Abraham Lincoln once said, “I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday”. This opens the premise that learning is a daily adventure that one carries and explores throughout a lifetime.
Learning doesn’t stop just because school does. People who are truly effective generally do not get that way by sitting still, they apply themselves to constant learning, and competing against themselves to grow and learn day-by-day.
Make a commitment to yourself to learn something new every day, and you will not only enjoy what you discover, but you will be able to apply your knowledge and become a teacher to future generations. Here’s how:
1. Learn how you learn: Determine your own preferred learning style or styles. Note what learning techniques are most effective for you and use them as much as is practical, such as viewing online tutorials on websites like youtube if you are more visual learner. Most people learn through multiple methods, but favour one or two. Use your preferences to your advantage.
2. Learn where your talents and interests lie: try many different things so you don’t box yourself into believing that you are only good at few things. It is probable that you that you are good at many things, but you won’t know until you have tried.
Be wary of past memories that tell you to stay away from certain things.
As you grow, you develop more experience, coordination, responsiveness, and confidence that one experience can’t teach, but you can apply to relearn an old experience.
3. Look at learning as an exploration and opportunity: don’t just force yourself to learn things because they are important or necessary. Instead, learn things that you need to learn alongside thing you love to learn. Follow your heart, as well as your sense of duty.
4. Learn the basic: it can be a grind at times, but you will be able to remember, connect, and figure out all kinds of complicated thing through relatively few, simple, building blocks, if you learn some math and natural-science concepts. You can look up precise formulas and trivia again later, but the concepts will do the most good and save a lot of time in repeated look-ups if mostly learned by heart.
5. Read, read, read: make friends with your local library and new and used book sellers. Reading is portal into other world, and into the minds of your fellow human being. Through reading, you will never stop learning and being amazed by the incredible creativity, intelligence, and even banality of the human species. Wise people read lots of book, all the time; it is as simple as that. And reading will help you to learn the discoveries and mistakes of others who have gone before you.
6. Broaden your definition of learning: take a look at the Theory of Multiple Intelligence if you don’t know it yet. Consider how you might fit it, and where you can improve. Refine your existing skills. Are you already good at cooking? Computers? Teaching? Playing saxophone? Hone these skills and take them to the next level. Try new things, both inside and outside your preferred skills area.
7. Do things outside your vocation: as an adult, your experience may be your best teacher. Whether you work for pay, or volunteer your time, focus on a project or tinker with whatever grabs your attention, try lots of things and notice the results. Apply the results to other things in your life, to expand the value of what you have learned. You never know when an opportune discovery may arise as a result of your observation and innovative approaches.
8. Create: not all learning comes from outside you. In fact, some of the most powerful learning happens when you are creating or formulating something for yourself. Creation, like intelligence, can be artistic or scientific; physical or intellectual; social or solitary. Try different media and methods and refine the ones that you like the most.
Adapted from: NST, CLASSIFIED, 27TH MARCH 2013