Learning is how we grow as a human race. It’s how we improve as people, as businesses, as families. Progress happens through learning. Education is all about learning. Our lives, are all about learning.
As you can see, learning is fundamental, whether you acknowledge it or not. However, there are certain people out there, who are willing to learn more than others. These people know that life is about learning. It’s about growth. They are learning everyday, every minute, at every opportunity. Furthermore, there are people who go one step further, and seem to be on another level of intelligence to the rest of us. – This though, is simply not true. What the most intelligent, successful, happy people do is learn how to learn – before they start learning languages, subjects, business, politics, how to cook etc etc etc.
We all have the ability to learn – it’s easy. But what separates a good learner from a great leaner, is those who know how to learn.
So what do I mean by: ‘learning how to learn’. Well, say you decide you want to learn Spanish, or how to swim. You devote X amount of time to your chosen education either in classes or self-teaching. You then decide than you’ve learnt the basics – you now know ‘how to do it’. And you’re right. You do…
However, 3 years down the line, you try to swim using the basic techniques you were taught at swimming classes, but you can’t remember. You keep trying to force your body to remember those forwards strokes and butterflies, but it’s no use. You decide you weren’t born to swim, and never try to relearn. So what has happened?
It’s quite simple – you obviously have forgotten how to swim! You did once know, but time has passed, and you haven’t been regularly practicing. It happens. It happens to all of us. We learn things, we forget things. It’s part of life. But, if, before you learnt how to swim, you made a commitment to understanding what learning is: That it is a lifelong process, That it is hard, That it will be a journey. That you will struggle, That you will forget. Then you would have found re-learning it very easy.
Learning how to learn enables you to relearn.
Take the example of jobs in computer science and programming. Coders and developers have to RELEARN new ‘coding’ languages every 3-5 years. They have to do this because they will otherwise get left behind by others who have learned. If a programmer refuses to learn a new language – that is the new trend, then he is out of the job. Simple
Re-learning is essential because you will forget things, maybe you’ll forget altogether. Maybe what you learnt before was incorrect, or no longer relevant. Maybe you’re a wannabe computer scientist? A hairdresser? An artist? A singer? It applies to all creative works and all learning processes. If you want to really be the best you can be in life, then we must embrace this amazing concept of learning how to learn, because you’re gonna’ need it.
For more on this, I highly recommend you check out Kevin Kelly. Kevin is a futurist, author, creator, traveller and founder amongst many other things. But he himself would acknowledge that he would have had nowhere near as much success, had he not knew how to learn. Kevin has an incredible range of books which you can find here. His latest book ‘The Inevitable’ has just been released. This is a fascinating book about what future has in store for us – pick it up here. You can also find him at kk.org where you can find out all about him, and his life. Or you can do what everyone else d at check out his Wikipedia page.