We spend a great amount of time in life getting comfortable with things, whether it’s work or personal relationships. Malcolm Gladwell popularised the 10,000 hour rule, which talks about the amount of time it takes to gain true expertise in a subject. Having spent so much time and energy summiting a skill, the natural tendency is to rest and admire the view from that vantage point. However, with the constant technological AI-led disruption that we are currently faced with, we rarely have the luxury of resting on our laurels, before something else that needs to be mastered appears on the scene.
What serves us well in this type of setting is an open mind with broad problem solving skills, which allow you to apply yourself to varying problems, whilst still being grounded in first principles based framework. The importance of being open to continuous learning cannot be overstated enough, it’s the very foundation of success in the modern age. Resistance to change and being set in your ways closes you to new experiences and can even result in losing out on the amplifying effect that modern tech can bring, making you even better at what you do best!
Despite seeming like a zero sum game, the universe actually has enough for all of us. So like happiness, knowledge increases when it’s shared. As they say, the best way to learn something is to teach it, for what you get in the process is so many different perspectives on the same topic, which help open your mind to new possibilities. And what better than volunteering your skills pro-bono to teach children or adults who wouldn’t otherwise be able to access this knowledge because of the economic barrier that society imposes on education.
Times are however changing, people are recognising that with the prevalence of internet and Youtube, access to knowledge can no longer be restricted. Have a peruse through channels like MIT’s Open Courseware or closer to home, even some IIT’s, and you’ll be surprised to find that you can access detailed courses being taught by some of the minds, at no cost! Business models are pivoting to an accreditation based revenue stream, and perhaps in the future you will only need to pay if you’re really bothered about that bit of paper i.e. the certificate that acknowledges your level of academic achievement!