In today’s prompt, I want to share what I did tonight instead of telling you the “best way” to spent Saturday night according to me. To my family saturday night mean dinner outside, today it was at Opera Blanc, a restaurant inside a very big mall near my apartment. It was a dark-themed resto with candles and all black stuff served by a very nice women. I ate a seafood spaghetti and sirloin steak (hmm, I hear what you say) accompanied with a sprite (my favorite soft drink), it was good and the ambience is just right.
But let me tell you what happened before I arrived at the restaurant, or mall. I have been learning to drive for the last 6 months, supervised by my parents and learning along the way. My first mistake today is forgetting to put a sign when turning right, and got honked by the driver behind me as a punishment, which lead me to panic and drove into the wrong lane! Then there’s traffic, not much but it cost me 20 minutes just to get where I was driving before.
The second mistake is forgetting to turn on the lamp after dark, since I got out at 6 and the sky is still bright when I drove. I was lucky I didn’t get a ticket for that, but my mother preached me along the way to the mall about the importance of being more careful in my driving (I know, I know it’s for my beneficiaries and should be grateful for that).
The experience made me think about the process of learning itself, why we did/do it, and how to improve our skills along the way. Learning is a life long process and I think it should never stopped, except when we are impaired and unable to think clearly anymore (thinking of Alzheimer or Parkinson disease). And why is it so important for us to learn, and more importantly, to learn skills we need to achieve our goals in life, if we ever had one.
Think of a stock investor dreaming of vast amount of wealth coming from his investment after he opened an account for stock trading. Sure there are lots of people succeed doing what he wish to do, but does he had the skills needed to execute and plan his trade as the successful others did? Does he had a will to learn about the stock market in general and analyze companies he is about to invest in? More importantly, does he had the emotional mastery to excute his trade according to plan, and take a loss if he had to?
It all leads to more learning and understanding in the area of his work. Because as we do what we need to do, we develop our skills to perfection (think of driving). When we first learn to drive, we are cautious with every single object around us, like if we will hit the car ahead in particular speed, or how much force to put in the break pedal to stop before hitting another car. But as we drive frequently, we develop mastery and instinct of what works and don’t, soon the process of thinking itself becomes automatic without we are being aware of it anymore.
The same goes with learning, as we learn doing our “thing”, it will son become automatic for us to learn by experience. We will know if something will work out fine or not, what we can do to prevent or fix it, and what steps need to be taken.
So the next time you and I make a mistake, even the large one, think of ourselves stepping ahead toward perfecting our skills and develop mastery in that area. An employee once made a $2 million mistake in a company he work for, and instead of firing him, his boss said, “I just spent $2 million educating him”. What a wise word to be spoken.