Vicarious Learning.

"Anyone who stops learning is old." ~ Henry Ford.

Some say we stop vicarious learning and switch to vicarious living once we reach a certain point in our lives. Perhaps we do ~ But maybe not.

Vicarious learning is a type of learning that occurs as a function of observing, retaining and replicating novel behavior executed by others. It's example learning in it's simplest form. Do we reach a point in adulthood when we stop learning like this because we now know stuff?

Recently my daughter came home, to visit for a day, from her career at Apple headquarters. I asked her "What's it like now Steve doesn't show up in the cafeteria?" Her response was a remarkable affirmation of the power of vicarious learning. As she dove into the culture, creativity and learning opportunities that she gained from coworkers, mentors and associates the enthusiasm and excitement she displayed was enormously infectious. I felt myself learning from her. Learning about enthusiasm, listening, absorption and excitement. I experienced and felt the twin joys of both vicarious learning and vicarious living.

Whether it be through our children, friends, associates or those we admire from afar we need to turn vicarious learning into personal action in order for it to be more than just entertainment. We need to incorporate it into our own behavior. Otherwise it's just another TV show that gets turned on and off. If life is really just like a light switch perhaps vicarious learning is the ultimate power source. A source we can turn on and off at will regardless of what we think we already know.

No comments:

Post a Comment