Everything that we currently know was, at some time in the past, unknown to us- until we learned it. We have become a collection of all of our experiences, both the good the bad, and everything in between.
We have been, and continue to be influenced by the people we hang out with, the books we read, the movies we watch, the places we go, and even the foods we eat, etc, etc. And because of this, we are currently composed of all that our mind and body have absorbed from all of our life’s experiences.
It’s fortunate that we have the ability to change and continue to grow into more than we are now. And it’s also fortunate that we can choose the direction of our growth so we can more easily achieve our goals and dreams.
How Do We Learn And Why Should We Continue To Learn More?
We are all gifted with an incredible ability to learn so much…. and yet for some reason, many people choose to ignore this gift and instead choose to learn very little after their ‘formal education’ is completed. Many gave up because they were told by others that they weren’t ‘smart enough’ and they believed it! However, our formal education system is set up so that some people will fail, regardless of how smart they are! No matter what you were told, you need to understand that you can begin to learn whatever you want, starting now!
If We Are One Of The Crowd, We Won’t Learn Beyond What The Crowd Knows
We have an amazing capacity to be able to learn new things. Even if we don’t know it, we never stop absorbing information from our environment. However, this is often to our detriment because many people’s lives are made up of the ‘same stuff,’ over and over again… and this just further cements them into receiving more of the same content in their future…. keep doing the same stuff, and you will be sure to keep getting similar results!
Also, many people’s lives are made up of what they observe in their environment…. and if they continue to think and act the same as the crowd around them, they will not grow beyond the crowd. It is only the brave among us who dare to step outside of our comfort zones to explore new places, ideas, and feelings, that will allow us to grow beyond the common consensus reality.
When we resist the temptation to follow the well-known path, we give our soul what it wants. Our soul continuously desires more opportunities for learning, new experiences, and more personal growth and development.
The best way for us to break out of a mediocre life full of ‘sameness’ is to be open to what each day brings without expectations. This is how we once were when we were young when we were still able to listen to and follow our heart’s intelligence.
Ohhh, If Only We Could Be Young Again!
The young approach life with an open mind, free of preconceived ideas, with eyes wide open, with unlimited imagination, and with a built-in passion for learning. It is during these formative years that we are able to see the world ‘as it is’ and not ‘how we think it should be.’
Most of us, as children, learned more in the first five years of life than in all the following years until death. This is simply because a newborn baby is exposed to so many unknown things. Absolutely everything is new to a baby!
Babies believe, with all of their heart, that learning is exciting, amazing, stimulating, and something to fully immerse themselves in. This is why they can learn so much so quickly. They have no fear of trying new things and do not yet understand the word ‘failure.’ Therefore, they succeed so many times.
At first, they will learn to crawl, then stand, progress to walking, and then learn to run. Each step is a progression from the previous one and leads to the possibility of even more experiences.
We then, for many reasons, tend to learn less and less as we get older, even though our magnificent brains are capable of learning so much more than before.
Is School The Best Place To Send Our Kids To Be Educated?
We develop and grow through the stimulation of our senses which then transmit information to our brains for processing. Our brilliant brains then filter, coordinate, and adapt the information to aid their own development or reject information to remain relatively unchanged.
As children age, they begin listening to and copying the behaviors and attitudes of the adults that surround them. It is unfortunate that they start understanding phrases like, ‘don’t do that’, ‘be careful or you will hurt yourself’, ‘that was stupid’, and ‘you can’t do that.’ This is when confusion begins to cloud their young impressionable minds. And this is also when fear of the unknown starts to set in and many children will begin to limit themselves by what they think they can and cannot do.
The story does not end here. The shaping of their impressionable minds by others who wish to instill their agendas upon them continues as they enter the school system, are exposed to various media, religious groups, political parties, etc.
Going to school is the norm for most children in developed and developing countries. In many respects, school can be seen as an institution where children are sent to have their free spirits weakened, and their minds conditioned so that they will obey the established systems or rules within the society in which they live.
In the classroom, children are expected to conform to what the authorities consider to be right and wrong so that control within the learning environment can be maintained.
Unfortunately, their imaginations are slowly stifled as the importance of the logical left brain is given precedence. This more often than not results in the children becoming rational robotic conformers devoid of freedom, and imagination and also lacking a connection to their spiritual essence.
