Saturday, February 28, 2015

Train like Malcolm Gladwell

Or Atul Gawande. Or your favorite writer (mostly, except the repetitive kinds and I dont count pulp authors. Other exceptions are random and arbitrary).

So, cut to the chase.

When you read Malcolm Gladwell (or your favorite writer) they make you think - first. Then, just as you begin to think - they have hooked you. Now you want to know more. And they take you through that journey. They tease you, make you wait and you tag along, like that fish snagged to the bait. You float, you whizz (its not as bad as it is for the fish) and then the writer reels you into the final. And repeat that, over plots, sub plots like in Harry Potter.

Or if it is a Malcolm Gladwell, the number of aha moments you get when you are exposed to new concepts (I had no idea umami was a taste) and new connections.

Or if it is Atul Gawande  - who writes on something as droll as 'The Checklist Manifesto'  and healthcare and yet manages to fill you with a-ha moments.

Or if it is Michael Lewis - who can take something as boring as the Financial Crash and brings out stories in them that the regular mainstream journalist does not have the patience to uncover and report. (The report on the Vatopaidi monastery - that blew my mind).

Or like a Devdutt Pattanaik who brings a beautiful layer to every mythology we have ever heard, read or learnt and make it accessible and yet retains a lot of the richness of the original and still makes you sit back and go, wow.

And I don't know who such an author is - but I know a friend of mine who picks up something you thought you knew, but can ferret out new information that is right under your nose and you had no idea about it.

Or someone who can pick something seemingly mundane and gives a twist to it. Like someone took a regular upma and made it into something heavenly - like the SLV restaurant.

Imagine if a training did that to you. Correction - imagine if a learning experience did that to you. Showed you a concept, taught you layers in them, gave you a-ha moments, new concepts that you can take, play, spin it in the air - that you go home, as happy as a cat that has found a new cow for milk. And then having found it, know how to use it, make you better and make it for a lifetime of learning.

That was a little too much, but well, why not try!

(Concept credit to my better half who had many such a-ha moments while reading a Gladwell book that she promptly stopped midway. Hopefully our training will have a better result.)

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