How to Learn

There are various ways of learning and each individual should learn which way works best for them. First one must be receptive to learning; and being receptive to learning is not something society does naturally. Far too many people settle too easily for what they believe to be right and are reluctant to change their opinions. Learning how to learn is not one of those academic lecture series that crank out words of wisdom that are over the heads of most. It’s a real issue confronting people worldwide. They take what they learned in their formative years as the gospel truth and live with it for the rest of their lives. They fail to recognize that time is the teacher and they are the students.

Be receptive to learning

Decide how you learn best and make every attempt to get the most out of every learning situation. This applies to formal classroom learning and homework assignments but it also applies to learning from simply living. Every day new opportunities for learning happen and it’s up to the participants whether or not they learn from their good and bad experiences. In other words be aware of the importance of learning from all encounters, planned or accidental.

Understand you know little

Knowing there’s a world of information out there that you know little about should humble you enough not to assume you already know what you need to know and there’s no need to overhaul or amend your beliefs. Understanding you know little will put you in a good frame of mind to learn more, whereas thinking you’re already overstocked with knowledge sufficient to last a lifetime is to close the door to learning.

Become a list maker

Get in the habit of taking lists. Most of them will fall by the way but still the act of thinking them out will help program your brain to become aware when opportunities for learning more arrive. This harks back to receptiveness and puts you back to the idea of being available to receive valuable new insights.

Itemizing your desires to learn more about certain subjects makes them available for future consideration even when you’ve forgotten about having considered them. They’re filed away in your mental file system and when the opportunity arises for learning is right, associations, corrections in wrong information, etc., will be made. Neurological systems are built that way and there’s no reason they cannot be given lists from time to time.

Learn how learning works

Knowing more about how learning takes place will put willing learners ahead. It’s such an important subject and has aroused much curiosity among educators; a book How Learning Works is available for those who take the subject seriously.  It’s known that the body, mind and soul is part and parcel of all that it surveys, but if the body is not programmed to deal with much of what it sees, hears, and believes, then wrong interpretations and wrong messages will be sent to the brain. These can sabotage an otherwise healthy mental education system.

Unblock your mind

By the above mentioned methods, and by being aware of every opportunity to learn, minds will become active and brain cells will be revitalized and neural cells will be better message carriers as well as being better interpreters of what is learned. Closed minds tend to disallow any new thoughts that attempt to modify information already stored in mental file cabinets. Facts and thoughts stored there may have been useful in the past but may need reconsideration for future use.

Be truthful about your abilities

Don’t overload your mind with false values. Learn to get along with yourself on a comfortable level and don’t assume a higher intelligence than you have. You are limited in what you can learn and when thoughts and ideas are beyond your understanding, admit this to yourself.

Tune yourself to your better qualities and to those things that are easily grasped and be satisfied at how you learn.  What’s beyond you may not be beyond your neighbor, but who’s comparing? What’s beyond them may not be beyond you since both of you are programmed differently from birth. Your DNA shows that. A caution however, that fact shouldn’t be used as an excuse.

Make your learning meaningful

Use what you learn. Test its importance on your life; apply it at every opportunity but don’t become a showoff. Accept others and their limitations as you accept your own limitations. Learning how to learn is not something that you must set aside time to do, it’s more of an attitude that is with you and can be applied whenever an opportunity arises that has importance to you.

As an example of how that principle works start examining your own reactions to your thoughts about the behavior of others. When negative thoughts occur examine them for their accuracy and then amend them accordingly. That friend of yours that barely recognized your hearty greeting as you met on ways to elsewhere does not mean she’s angry at you. She’s preoccupied with her own thoughts and has no time to stop and chat.

At least that’s a far better mental health thought to file away in your mental health reservoir than the negative thought about what you did to bring about a change of attitude. This kind of thinking is conducive to learning and it can be acquired by learning how to learn.