“Learning To Learn”, by Ignacio Cuartas (MBA´16)

Every human being seeks throughout its life to have experiences that make him see and understand why of its existence in this world. This need to experiment is part of human nature because through it we are conscious of who we are, the role we play in the Universe and towards where we are going.

They are indeed these experiences the ones that based on their quality and intensity are marking and delineating our character and our personality. In sum, they are moulding our real self.

Beginning with the premise that we are the owners of our destiny, as we are responsible for our acts and therefore based on our decisions we will be responsible of our history, it is important to emphasize that the people who form part of our life are the ones that largely will determine the level of reality and authenticity of the experiences that we will live.

Learning to Learn - IESE MBA

Learning to Learn - IESE MBA

When people ask me what I found most remarkable from my stay in Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia) as volunteer (the previous job that I had for 6 months before starting the MBA at IESE), my answer has always been the same one, the people. They are the ones, from both the “Fundación Hombres Nuevos” as well as those from outside of it, that have taught to me to learn to value what I have, to realize that is possible to be happy with very little or nothing, that brotherly love is the most beautiful thing that we have as human beings, that we never should have resentment towards anybody and for sure, that we have to learn how to forgive regardless of how much pain they might have caused us.

Learning to Learn - IESE MBA

Con niños bolivianos en la piscina

Learning to Learn - IESE MBA

Having finished my first course of the MBA, and completely immersed this summer in the adventure to begin my own “startup”, when people ask me what I would emphasize most of this first course in IESE, guess what my answer is. The people. Thanks to having had the opportunity to know people from more than 50 nationalities I have had the occasion not only to exercise a different perspective at the time of approaching any subject related to the world of the businesses, but also, and what at least is truly important for me, I have had the privilege to realize that the world is much smaller than what it seems since in the end we are all connected by the same pattern, and that pattern is the one of feelings, of emotions and of the heart. It doesn’t matter where we come from, who we are, what we look for, absolutely all of us have our fears and illusions, joys and frustrations, restlessness and calmness, in sum, being that on the one hand we are all unique, but on the other hand we are all connected by the same power source.

Learning to Learn - IESE MBA

Learning to Learn - IESE MBA

Throughout these two unforgettable experiences I have gone through hundreds of situations, lived incredible moments, good ones and bad ones, known hundreds of persons, but mainly I have learnt, and indeed I have learned from whom we must learn, from the people, their examples, their conversations, their reflections, their performances.

Learning to Learn - IESE MBA

Learning to Learn - IESE MBA

Learning to Learn - IESE MBA

I have learnt that we must be generous, without expecting nothing in return, I guarantee you that what one gives to the world, the world gives it fully back. I assure you that with love and generosity the world is a far better place in which to live.

comprando material escolar para los niños de la fundacion

 

Learning to Learn - IESE MBA

I have learnt that a person will give his absolute best when he is passionate about what he does. I have learnt that we can be the best at our job, at our class, at our sport, but if we are not passionate about what we do, we will never be the best we can be. By all means we must be intelligent enough when we are dealing with the professional world in order to combine what we feel passion for with our abilities. Perhaps the “perfect match” does not exist but by doing this we will be able to make a living by doing what we “like enough” and what we are good at as well.

Posando con el premio de Ganadores del Capstone. ISDIN

I have learnt not to judge and to underestimate anybody. Behind each person there is a story worthy to be listened but mainly to be learned. We must all learn from all. Everybody makes mistakes and we are no one to judge them. Never do unto others what you would not like them to do unto you. It is a basic principle.

Señora anciana en la calle

Con doña Marcela

I have learnt not to tell others what they must do, but to make them reflect on if they are doing what they really want to do, and if they are being the kind of person they really want to be.

I have learnt that we have to look for the balance between ambition and happiness. You have to follow your heart since this way you will be closer to happiness, but mainly, you will be closer to not betraying yourself.

I have learnt that we never have to stop learning that we have to work hard, our intellect is the best asset that we have and the one that will really always be there, independently of the circumstances in which we have to live. It will accompany us everywhere. Never forget that there is always room to improve and to learn.