At school, we are taught that it is best to fit in and that if we ‘rock the boat’ we will be punished for our ‘crime’ of being a non-conformist. Many of us don’t understand the necessity of learning lots of facts and figures that are taught in ways that don’t suit us. Therefore, often children may come away thinking that learning is difficult as the ‘one size fits all’ teaching philosophy, still dominant in many schooling systems, is detrimental to their impressionable young minds.
“When I was 5 years old, my mother told me that happiness was the key to life.
When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I wrote down Happy. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment,
and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
The world we live in is increasing in complexity at a constantly accelerating rate and many of the school systems, still in place, are grossly inadequate to keep up with the new skills required to prepare students for ‘life after school.’ Instead, they actually end up deadening many students to the process of learning.
Has It Always Been This Way?
Prior to the 1940s, home life for most children was relatively un-stimulating and time was often spent doing manual chores. Schools were then regarded as interesting places for children to go to be exposed to new concepts and ideas.
However, this situation is now reversed as the need to do chores for many is replaced by numerous after-school activities and visits to the mall with friends, etc. Time outside of the classroom is filled with much excitement and this makes the experience of being placed inside a classroom staring at books, blackboards, computers, and listening to teachers somewhat boring by comparison.
Can placing 30 or more highly stimulated students in a classroom with a teacher, telling them to read, remember and regurgitate information that is often boring and irrelevant, be considered in the best interests of the students or society as a whole?
How Can I Improve My Kids’ Chances of Getting a ‘Good’ Education at School?
Our school systems are set up so some kids succeed and some fail. However, the point of getting an education should be to learn, not to be labeled as a winner or loser.
Standardized tests are given and serve to identify those children who will be most likely to succeed in a standardized world. Many students are failing at these tests, not because they are stupid, but because they do not have standardized minds. This means that their minds have not yet been sufficiently shaped to conform to what those in control of the education curriculum wish them to learn. That’s all!
Unfortunately, this leaves many students being told and believing that they are failures and in some way stupid after going through formal education.
If our kids have to go to school to be ‘educated’ then we can help them:
- If we can understand that students learn differently based on their predominant methods of perceiving and processing information then we can set up lessons that our kids can relate to. Some will learn best through visual information, while others prefer learning styles based on auditory information, and others with movement (kinesthetic) dominant information. We and our teachers are more likely to succeed in teaching a group of students any lessons if the children are engaging the senses that they are best able to understand the information with. Lessons with all three modes (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) will have a higher chance of success in a class filled with diverse children and will help to keep them engaged and interested in learning more.
- Often at school, we were taught to focus on our failures and try to work out what went wrong. A better approach is to look at the successes we have had and ask “how did I get it right?” Recognition of success does a lot to boost a student’s self-esteem instead of constantly directing their attention with big red marker pens to where they got it wrong. Focusing on what is wrong can be quite demoralizing for a young impressionable mind and can severely affect their desire to try new things or to take chances in case they are again judged to be wrong. Children’s self-confidence is built when they know it is ok to try and that failing is just as important a part of the learning process as success is.
How Can You Become Better At Learning New Things?
It is fortunate that success or failure at school does not necessarily equate to success or failure in life after school. And luckily for us, it’s never too late and we are never too old to learn new things. So, what should we learn first?
We will benefit most if we begin to learn that which is useful to us in this life. These things include self-confidence, self-esteem, strong character, the ability to concentrate, and most importantly, learning how to learn.
If we can accept that learning is just a natural part of life and that everything we currently know and can do was at one time new and foreign to us, we can then begin to let go of any negative attitudes we hold that make us believe we are incapable of learning. After all, we already know so much! Knowing that we have already learned everything that we now know can be used as motivation to help inspire us to learn even more.
It is we, alone, that holds the power for us to learn. No one else can do it for us!
So what will it be?
The choices are:
- just keep repeating what you already know and keep getting more of the same stuff happening for the rest of your life,
- or learn some new things and apply them to change yourself and therefore improve your future outcomes!
Do you want more out of life than you are currently getting? Then do something about it, starting today!
