I remember a short story that my math professor in grade-11 once shared with us, that I usually recall and it really helps me.
It goes like that there was once a guy, who learnt the skill to fire a bullet (using a gun) and a skill to fire a rock (using a hand slingshot). After perfecting himself in these two skills, he went to a Jungle.
There he found a bird singing beautifully, he got inspired and wished he would take it to his home and place in a cage in his drawing room. So, in order to bring that bird down in his hand, he fired a bullet towards the bird (instead of a slingshot), and the bird died on the spot.
He furthered explored, and found a lion, he then wished he would use lion’s skin as a precious carpet for his drawing room. Thinking this, he fired a rock from his slingshot (instead of firing a bullet from his gun), lion didn’t have any effect of the slingshot and eventually lion ate him. Story finished (though he was an expert in both firing a bullet and a rock).
If we compare the above tragedy with some real life scenarios at our workplace:
- If you are an expert in speaking a 2nd-language, it will still be of less use if you don’t know the skill for “timely communication”.
- You may consider yourself as the best programmer in the world, but your arsenal (logic, patterns, algos etc) are of no use if you don’t know where and when to apply them.
- Reading books for the sake of just reading is not enough, but you must have a goal for which particular book to read, so that knowledge can benefit you in your life.
- … list continues
So, it’s not enough to learn just the skills, but also the way how and where to apply those skills. This should be the real goal, which provides value to your life !