Learning to Learn - IESE MBA

I have learnt that we must be deeply thankful for the life that we have and the opportunities that we enjoy, as we are part of a very reduced and select group of people and it is necessary to know how to value it in a suitable way. It is for that reason that we have the moral obligation towards the society to give our better version towards it, because it has given much to us and expects a lot from us. Let´s not disappoint society.

Learning to Learn - IESE MBA

I have learnt that we must never forget who we are; each one of us is unique. Let’s never lose our personality and essence; in it is the greatness of each person. To be able to know clearly our ways and to follow them, without succumbing to social pressures or of any other kind. Often people will call us crazy for doing things differently from the rest. If this happens, relax, it means you are heading in the right direction.

Santuario de Robore en Bolivia

I have learnt that there are 4 words that all human beings should use hundreds of times per day: thank you, sorry, please, I love you.

I have learnt that people that go through our life often do so very quickly and we are not able realize that they have gone by until they are gone. Let us be wise enough to detect them, to value them and to take advantage of what they have to offer. There are often trains that only go by once in our lifetime.

Learning to Learn - IESE MBA

I have learnt that we go through life hoping that that special person arrives or that situation that we longed waited for happens, and nevertheless often we have it in front of us and we are not even able to see it because we are blind, thinking about the future instead of living the present.

I have learnt that just as new technologies are contributing to the progress of humanity in a formidable way, at the same time they are also damaging human beings in an atrocious way. Everything is very impersonal. We always have many plans with many people, but I stop and think if we really know the people deeply or if we are limiting ourselves to make plans with “people” and nothing else. Never forget that to know a person well requires time, effort and dedication, and in my humble opinion, all this is being lost and we are reaching some levels of impersonality in relationships that are becoming very worrying.

Learning to Learn - IESE MBA

I have learnt that we all have our fears and illusions and that often we think that we know what we want in life, but for me, the most important thing is not to become the kind of person that we want to be, but to know which is this class of person that we want to be, and to fight every day to be more like it. Perfection does not exist and therefore we will never be 100% who we want to be, but knowing who we want to be will help us to get closer to our goal.

These kind of learnings have us explore zones of our deeper self than we did not know existed. Suddenly, many doubts that we had never considered are going to start to make us think about certain aspects of the life that we thought were already clear, these aspects being professional, aspirational or motivational and of course, many moral questions of which we had never worried about in the past are going to begin to cause certain conflicts in our conscience. When all this starts to happen it means that we are beginning to reach our most inner self.

Unfortunately many times we give up on exploring our true self in order to do what is supposed to be logical and reasonable. At the same time we give up on being optimistic, on having personality, on fighting towards the impossible, on getting out of our comfort zone and facing our fears, on being motivated and motivate others, on falling down and getting up again, on inspiring others, on dreaming impossible goals, on doing things with real passion, on believing in our selves. In conclusion, we have give up on knowing who we are but the most important thing, we give up in being who we really want to be.

We must be able to protect our dreams, we cannot allow anybody to say to us that we cannot do something. As Paulo Coelho´s saying:

“Fight for your dreams and your dreams will fight for you”

What really matters at the end of the day is to be clear on what is important at the end of our life. Did we use our life for something good and useful? How many people have we helped? Have we had a life for which we can feel happy and fulfilled because we have used of our talents to the fullest?

Learning to Learn - IESE MBA

We have to be able to be the best version of ourselves. Being able to go to bed every day with the conscience at peace with the satisfaction of the job well done. In order to achieve this objective it doesn’t come to my mind a better place where to start that the one of the autoreflection and the one of knowing other persons, exploring our real self, knowing the people, coexist with them, to know their truth, in conclusion, to make the quality and intensity of our thoughts and of our relations to be the most authentic ones as possible because only by doing that we will be able to know our real identity.

Con el edificio del decano de fondo

I say goodbye from this post with the best legacy anybody can leave behind. It is the verbal testimony that more than ten years ago my grandmother left my brother and me a few days before passing:

  • Always be men of good and honour
  • Take care of those who are your friends
  • Never worry about the good things you can do for others

If you are interested about the kind of topics you read in this post you can follow me in my blog at:

www.lasonrisadepeterpan.com.

Happy summer. Will see us back in September!

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever” – Mahatma Gandhi

Ignacio Cuartas View more

MBA Class of 2016

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