Trust and Experience

When it comes to learning something new, I’m biased towards taking a self-taught approach. For a while, I was questioning myself about this way of learning and my acceptance of knowledge. The learning curve of learning is high for self-taught rather than going to an institute but that’s the fun part.

As life moved on, I figured out those are only two types of learning but not mindsets for learning. Let’s take a walk through my thoughts. There are only two mindsets of learning.

Learn by trust


Here we learn a new skill or figure out something new by relying on a source. This source can be a person, book, audio or video and we trust it. We value the knowledge coming from the source as long as we trust and respect the source. This mindset is faster and all one has to do is listen.

However, there’s a catch, the source could be wrong and this is a risk you should take. When we were young, our parents used to guide us. We obey them and don’t even doubt their knowledge. But there are times when we felt the information is not right and we have to look at other sources or maybe try it out ourselves.

This is where the second mindset comes into place.

Learn by experience


We will only learn how to ride a bike by falling from it many times. We will go through the hardships and challenges until we gain the confidence to do some bike stunts. I used to do a lot on my blue BMX bike but only after a lot of bruises.

This mindset is not shorter and one will have no clue where to go. It’s all about trial and error. There’s no giving up here. Your motivation is the driving force here. As Edison said – I just found 2,000 ways not to make a lightbulb. I only needed to find one way to make it work.

Let’s take the Coronavirus scenario as an example. You can either learn from the right source and act accordingly by keeping yourself safe or you can look for the virus prone areas or sources to get infected and then learn about how not to get coronavirus.

Your choice.

Both the above mindsets are proven to be right in their favorable situation. A mix of both could be a good direction. If one wants to learn how to ride a bike, one can start by riding a bike and as they go along, they can take tips from expert bike riders.

The tricky spot where most of us fall is once we learn by experience, we try to develop a non-listening model for ourselves. We think we know everything and this is where everything falls apart. We try to become the trusted source for others so they can learn by trust.

If someone wants to learn from you, they will stay humble and learn. They will ask the right questions backed by the right mindset. They will not ask you for the sake of asking or to test you. It’s up to us to keep our minds open.