Learning in a YouTube world

When I was eight years old I wanted to learn how to play the guitar.  Being of modest means it was a bit of a challenge to come up with the money to buy the guitar so my parents took me to a pawn store in the Bronx and there we found a ¾ size guitar (a smaller size) and for $8, I was the proud owner of a six string guitar.  The real challenge lay ahead, how was I to learn to play?  I fiddled around for a while with the guitar and got just about nowhere.  I was not naturally gifted so I waited till we saved some money and we hired a guitar teacher.  Somehow, after more than 9 months of lessons I was playing Home on the Range, proficiently, if I might add.  Not sure it would have qualified me for membership in THPL cohort but I was learning for sure, progressing and getting modestly better all the time… Years later, I did the proverbial, play in a teen band, (we were terrible) and also played guitar at the folk mass at church (for 10 years) and while I did make progress it was once again slow and tedious.  The scope of my learning was also very limited - it was constrained by the compendium of songs that were “local”  - meaning that someone  else bought the sheet music for the song or they learned it from a friend.  So, while “learning” happened the process was less than optimal and you always knew there had to be a better way.

Fast forward 35 years – you want to learn how to play guitar now?  Turn on your computer.  Start with Google, search for the song title and get the lyrics.  Next search for the chords, again on Google.  Once you have the lyrics and the chords you got to YouTube and watch the band perform the song.  Another YouTube search and you look for someone who has a recorded tutorial for how to play the song. You start and stop the video, you practice along, you might even try a few other budding music teachers and before you know it you are playing a new song.   Sounds a bit more effective than when I started out on guitar.
Yes, we always want to remind ourselves that THPL relates to all aspects of Life, Learning and Fitness.  And to optimize the Learning dimension we need to think differently now, more than ever. Over a billion people on the planet use YouTube. There is no barrier to learning – the market and the competition are broad scale and global.   The flat world has become frictionless. And with it our “game” has to come up a level.  We cannot any longer believe we have a proprietary advantage in anything, especially not learning.  I am more confident, than ever that we need to focus on being better at each element of THPL - we talk about how to get better at learning - we have to get at it and make it real.  We live time starved lives – we want to progress, we want to do more, and so we cannot afford to go slowly or to waste time and thus we need to be judicious in how we use our time and we need to be effective when we do so.  It would seem then, to me, that the use of essential learning tools, such as YouTube, need to become part of how you live THPL.    Subscribe to YouTube channels on topics of interest.  Watch videos regularly to accelerate your learning and the next time you need to learn something – start with YouTube. It will make all the difference in the world.  THPL you are living will be well served by this singular change in how you learn.
It is almost month end – remember to start to take an inventory of all that you have accomplished in March – we will recap shortly to see how we are doing – think of it – we are almost ¼ through 2013. 
Loving life and watching inspirational YouTube videos to make it even stronger
Sally for a Friday night 3:26 + 30 seconds, 212 pushups for the 4:17 song - a fitting end to the week after much running, bike and working!