The best thing we can do is to educate ourselves with the aim of teaching our own minds how capable we are of learning more and more. An excellent book, that helped me enormously, and can help you understand how to learn more is ‘Great Lies We Live By.’ The author is Stephanie Burns.
Our mind is so powerful that it believes everything we think. When we become consciously aware of how powerful our thoughts are, we realize that everything in our life is exactly as we have created through the consistent and predominant thoughts that we have been having.
For example, if we were told often in the past that we are stupid, slow, or dumb, and we accepted these observations as true, then we probably subconsciously still believe these things about ourselves today. And now these deep-seated beliefs will arise as thoughts that limit what we think we are capable of achieving. And so these beliefs will surface and sabotage our lives each time we want to do something new or different.
However, don’t let that depress you because we all have it within us to move beyond any conditioning that we have. Just because we currently believe something does not mean that it is true!
First, we need to accept who we are in this moment, and then we can work towards bringing our thoughts, words, and actions into harmony with the idea of being able to create a better life for ourselves. Learning new supportive ideas will have us thinking in a more self-supportive way, which will eventually create a more positive belief system. This will change your life!
We can then, with focus direct our mind to form clear and concise goals to create the future we desire.
We can begin right now by believing that we are the person we desire to be and start living life with this new belief as our reality. It doesn’t matter if it is ‘real’ or not, but if we adopt a new belief that ‘I can learn anything that I want to,’ our subconscious mind will swing into action and begin the process of making this our new reality.
By constantly imagining how we want things to be, we are consciously creating a new future for ourselves with our every thought and action. Our lives will forever change as we grow in self-confidence and self-awareness. The knowledge that we were successful at learning so many new things in the past can be extrapolated to all other areas of our lives to help create the life we dream of living.
Bruce Lee, the world-famous martial artist believed that: “The consciousness of self is the greatest hindrance to the proper execution of all physical action.” He is basically saying ‘get out of our own way!’ It is our beliefs in limitations that are stopping us from achieving… It is only we who are holding ourselves back or compelling us to go forward towards that which we think is currently unachievable.
It is an indisputable fact that all of us have amazing brains and we are all capable of learning so much. Some of us are currently using our brains to our advantage to create amazing lives, while others are infected with self-defeating thoughts and therefore unaware of their amazing potential. Regardless of ‘where you are’ currently in life, you have been gifted with amazing potential, so if you want more from life, do something about it! Start now by learning what you need to learn to get you to where you want to be!
Again, I ask you: What will it be?
The choices are:
- more of the same stuff happening for the rest of your life,
- or learn some new things and apply them to change yourself and therefore change your future outcomes!
If you have any thoughts on self-education please share them in the comments section below.
Shared with the hope of encouraging a few of you to learn something new so you can create a fantastic new future for yourself 🙂
18 thoughts on “How Do We Learn And Why Should We Continue To Learn More?”
This is a wonderful article! You have some deep messages to think about here. It is quite amazing just how much a child can soak up when they are young compared to when they are older. I have been in an instructor in higher ed and sometimes feel people don’t learn because they close their minds off and don’t open up to new things. They believe what they want to believe and then that’s it – the door is closed and nothing can get through. However, if there is enough maturity there and they do open up to newness, there could be a whole new world out there for them to learn. Your thoughts?
Thank you for suggesting the book to read as well. That sounds like an excellent read. Thanks for sharing.
Once again, job well done.
Hi Yvette. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my post. I have to agree with you that often people do close their minds to learning new things. Why anyone would choose this is beyond me because as you say, there is a whole new world out there, or many new worlds if we just open our minds and get out and explore so much of the stuff that we are currently unfamiliar with. I wish you well on your journey and look forward to seeing you back again.
Andrew, This is clearly something that you are very passionate about. I’ve never been a big fan of shoulds, so I get your point. An attitude of defeat keeps people from trying (and learning) new things.
I have an expression I use with my exercise classes, when someone says they “can’t” do an exercise. I suggest they look at it as not can’t, but as “not yet able”. It puts the focus on what they want to achieve instead of what they aren’t doing.
Hi Kelly. Learning or not learning comes down to the mindset we have. You are effectively changing your student’s mindset by letting them know that something they currently cannot do is not unachievable, but just not yet achievable. This is a great way to approach any problems we face in our lives. Some things just take time and a little more learning than others. I bet that most of us would surprise ourselves with what we are able to achieve if we really put our mind to it!
