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Last Updated on April 17, 2020

13 Ways to Be More Eager to Learn and Succeed in Life

13 Ways to Be More Eager to Learn and Succeed in Life

Every good thing starts with a desire or eagerness to do something. The same goes for your success stories. The more you keep pushing yourself to be knowledgeable, the clearer the way to success becomes.

Curiosity not only helps you in excelling at the professional front, but a study found that it also improves memory and learning.[1] The study revealed that curiosity releases a chemical linked with motivation, dopamine. Dopamine could motivate you more than any words ever could!

Undoubtedly, without a genuine interest or curiosity to learn, you cannot expect yourself to be naturally inclined to learn new things. Eagerness to learn is where your success starts. Let’s not forget that Newton discovered gravity when he was curious as to why the apple fell on the ground rather than going upwards. Similarly, Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin as he was curious to have a better germs killer. And the list is endless.

So, how to be more eager to learn and grow into a more successful person?

Here are 13 ways you can naturally increase your eagerness to learn and keep feeding your curiosity to stay on your learning goals.

1. Just Show Your Eagerness

Express your eagerness to learn more in your workplace. Take up every learning opportunity that is presented to hone your skills. You can also continue taking informational interviews and job shadows to keep your curiosity burning. Keep asking more questions and show that you are enthusiastic to learn.

Also, reflect your curiosity towards learning by attending seminars, getting certifications, and enrolling yourself in online courses.

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2. Stay Updated

Be it technical or general news, try to be updated on the current scenarios. Stay on top of the news as it can be fodder for all your conversations and could play a vital role in widening your network.

Keep an eye on the latest trends in your field of work. You never know when something new pops up and becomes the next big thing.

3. Don’t Stop Developing Your Skills

Make it your goal to update your resume with new skills now and then. If there is anything that can never be taken away from you, it’s your acquired skills and knowledge. With job requirements changing every day, don’t let yourself fall behind and keep learning to keep giving your best.

4. Look for Challenges

The best way to learn something new is to start doing something new. Don’t put off your personal or professional projects when you can do them now.

Challenge yourself continuously and look for ways that can help you evolve your career. Gain expertise in what you master. Taking up difficult tasks can unleash your capabilities and discover your strengths and weaknesses.

5. Learn Lateral Thinking

Thinking outside the box lets you look for answers that could lead to innovation and improved solutions. You never know when a single thought could prove to be a seed for something huge.

Don’t restrict yourself to conventional methods when it comes to learning and developing your skills. Find out what works for you and apply it to your life. This article may inspire you: The Power of Deep Thinking: Essence of Creativity

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6. Be Open to New Experiences

When you are offered something new at work, try to accommodate it. If it’s a new task with an unfamiliar technology, don’t hesitate to take it up. If it is something that you have not tried before – accept the challenge.

Trying out new things can be a great way to have new learning experiences. Here’re some inspirations for you: 30 New Things To Do Today

7. Start to Be Interesting

Being genuinely interested in something makes you interesting as well. It also makes you endearing to the people who are willing to share the knowledge.

By asking the right questions to satiate your curiosity, you can show your passion for learning and start up conversations with people of higher authority with confidence.

Your strong sense of curiosity shows you as truly who you are. Your ventures get the extra appeal from your mentors or leaders when it shows its ability to continuously evolve.

You can also try these tips: How Not to Be Boring (And Start to Be More Interesting)

8. Gain Initial Knowledge

While it is quite common to be curious about something you don’t know, what keeps you more curious is when you start learning it. Having an initial knowledge of any subject will let your curiosity flow in the right direction. You will know what questions you need answered. And this also makes way for focused learning.

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9. Ask Questions

Put yourself in a place where it is easy for you to ask questions. An environment that is welcoming of curiosity is a great one for intelligent minds to thrive. Remove any barrier that could stop you from being curious.

Here’re some techniques to help you ask questions: How to Be Amazingly Good at Asking Questions

10. Surround Yourself with the Right People

You are an approximation of the people you mostly spend time with. It is inevitable that your close circle has a definite influence on your behavior and life paths. Hence, it’s important to collect wisdom from those who are around you and thus by surrounding yourself with the right people, you can stay curious and keep evolving.

Here’re some examples of the people to surround yourself with:

  • One person with more experience in your future goals.
  • A peer who excels in skills and accomplishments that you don’t, someone whom you can reach out to.
  • Someone younger but is on the same road as you are.

Having the above three kinds of people in your circle is not to compare yourself but to have open-minded individuals who can share their knowledge and experiences you need to keep pursuing your goals.

11. Find More Meaning to Life

Not being curious can make your life monotonous and boring. When you have the drive to find meanings to all things around you, you become naturally curious.

A curious mind is more satisfied as it knows there is more to life than existing. You will keep finding new ways to enjoy and experience life.

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Never settle. Keep expecting bigger things from life: How to Live a Meaningful Life: 10 Inspiring Ideas to Find Meaning

12. Take Action to Stay Motivated

Set a goal and be motivated to commit to accomplishing it. You can draw up work schedules or learning schedules to keep you on track. The sense of pride and satisfaction you get from accomplishing something adds all the flavor you look for in life.

Don’t give up on yourself and stay motivated to keep tasting the sense info accomplishment. The more driven and motivated you are, the more naturally curious you will be.

13. Get Better at What Makes You Happy

A core need for a healthy mind is confidence and self-efficacy. This comes from your conviction on your abilities. When you learn out of your own interest, it shows you new ways to get better at something and makes you confident and maintain good self-esteem. Your achievements and accomplishments cement this feeling.

Final Thoughts

Learning, as an adult, makes it easy for you to behave well in social situations. The constant drive to mastery is fuel to progress. It stimulates your creativity and helps you see the world from a different perspective.

