Learning is not just an action or a verb. Learning can be an urge, desire, and passion for many. Information seeking is not something taught in grade school; it is something ingrained in our DNA. Lifehacker brought this topic to our attention in their article, “Elon Musk on Learning New Things: View Knowledge as a Tree.”
I have a confession. What I am about to tell you, I have revealed to no one before – even my husband of 15 years. However, on some level I don’t think he would be surprised by the news. I need to read all the time. This goes beyond standing in a grocery store line and browsing whatever magazine is at hand. This is reading the back of shampoo bottles in the bathroom, cereal boxes at the kitchen table (when my Kindle is not close at hand), and the SkyMall magazine in an airplane until they give permission for the aforementioned Kindle to come back out.
I need words. I learn new tasks or skills by reading. When you’re trying to learn something new, it can be easy to get discouraged. Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and chief product architect of Tesla Motors, suggests you approach knowledge as if it were a tree. “I think most people can learn a lot more than they think they can. They sell themselves short without trying. One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, i.e. the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.”
I know nothing about Mr. Musk, but given this interesting quote and advice, I will be seeking knowledge of him soon.
Melody K. Smith
Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.