Children in their nineties would know their lives were surrounded by two things – Books and outdoor play. There was nothing more to do. Especially in India, where formal education has been so important that it would become impossible for them to pursue a rewarding academic career without a proper degree. You can’t learn by yourself, that’s what that means. You have to have a certificate, which proves, although you can or can not in reality, that you are perfect for the job. Times are changing, though. We live in a time where books are not enough.
The world is simply transforming faster than books getting printed, and these books are, although some timeless, losing their importance faster than ever. Something similar is happening with our education system. Our education programs are not agile, which need to be. If we don’t transform them in speed with the world, students would not be able to cope with the future shock they would experience the moment they arrive into the practicalities of business, or profession. The core remains the same, and it remains pretty mundane, and it will be so, for time to come.
Take for example marketing. And I take this example, because everyone has to become a marketer, or a manager, at some point in their career, where selling their expertise is more important than their expertise itself. Except if you are a scientist on a government payroll or grant, you are going to have to pitch yourself, in front of a CEO, or possibly, you become the CEO, build some product out of your expertises, and pitch it to your potential customers. You get the point. Everyone sells.
To continue with the example, how do you become an excellent marketer? You believe graduate and undergraduate programs, and then you read a lot many marketing books, and maybe then you would realise the depth of this industry. This is a mundane way to study marketing, let alone anything else. Alright, I agree, it’s not completely wrong, they’re useful, but when it comes to keeping up with time, they’re useless. Sometimes, they lead to overwhelment, or information overload, leading to action paralysis.
First, marketing is something you can never learn without actually doing it, and second, the best marketing techniques are right in front of you, everyday, even right now. To believe that books can teach you everything you need to know about marketing, or any other subject for that matter, is a very limited approach. You need to experience it firsthand. You need to learn to observe, and understand the fine print that is visibly hidden from everyone around you. You need to see marketing in what others see as exciting opportunities. You have to know that you are being sold to, every moment of your life, and you need to be consciously choosing your purchasing decisions.
How do you become conscious, and observant? Well, experience. You can’t get that experience through books. Maybe, they can teach you the fundamentals of decision making, by giving you the best scenarios about how decisions were made in the listed scenarios, but you are always going to face something new, and that new is going to keep you troubling, if observation is not something essential to your syllabus.
To take this further, observe and listen to the marketing that’s all around you. How was this smartphone marketed to you? How did you come across your clothes, what made you choose these brands? How did you come across that kitchen table, or your iPhone, or your shoes, or anything else that you bought in the last thirty days? Make a note of their offer, the sales copy, the headline, and the pitch that made you want to spend money. Then try these observations with your product. Because if it caught your attention to buy, it worked.
Of course, the theory won’t apply everywhere. You can’t become a rocket scientist, or mathematician, although some would disagree. You don’t need someone to give you the theory all the time. You sometimes simply need to observe what they are doing.
Learning to observe is one of the most crucial skills in free education. If you want to learn something for free, learn to observe. Cultivating observation is not easy though, because not everything comes to you naturally. Sometimes, you need external help, or stimuli, to understand what to observe, and how observation works in your field of study. The tougher the observation aspect of any subject, the harder it will be for you to learn it. Sometimes, you will need a mentor to guide you through, and often it will take years before a subconscious observation pattern for that study is cultivated. You have to plant the roots of subjective observation into your subconscious.
To become exceptionally good at something, or anything that interests you, start by feeding your mind with information, that isn’t even understandable. Don’t worry if the information doesn’t sink in just yet, when you are trying to learn to observe. Let your conscious and subconscious mind take in all the available data, decipher the pattern, and then help you distinguish between different patterns, which you can then use to build advanced mental models, quite automatically, to observe patterns and scenarios.
But there is also a faster way to build such patterns – by applying the concept of psycho cybernetics, you can build mental models, that you subconscious can then use to achieve any desired result, almost on autopilot, which also includes learning to observe the innate patterns of any industry, any logical organisation of thoughts, or any for understanding how you are being stimulated, in consistent pattern, but do the things you do, so that you can do them better.