Gardening, Google, learning new stuff & hipster tea.

To keep my mind healthy and practice what I preach in learning new things. I’ve been building my skills in the world of indoor gardening. Very basic skills, but nonetheless I’ve been up-skilling myself in the ways of keeping my plants alive.

I’m sharing this random bit of personal detail with you to demonstrate an important point that connects to a sizeable part of the philosophy that drives my work in learning, human development and managing the monkey mind.

You see, when I started my little hobby of indoor gardening to add some well needed nature to my house, I didn’t have the knowledge to look after any plant. So here, I now had a choice on how I wanted to absorb the knowledge I needed to make sure I didn’t have a bunch of dead plants on my hands by the end of week 1.

The little collection of succulents have survived so far…

Now being a product of the digital revolution, my first move was to say “Hey Google, how do I look after my Devil’s Ivy (the most loved plant and the centrepiece of my little collection). Within a matter of moments my Google Home was educating me on the care routine for my new buddy.

Along with the my trusty digital companion that lives in my pocket (the extension of my being in some cases) showing me more in-depth data from our good friends at Google. I was able to understand what needed to be done. Over the course of a few weeks through blogs, videos and lots of documents, I was able to learn whilst I was performing the weekly task of tending to my plants.

That’s when we need knowledge the most right? when we are actually doing stuff. You see I could have gone to a indoor gardeners course or something like that, but that just doesn’t work for my style.

What does work for me and has helped me the most in this new learning journey, is the ability to absorb the knowledge I need whilst in the flow of the work itself.

This brings me to my point in this short thought.

Most of us learn at the point of need. We seek knowledge at a time when we need to know and apply it. Whether that’s baking a cake, changing a car tyre or obsessing over the right amount of water to not kill your plants like me. We seek knowledge when we need it and when we want to apply it immediately.

Not once did I sit back and think, hmmm I should book myself on that beginner gardeners course down the road for 3 weeks time to solve a challenge I have today. Of course, you can go to this course but it doesn’t support me in the flow of the work I’m doing right now or my personal learning style.

Instead I used the digital highway. I utilised technology to enable me to obtain the knowledge I needed to perform the task at hand. I even reached out for a human experience and called upon several gardening gurus within my community to get their expert advice.

The great thing about the world today is opportunity.

You don’t have to wait to get the knowledge you need to do whatever it is in front of you right now (mostly, as obviously there are certain outliers to this). You shouldn’t have to wait for someone to tell you what to do and wait for them to tell you how to do it.

This is how I approach my work in L&D and human development in general. You should never wait for an L&D function to tell you when to learn, what to learn and how to learn. We all have the ability learn in the flow of work. This is where the real learning, sharing of knowledge and expertise should be happening.

After all learning is an everyday behaviour, one that we do every day whether we know it or not.

So would I have written this short thought or kept my plants alive if I waited for a course 3 weeks from now to show me how to care for them? I like to think probably not. Me being me, I assume I would have lost interest, but that’s just me.

These are just my random short thoughts on a cold September morning, while I sip some turmeric tea, look at my little nature display with joy and ponder the enormity of the possible when it comes to learning stuff when we need it most.


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