Sweet Potato


Learn how to learn – A blog series

Some people are gifted with certain things, and some need to put in the extra effort to get there.

At the outset, let me introduce you to this bunch, who put in a lot of effort and successfully manage a lot of uncertainties – be it treating COVID patients, Entrepreneurship in this tough time or literally steering a ship! We will talk about these gentlemen a bit more later in the blog.

Dr. Agilan Kaliappan, MBBS FRCA FFICM EDIC

Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine, Basildon and Thurrock University hospital NHS trust

Bharathy Venuprakash – Entrepreneur and Thought Leader


Capt. Vernon Fernando – Master Mariner – Seaman

Let’s get to the topic!

In the nature vs nurture debate, I am NOW a firm believer of the nurture corner. In fact, I am a prime example of it. I wasn’t a good listener and had a poor attention span right from my early days. –  was glued to the television in my young age, come to think of it, I was addicted to the Dopamine rewards which were handed out to me by different programmes on the TV.I rode my luck into getting decent marks in my secondary school, which led to me to the Mechanical Engineering degree. I stuttered my way through the degree and got the customary graduate role in a Big Information Technology company. I somehow then managed to find a set of successive decent jobs, moved to the UK and “settled down”.

All this time, in my life, there was a constant voice in my head – saying you’re not doing justice to your potential. I tried to get rid of the voice for the last 25 years, and I wasn’t able to. I signed up for various self development courses, to see if the voice goes away. It didn’t go, and I was back to square one all the time.Mind you, I was earning good money and had lost my bad temper which I had during my young age. Life was OK, but the voice persisted. One day, while on the phone with my dad he said the exact words to me. The Penny dropped! It was my dad’s voice which was in my head all along my life, and what he said was true. I was wired to do well in certain areas, but didn’t do well. What was I missing?

I got curious and started looking for the missing piece of the puzzle. They were actually missing pieces of the puzzle. In my search again, I wasn’t getting anywhere, and was frustrated. I started running every other day primarily to lose weight, but also to think in the walks back from my run. During one of those runs, I remembered about signing up for a course about a year ago. The course seem to be for kids going to college or universities. Here I was, possibly going through my mid-life crisis trying to do this course. I had my doubts and thought I am too big for this course. Boy – wasn’t I proved wrong big time?


I started to learn, think and listen better after this course, and was able to retain the knowledge well. I started talking to more people with an intent to listen. This course was turning out to be a game changer and it was free of cost – well you need to pay to get certified! I finished my course in a span of 2-3 weeks, and was armed with some new powerful mental tools. I signed up for another course, to use the newly acquired tools and the results were amazing.

As cliched as it might be, life long learning is a real thing, and everyone needs to pursue it. Although I was wired to do well in certain areas, I didn’t pursue the life long learning, retaining the knowledge and applying. We will cover the part about how to identify what you’re wired to do well in a different blog. For now, I am convinced that Nurture is in the lead. This may change if we find ways to edit our genes better to learn things at quick speed, like Neo or Trinity in the film – The Matrix.

With this mind, I thought I should take the next journey to learn from the world. Whilst we hear from a number of people on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, I thought of listening to different perspectives from different sets of people whom I admire. Here’s where Agilan, Bharathy and Vernon come into the picture. They are thinkers, strong people and have been breaking the stereotypes for a long time. Now, why should I be selfish and contain all the pearls of wisdom to me!

I requested these gents to contribute to a three part series about life lessons, how to handle crisis and how a small change can make big difference in your life. Let’s learn from them in the coming weeks. I certainly am looking forward to it, hope you’re too!

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