We have a perception that going uphill is difficult. Trekking up a hill is always challenging isn’t it?
We have to expend a lot of energy to gain elevation.

And we think, going downhill is easy. Gravity works for us. We just have to lunge our way forward and find the ground waiting for us to land on it.

It is similar when it comes to bicyling. Going uphill is a challenge.
And going downhill is easy,
If you have good brakes !

Today, I’d prepared myself mentally for an easy downhill ride. Things were going pretty smoothly and I didn’t even have to pedal to move onward.
But over time, the brakes seemed to be getting less and less efficient.
At one point, they were barely able to contain my speed downhill.

It was a matter of concern. I stopped and started again, trying to impede my pace by brushing my feet on the ground as required.    At one point, the slope was too steep for me to contain my speed.

I chose to stop and started walking with my bicycle in tow.

I thought to myself,
‘Maybe I should check a video online about how to tighten brakes.’
I switched on my phone but there was no network in the hills.

Then I wondered,
‘Maybe, I should look for a bicycle shop on the way. Until then I can push my bicycle.’

But after walking for ten minutes I thought,
‘Why can I not try to fix it myself ? Even if I go wrong, I will learn in the process. It must not be that difficult to understand the mechanism.’

I stopped walking and rested my bicycle against a wall.
After tinkering with the disc brakes for five minutes, I was able to do something that made it work.
Now, I had to learn what I did that made it work !
So I did it all over again.
Once I understood the mechanism, I did the same for the other pair of brakes.

In ten minutes, I had a bicycle with perfectly functional brakes.
The two hour walk to the city was reduced to a half an hour breeze of a ride downhill !

On the way, I tried to understand my own thought process.

First, I tried to look online, to learn how to do something virtually. (Looking outwards)

Then, when that didn’t work, I looked for someone who could do it for me, and learn by watching. (Looking around)

When that too didn’t work,
I chose to apply my own mind to it. And I learnt how to do it by experience. (Looking Inside)

I wondered,
What an upside down way of approaching a problem !
Internet has become such a convenience that we completely bypass our own mental faculty from the circuit of learning.
If we can’t learn it online, we try to learn from someone who knows it already.
All the while, the power of our seminal mind enfeebles.

Applying our own mind to a problem is the surest way to learn for life.
We need to cultivate the mindset of a pioneer, who chooses to experiment and learn form his own mistakes.
Eventually he does come up with a solution.

I feel that the best approach to learning something or finding a solution to a problem is

1) Look inward first (self -learning)
2) Then Look around (peer-learning)
3) Eventualy, Look outwards (virtual-learning)

We need to rebuilt trust with our mind’s abilities and not spoon-feed it with information.

Next time, before you search for something on google or try to learn something new online, grant yourself some time and try to understand and reason on your own.

Your mind will not fail you. It will come up with answers.
Trust your own mind.
It is a powerhouse.