Typically a person has two stages of learning: lectures and experiencing. One phase is passive, depending on listening and remembering. The other phase depends on exploring, trying and failing.
Lecture-based learning most often occurs in grade-school and college consists. In class there is a professor speaking at you, listing of dates and events, summarizing theories and intrepretations. Later you have papers and excersizes that effectily measure you note-taking and research abilities. This is typically low-pressure (except perhaps when finals time rolls around), giving you moderate time to study, get tutoring or do additional research.
Next you graduate and enter your field—welcome to the experience phase. Most of your life is this phase—you learn by watching others on your team and other teams or by blindly making it up as you go.
Learning in front of others might be one of the scariest things you do in life. Learning is something most prefer to do from observance or in solitude, afterall not-knowing can be frustrating or embarrasing.
Though often, when you’re thrown into the middle of something scary and you must pioneer your own path, you often learn more and retain it longer. Then hopefully you end up being quite proud of the experience and what you’ve created.
Improvising is often activly learning in context. No one knows what they’re doing all the time.
A key to experience-based learning is confidence. That doesn’t mean you pretend to you know everything, stop listening, do everything wrong and cause chaos. No, the confidence I speak of is acknowledging that you’re learning and going to make mistakes. Be confident in the fact you have areas to improve in, and cherrish people that want to help you along the way.
Mistakes are often the hardest part of learning; no one likes to fail. But at each failure is an opportunity to understand what went wrong and what you should do next time.
The most important thing is to keep learning. It keeps you young. Keeps you energetic. Most importantly, it keeps you relevant.