Monday, March 06, 2006

The discipline of discipline

A routine tea time discussion about the skills and arts that we (those in the discussion) had, soon boiled down to a discussion on discipline.

Can someone, anyone learn anything without discipline? In the post I linked, Kathy starts the post with a very persuasive

...If you want your brain to stay sharp, you have to work it...

The rest of the post is about the use of the brain in various other activities; read it for more dope.

My point is a step further, once you have started engaging the brain on something. In the post Only the learners survive, Amit makes a point on writers, which could be applicable to learning any skill.

...Some people then read a lot, and observe the craft of other writers, and write incessantly, and, crucially, are constantly self-critical. They're the ones who get better at what they do...

Kathy here has a nice post again on "How to be an expert". Read the full post and heres how she ends it.

And if the neuroscientists are right, you can create new brain cells--by learning (and not being stuck in a dull cubicle)--at virtually any age. Think about it... if you're 30 today, if you take up the guitar tomorrow, you'll have been playing for TWENTY years by the time you're 50. You'll be kicking some serious guitar butt. And if you're 50 today, there's no reason you can't be kicking guitar butt at 70. What are you waiting for?

For many people, the thought that they should have done something else comes at an age when they are pre occupied with something else - earning their daily bread. The best time to learn a skill, say music, is at a young age. Get your ears acquainted to music, play and internalize it - but it is also the age when your mind is not interested in discipline - it is interested in play. Discipline itself is a skill, which usually has to be acquired at a young age. Or is it?

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