Why Learning Requires Trust

Recently my good friend Punit and I decided to take up golf.  I started out by going to the driving range and renting a club.  A week later I bought my first set of golf clubs.  Two weeks after that I’m having a great time with the sport.

Cloudy day at the driving range – Practice, Practice, Practice!

This has been an incredibly valuable experience for me because I have never been so aware of the process of learning.  I am paying attention to everything I do, listening to my instructor very carefully, and practicing.  However, there are other very important ingredients to learning.  The one I want to focus on today is trust.

Our golf instructor, Jeff Ward at Twin Willows Par 3 Golf Course in Lincoln Park, NJ, explained to us how to position ourselves, how to move, and how we should visualize our stroke. Continue reading

New Experience #6 – The Leonardo DaVinci Tour

A couple of weekends ago I visited a travelling Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit that is currently in St. Louis.  I will preface this post by saying that Da Vinci is the historical figure I admire most.  His life has inspired and influenced mine in countless ways.  One of the most recent ways Da Vinci has inspired me is in my purpose for my business.  I founded an academic coaching business, Studee-Lounge, several years ago with the distinct goal of finding a way to help students be more like Da Vinci in the way they learn and apply what they learn. Continue reading

New Experience #5 – Reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

A few weekends ago, I read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho for the first time.  I had it on my shelf for a little over three years.  Several friends had read it and raved about the book.   Two weeks ago, one friend suggested that it was a timely read for me given my current path and position in this grand journey we call life.

Taking that most recent advice to read it, I drove to Starbucks one evening and read it.  I could not put it down and even ignored my hunger to finish it.  The story really spoke to me.  The journey that Santiago embarks on in pursuit of his Personal Legend (i.e. happiness and true calling) is one that I can currently relate to.  Almost four years ago, I left my flock of sheep (my corporate career) in pursuit of my true calling.  It was a difficult decision and one that I felt I simply could not actually make.  Just like Santiago, I struggled with the decision and found ways to convince myself that my heart was simply wrong and that all of the signs pointing me in a different direction were misguided.  Continue reading

New Experience #4 – Learning to Play Chess

Let the games begin!

For the longest time I have wanted to learn to play Chess, but never really took the time.  The closest I ever got was when I was a child and a friend of my father tried to teach me, but at the time I was more interested in playing videogames.

Well, a little over a week ago I sat down, read up on the game, and began playing on my computer.  I have yet to win, but that’s ok.  The author of the lesson I was reading stressed that it takes a lot of practice and you just have to keep on playing – like anything else.  So I will continue to play and learn the game.  So far I have found the experience to be very stimulating and forces me to tune all other distractions out.  I enjoy getting to that level of focus and the game of Chess certainly achieves that. Continue reading

New Experience #3 – Visiting Rue Lafayette in Lafayette Square

Two weeks ago, at the invitation of a friend, I visited a part of St. Louis that I have never been to – Lafayette Square.  This is one of the oldest neighborhoods in St. Louis with a great deal of history.  It seems this area has been through a roller coaster ride of boom and bust.

A couple of houses in Lafayette Square

The park that comprises the center of Lafayette Square is the oldest public park in St. Louis.  In 1896 a tornado significantly devastated the neighborhood and it wasn’t until the 1970’s that people began buying up and renovating the old homes.  Continue reading

New Experience #2 – Cooking Crab Dishes

I enjoy cooking and it has been a while since I learned to cook something new and completely unrelated to a cuisine I am familiar with.  So a couple of weeks ago I decided to learn how to cook a variety of crab dishes including crab cakes, crab chowder, and crab legs.  Thanks to AllRecipes.com I was able to find recipes and shopping lists to guide the learning experience.  This was made even more fun by inviting a friend to join in on the experimentation.  We both learned how to cook the three crab dishes and as we were the only ones to eat it we can say with the utmost confidence that it was a delicious success!  And perhaps as a bonus, in the process we realized that as it was listed in the recipe, it was difficult to form the crab cakes into appropriately sized patties that maintained their structure.  For the last two we actually took the mix and put it in a food processer and found the processed mix to be much more moldable and consistent.  It was a fun night and the reward was tasty!

Here are a few pictures from the new cooking experience…

First Run Crab Cakes...before coming up with a new approach

Continue reading

New Experience #1 – New York Public Library

During the first week of the new year, my father and I visited the New York Public Library at 42nd street.  Although I have lived about 20 minutes away for most of my life, I never actually set foot in it.

My Dad in front of the NY Public Library

As it turned out, they are celebrating their centennial and had their most prized collections on display in one room. This included:  Gutenberg’s print of the Bible; Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence; one of Malcolm X’s journals; a letter written by George Washington; and so many more treasures. Continue reading