The Knowledge I Call My Own

C told me her mom once taught people how to cook on the radio in the 60's. This makes me think- is it similar to learn how to do wing chun from listening to an audio book?

Reading self-help books is like learning how to cook from reading a recipe. A recipe only helps so much unless you try it out. It's the same thing for self-help books or spiritual books. Just by reading the books alone won't make me a super productive person or a peaceful warrior!

Like what K wrote the other day, "learn only what you need to know, and apply." Not only does it apply to business, it also applies to other areas of life.

That's why the Help function in Excel and Google are so useful to me.

I love reading and I can read pretty fast usually for the purpose of gathering facts and information. But in order to integrate what I read to my thinking and act it out, I need to slow down. I need to slow down to let the wisdom sink in and connect the dots.

It's like what I did in my Wing Chun class. Every week, we learn one technique or one drill. We learned and practice the same movement and positioning for more than an hour. And we are expected to practice the same technique at home during the week too. Not only do we want to perfect our movement, we also take the time to develop the muscle memory.

When the knowledge in the world is just one click away, the knowledge that I learn and apply like a second nature becomes even more valuable. Those are the knowledge I call my own. I can carry them anywhere I go, even to a place with no internet. (Trust me, I can do differentiation and integration, or using my BA II Plus calculator in my dream. :))

I love the show "Men vs. Wild". Though some of the scenes were planned, I'm sure Bear Grylls knew the majority of the stuffs he did by heart, like starting a fire in the forest or making a shelter with banana leaves etc.

Or in terms of career, I'll start asking myself, "how much do I learn today? Can I apply it when I need it? Am I getting better than yesterday? Or two weeks ago? If I have to leave my job today, will I be able to apply things that I learned at another company/situation?"

When you leave a company, you can't take anything that you created or developed with you, except you knowledge and experience in your head.

When you think about it, going to work and sitting in a cubicle 8 hours a day is more than just doing what is told or passing the time. I'm also responsible to develop my skills (Excel skills, programming skills, product knowledge and networks etc.). And those skills are the currency of social mobility and job security.