Tuesday, 16 June 2009

How to learn

I was talking to someone quite a while ago now, and she asked me how did I know all the stuff I do, or words to that effect. I said I'd learned it over the years, picked up bits here and there, read a lot, tried a lot, listened a lot, made mistakes, the usual, Her next question stumped me for a while ".....but how do you learn?" So - how do you learn? Here's my take on it.
Firstly, you really have to want to learn; this is a big part of it, or it will only be a half-hearted attempt, leading to disappointment and frustration. The next is a biggie - patience, something lacking in an awful lot of people. It takes time to learn anything - how to do it, make it, use it, whatever. Next, be prepared to put the work in - Rome wasn't built in a day, Aran jumpers aren't knitted after two weeks of garter stitch blanket squares, a larder full of preserves and home made wines takes effort. Next - listen to learn; very important, especially if you have requested information/instruction/help from someone and they are taking time to help you out. Watch, read as much as you can, do your research. Start small and work your way up - this takes patience and commitment too. Take heed of those with experience in the field you are learning about, or want to learn about. There's no substitute for good, long-term experience both for how to do it and how not to do it.
I have taken a lifetime to get where I am, but some people just expect to be able to pick up things straight away, without putting in any effort whatsoever - leads to failure, disinterest, slack workmanship, unfinished projects, all sorts. Quite often, the person supposedly being learned from has to sort out the resulting mess too............Lastly, learn too, from your mistakes; laugh at them as well if appropriate. Things might go wonky and awry, but it's all part of the process.
Learning is a good thing, but like all the important things in life, if it's worth doing, it's worth doing well, so take time to do it well, with patience, interest, passion, care and commitment.
The prize at the end is the satisfaction of a job well done, increased knowledge and a sense of pride in your work. Take the time.


mrs jones to be! said...

Great advice and very true!! I will persevere with the knitting ;)

Am I too late to go into the draw for your gorgeous shawl??

Maxine x

MrsL said...

Hi MrsJ! No, not too late at all, consider yourself in. Keep on with the knitting :)



Tina said...

Well said! I just begin learning how to garden! Wanting to learn it. Reading, asking questions, listening, looking in other gardens – and doing it. Trial and error. Learning from mistakes. It will take a long time. A life-time. But that’s it. And it is fun!!! And the first harvested veggies and fruit are so delicious and rewarding!