I was wasting time in WHSmith the other day, before catching a train, and after perusing the book section (must admit, I look mainly to see what’s is popular on the covers, sad, I know) I moved onto the magazine rack. I saw lots of magazines on cameras, and there was one specifically for Nikon, to teach you how to use your DSLR properly. I thought to myself – that would be a good idea, I would like to know how to use it properly, not just fiddle about with the settings until it looks about right.
Then immediately after that thought, came another one that went along the lines of – How boring to learn how to use my camera from a magazine.
The thought made me stop for a moment, and I realised that yes, if I had bought the magazine, I would probably never read it, and it wouldn’t help me use my camera better. Because actually, I hate learning.
I hated school. I hated reading books of facts or history or data. I tried to go to university. Twice. I hated it. I hate reading lengthy articles, and the only non-fiction I read is generally self-help or spiritual or metaphysical, and even then, if it’s a bit dry or dull, I won’t finish it.
I have been trying for some time to find a course I could do to qualify in something that would give me a job or career that paid well, so I could keep doing my books but not expect the royalties to support me. But there was nothing I could think of, nothing that I could find that I knew I could stick to.
I hate learning.
However, I love discovering.
I love reading stories, novels or blogs that inspire, inform and teach me something – without trying to. I love discovering some new random fact or bit of history that I didn’t know before.
I love to discover new things from movies and TV shows, obviously, much of history in movies is skewed, but that’s okay, I still discover things.
I love to discover new information from talking to friends, from watching TED talks, from being shown how to do something, or being given random advice by a stranger.
It might seem like a bit of a pointless thing to do, to make this definition between learning and discovering, after all, they’re essentially the same thing, but for me, it has been a complete eye-opener. Knowing that I would rather discover something for myself, even if I make mistakes while doing so, rather than being shown or have to read a manual to learn – is a huge realisation for me.
I can stop looking for courses now. I can stop pretending I will ever get a boring qualification to do something sensible. Instead, I will seek new opportunities to discover new things, try new things, and allow myself to play and figure things out. I plan to visit a friend who is an awesome photographer, to get some tips on using my camera better, and how to get specific shots I really want to get.
What about you? Do you love to learn? Or would you rather discover?