Learning And Life – Till Death Do Us Part

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a whole new perspective has developed on the issues and solutions concerning learning.

Considerate la vostra semenza:

Fatti non foste a viver come bruti,

Ma per seguir virtute e conoscenza.

Consider your origins: you were not made to live as brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge.  

— Dante Alighieri 

Divina Commedia 'Inferno', canto 26, l.118.

Every human being learns from birth till death. This is what sets us apart from all other forms of life. Man is a social animal, a working animal a fighting animal. The reason homo sapiens have become the dominant species is that we are ‘learning animals’ 

Every other species has its required learning and the practice of that learning encoded by nature. It merely unfolds and blooms. It is instinctual. But, in the case of humans, the skills we use are not genetically programmed. Secondly, we learn all through our lives. We learn more based on prior learning. We also socialise our learning. We have learnt to communicate and disseminate learning. Cooperative learning has taken a new shape in this period of accelerating technical innovation.  

Particularly in the last six months ever since the world has effectively been in the lockdown because of the Covid 19 pandemic, a whole new perspective has developed on the issues and solutions concerning learning.

What are the facets of holistic learning and skill-building?


Usually, the best don’t learn from the best. A top performer rarely becomes a first-grade teacher. Being focused on a superb performance and with a tendency for impatience, it usually hampers their ability to teach. The best teaching is what happens within us. The best learning is that which we seek out for ourselves. The technical tools available today allow each of us to access learning. Accessibility is no longer a barrier. 

Wilful Practice 

At the heart of all individual and collective learning lies practice. Continuous, incremental, unrelenting practice leads to the growth of any skill. Practice is an input factor. But, it is also an attitude. Irrespective of learning, the ability is raised to a higher level of skill based on the multiplier effect of effort. Without effort and deliberate practice, results do not materialise – no matter what the ability!  

Unlearning and Relearning  

Now, the world is reached a pace of knowledge development that is impossible to survive only one base skill set. Everyone has to upgrade. Many have to forget and learn again.   


Learning to world-class levels of excellence demands grit and perseverance. The mental effort and will power required is overwhelming. Everyone can help themselves through the process of positive imagery. All self-control originates in the mind. If you can visualise the end, you can better endure the process. Make sure that the visualisation is as compelling as possible.   

Here are a few ways to speed up mindful learning:

Living in the moment

Since learning is additive, a lot of our mind space gets occupied by the rejection and trauma of past failure and it acts as a drag. We need the force of will, the Taoists have a word for it Qi (chi) . It acts as a trampoline and helps launch us to the next level. Recognise the present in your learning and reject the failure of the past.    


Skinnerian psychology showcases how it’s never possible to be too positive. We need to review the positive energy by affirming the need every moment. Then, energised, we attack the challenges to higher learning. Again and again.    


Forget all, forgive all and love all. Live in the moment. Only when you have dealt with the negative, will you be free to concentrate on the best within you.  

However, it does not mean denial or delusion. It means recognising and closing the past. Denial saps energy.  

Goal orientation

Choosing one goal means to forget and forsake many others. Ditch the idea of keeping “all options open “. In energy terms, limiting our options funnels our limited capacity and energy to those goals that really matter. 

Taking Action   

Skill enhancing via learning is not conceptual. It is never abstract. It is always an absolute acquisition. Once you know how to do something you have acquired that for yourself. You may become more or less proficient or even forget that skill but your actions have made you acquire it. Like wealth or energy, knowledge also is a fluid entity. It needs to flow in, be increased, used, turned to more knowledge and change forms. 

Acquiring knowledge tells us there is much more knowledge to acquire.  

Tags assigned to this article:
learning COVID-19


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