Think of a little kid that is just learning to walk. For the kid, success means being able to walk five steps straight without falling down. And to be successful in that, the kid needs to learn to move one leg forward, be stable, and then move another leg forward. It is a series of small learnings that – when combined together – create success.
What makes a kid learn so fast? Apart from physiological factors, attitude is key. Are you motivated to figure things out like when you were a kid? Have you cared more about how others think about you as you’re growing up? All these can largely affects one’s success more than intelligence does.
And you might have already noticed that friends who succeeded are not the most intelligent ones. It’s their mindsets that make them go far. Here are three learner characteristics that may determine why one is more successful over another:
Motivation is the desire or willingness to do something. Why are you doing what you are doing? Is your reason enough to keep you doing it for a long time? And enough to get you back up on your feet when you fall down?
To improve your motivation in learning, some of the things that you can do to help you are:
- Break down goals into smaller ones to have more progress that can further motivate you
- Build a habit. Choose a regular time to study/work each day so that you set a pattern for yourself
- Use a symbol for studying/work. Choose an item, like a hat, that you put on when, and only when, you are studying/working or an item that you place on your desk as you study/work
- Give yourself an affirmation every day. This will boost your confidence and motivate you at the same time
- Design an adequate environment for yourself. Check lighting, noise, comfort of furniture, etc., in three or four places to determine which spot works best for you
When you are anxious about learning something, it affects the learning process. According to a study, children with higher levels of anxiety learned slower than those with lower levels of anxiety. 
If you are always anxious, some of the things that you can do to help you manage it are: 
- Take a time-out. Do yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques
- Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand
- Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest
- Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health
- Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly
- Count to 10 slowly. Repeat, and count to 20 if necessary
- Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn’t possible, be proud of however close you get.
- Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?
- Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way
3. Positive attitude
Have a positive attitude when attempting to learn something. Do not start off a learning task by having negative thoughts or questioning what you are about to learn. You need to embrace the learning process with an open heart and an open attitude. To have a positive attitude, you should quit complaining. Do not entertain pessimism as this will discourage you from learning.
Learning starts from within. In the end it is up to us if we absorb what we are learning, or not. If we do, the things that we learn will be the building blocks of our successes.
Below are some great posts that help you build a positive mindset
This model is adapted from a language learning model