance of any skill? You didn’t get to that place without learning. As human beings we are learning beings – and we are at our best when we are learning (Tweet That!) – so why would it be surprising that learning would create energy, confidence and a variety of other positive physical and biochemical reactions?
There Are Opportunities for Learning Everywhere
Seriously, a video camera, a young boy, ping pong balls and plastic cups.
And look at all we can learn from it. These opportunities are all around us, if we just look. I’m sure there are many more lessons in these four minutes, but these are important and worthy of your consideration and application.
What else did you learn (about learning or anything else) from watching this video and reading this post?