Thanks for sharing,
Thanks for this great post! I have been there were I didn’t let myself learn anymore. I don’t know why, but I stopped studying and finding myself. Maybe it was fear about failing. I’m glad that I found my path and I’m learning everyday new things to become better me and having a better future 🙂
Hi Mira. It’s great that you found some enthusiasm for learning again. Our whole world is made better and brighter when we are excited and passionate about all of the new things that are available for us to explore and understand. I wish you all the best in your quest for creating a better future for yourself.
Great and deep post in deed. I love your message that we can always continue learning. We are learning all our lifes so why not do the best about it. Yes it is incredible how fast young childreen learn, specially languages. You write lot of things about the education in school and the limits it have. That is how I always felt, even thou I had a lot of great teachers in school, still i felt it was it was limiting my confidence some how. I will read the book “Great lies we live by”
Hi Johnny. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences. Unfortunately, you are not alone when it comes to feeling let down by the education system. So many children leave formal education believing that they are failures because they did not score highly on the standardized tests. To be fair to the system, they are trying their best to give a basic standard education to very diverse children. It is, by design a system that needs to fail a certain percentage of kids through a ranking system. But, this does not mean that those that ‘don’t measure up’ with high scores on the tests are failures. Albert Einstein wrote, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” The same applies to all of us. We all have some things we are good at, but maybe passing standardized tests is not one of those things! Enjoy your learning and I look forward to talking with you again.
You hit this one out of the park sir! You provided so much information about not only brain development but also information about the education youths get in todays society. I also liked the fact you shared with us what life use to be like. It’s always interesting to me in understanding how we, as a society and humans, got to where we are today. I am looking forward to reading more posts from you. Having a degree in psychology, I really enjoyed reading this post.
Hi Joseph. Thanks for your encouragement. It helps a lot to know that my words are being well received. You are welcome back anytime my friend.
An excellent, insightful article and a damn good read!!
You make fantastic pertinent points, I love researching and learning more now that I am older. I suppose I have become slightly disillusioned with television and material things and I am eager to keep developing my knowledge and experiencing the gifts of the Earth.
I look forward to your next post 🙂
Hi Andy. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my article. Learning new stuff keeps our mind active, and this helps to keep us passionate about life. So not only does our mind benefit but our whole general wellbeing is elevated. It a win-win situation all around! Welcome back anytime. Cheers,
You make excellent points on brain development and creative thinking. As I am currently a “student” in the arena of neuroscience, I found this article very insightful and captivating. I look forward to reading more of your articles.
Good Vibes Always,
Hi Olympia. Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my article. I’m happy that you found it insightful and captivating. You are welcome back anytime 🙂
As I near 40 my appetite for learning has skyrocketed. I try to read and listen to audiobooks, that are on something I know about or are on the complete opposite side of my position on a topic. Really like the part in your article on our children and the school system and them getting the most out of their education. Great read thank you
Hi Brandon. It’s awesome that you want to learn more! I have the same problem….. not really a problem as this thirst for knowledge keeps me very passionate about life! Life is amazing, and people are amazing, and the planet is amazing….. so much to discover and enjoy about being alive. It’s great that you take the time to investigate more that one side of issues. This will keep your brain fired up and active and it will then serve you well for the rest of your journey during this lifetime.
Best wishes to you, my friend.
Very thoughtful and thorough post! It is quite amazing how much and how rapidly an individual can learn during childhood. However, I didn’t think that they learned much more in their childhood then they will learn in their entire lives. This is mind-blowing! Who would have thought that a kid was learning that much?
Thanks for sharing this information.
Hi Britney. Thanks for reading and commenting on my post. If you think about it, children learn most of their language before the age of five. They also learn how to use the 650 muscles in their body, how to read other peoples body language, how to ride a bike, how to get along with others, what foods they like, that water makes you wet, the sun is awesome when it touches your skin, some animals are friendlier than others and that dirt tastes good, etc. etc….. there is just so much going on for them as they are born a ‘blank slate’ and need to be filled with all sorts of information to do everything in this world.
Have a great day,