Learning to Learn

One of the main aspects of what we do at Thorro Learning is learning to learn. In an interview with our founder Dr. Murali, we take a deep dive into this concept.

So Dr. Murali, what do you mean by learning? Is it mostly for kids? Can adults learn too?

Good question - well first of all the definition of learning could be learning a new language, a new skill, a new technique, any of those. But learning is not limited to kids. We hear every day that kids learn much faster, but the truth is adults can learn as fast, if not faster. There are certain principles that we need to know behind learning, that if we follow some of them, we will be more successful at learning.

What are some of these principles that you are talking about?

The first one is to be curous. Ask the "why" behind everything. For example, if you see a problem, ask "why is there a problem?"

Can you give a specific example?

Recently our robot broke down and we realized it was because of lubrication issues. In turn it was because the oil was not getting to it properly, then in turn, the filtration of the oil wasn't operating properly, then it was because of a stuck filter, etc. The breakdown of the robot was really a maintenance issue by a human, and asked these "whys" to get to the root cause.

What are some other principles you can follow?

Keep an open mind. As we get more experience, I realized that we get used to doing things a certain way and actually makes us more closed minded. One exercise that I find really helpful to keep us open-minded is to change what know to be true. For example, I will say that this table is black. This level is green. This piece of wood is blue. By doing that, the mind gets confused and by that confusion -  you open up a small window of opportunity to be open-minded. I do this exercise often, and I find it beneficial for myself to be open to new ideas and new concepts. 

Any other principles?

Experiment and don't be afraid to break things. 

What do you mean to break things? Like a vase or physically break?

To break in a more entrepreneurial sense. For example, there are many great entrepreneurs out there like Scott Cook, the founder of Intuit. Back in the 1980's when he was trying to get the company off the ground, he faced a lot of challenges. Even though the product was impressive, the market wasn't ready. The company almost went bankrupt when he was trying to get the company off the ground. But he kept at it and kept going - the perseverance eventually paid off. The superiority of his product was eventually recognized, and now it's a highly successful company

Any parting thoughts?

Live in the moment. Not so much in an abstract sense, but rather to enjoy every second of our lives. Being in the moment and being mindful actually relates to the other concepts I outlined - it enables you to be curious, experiment, and have an open mind. Living in the moment, enjoy that cup of coffee - it's extremely important for us to continue learning.

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