Knowledge gives you the ability to see connections you may have not noticed earlier. Your curiosity boosts your creativity and your creative solutions will keep getting you curious to attain higher levels of perfection.

That said, learning, unlike any other activity, requires active participation and trains your mind and body to live to its fullest potential. Try not to let go of any learning experience. Always keep your curiosity mode switched on!

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Featured photo credit: Alex Samuels via unsplash.com

Reference

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on July 24, 2020

A Comprehensive Guide to a Smart Learning Process

A Comprehensive Guide to a Smart Learning Process

One of the most crucial aspects of our lives is the ability to learn. We often take this skill for granted since not many of us pause and think about our learning process. In fact, if we did, we would probably uncover that we engage in ineffective learning mechanisms.

Think about it. Has your learning helped you recall things you learned last month? Go back a year and ponder.

A lot of how we learn was tucked away in school. Our exposure to school learning is the basis of how we learn moving forward. However, over the past few decades, learning has evolved into different stages of learning, and that becomes the main issue.

No longer are we looking at examinations of people’s characteristics about understanding and learning. Instead, scholars have created learning processes that use materials that support our interactions with others and our goals.

As a result, we can learn new things more smartly and effectively – which will be covered as we proceed further in understanding the learning process.

The Essential Steps of the Learning Process

In his book Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell states that the key to success is for us to practice 10,000 hours on a specific skill. It’s also worth noting that the skill needs the correct learning direction. If you’re learning how to do something the wrong way, you’ll continue to use it the wrong way.

But before understanding the learning process, we must understand the stages of learning. Written in the 1970s, Noel Burch created a model called the Four Stages of Learning. [1]

From there, we can use the stages of learning as a basis for how to learn effectively.

1. Unconscious Incompetence

Think of a skill that you are good at and that you use every single day.

Now think back to when you first developed that skill. Were you good at it? Probably not.

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You never heard of the skill or had a desire to learn of it until that point. This is the first stage: You know nothing about it.

2. Conscious Incompetence

Once you have heard of the skill, you begin to delve into it.

Driving a car is a perfect example. Before this stage, you never felt the need to learn how to drive. Nevertheless, once you became of legal age, you had to study to get your license. You likely made several mistakes on the driving test as well as during the written test.

This is the stage where you feel learning is slow, and you’re also aware of your mistakes.

3. Conscious Competence

By this stage, you know pretty much everything you need to know. At the same time, though, you are also aware that you need to focus and concentrate on what you are doing.

This stage can be that you know the rules of the road and can drive well. However, you feel you can’t talk to anyone, play any music, or look away from the road. You feel like you need total silence to focus and concentrate on driving.

At this stage, learning can be even slower than the previous stages. The learning isn’t consistent, nor is it a habit yet.

4. Unconscious Competence

By this stage, you’ve made it. You know everything in and out about the skill. It’s become a habit, and you don’t need to concentrate. You can relax and let your unconscious mind take over.

Exceeding the 4 Stages: Flow/Mastery

While Burch only covered four stages, there is another stage that exceeds it. This is the flow or mastery stage.

You may have heard of something called a flow state. [2] It’s the mental state where someone is performing an activity and is fully immersed in it. They feel energized, focused, and get a sense of joy from doing this activity.

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Flow or mastery can stem from all kinds of activities like Writing, reading, jogging, biking, figure skating, and more. It’s also characterized as complete absorption in what you’re doing, making you unaware of space and time.

Different Types of Learning Process

Another aspect of the learning process is the types of learning. While every person goes through those stages of learning, how we learn is different.

Having covered four learning styles in 4 Learning Styles to Help You Learn Faster and Smarter, I’m recapping the different types of learning in psychology.

Psychiatrists have narrowed how we learn down to seven learning styles as below:

  • Visual (spatial): Learning through pictures, graphs, charts, etc.
  • Aural (auditory-musical): Learning through sound and music.
  • Verbal (linguistic): Learning through spoken or written words.
  • Physical (kinesthetic): Learning through the body, hands, and a sense of touch.
  • Logical (mathematical): Learning through logic, systems, and reasons.
  • Social (interpersonal): Learning through groups or talking to people.
  • Solitary (intrapersonal): Learning individually through self-study or individual assignments.

You may be asking why all of this matters and actually how we learn plays a significant role. How we internally represent experiences stems from how we learn. What we learn not only establishes how we recall information but also impacts our own word choice.

It also influences which part of our brain we use for learning. Researchers uncovered this through various experiments.[3]

For example, say you’re driving to a place you’ve never gone before. How you learn will determine which method of learning you’ll use. Some will ask people for directions, while others will pull up Google maps. Some will write the directions out, while some won’t and merely follow street signs.

Knowing how to learn to this depth is vital because once you know what style you use, you can then develop a learning process to be a more effective learner.

How To Become an Effective Learner?

The learning process varies from person to person. Generally speaking, though, consider the following steps and considerations:

1. Improve Your Memory

Learning doesn’t only require that we learn information, but to retain it. If we are to learn something, we will have to learn and relearn. This means recalling and having a sharp memory to keep that information.

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Improving our memory can range from a variety of things. From memory palaces to practicing other memory improvement tactics.

2. Keep Learning and Practicing New Things

Learning a new skill takes time, but there is nothing wrong with learning a few other things. International Journal of Science – Nature: Changes in grey matter induced by training[4] reported that those who juggled between learning different topics increase their gray matter which is associated with visual memory

3. Learn in Many Ways

While we have our own go-to style, delving into other types and stages of learning can be useful. If you learn by listening to podcasts, why not try rehearsing information verbally or visually?

It will not start great, but by improving your skill to describe what you learned orally, you are further cementing the knowledge in your mind.

Judy Willis MD, M.Ed in her publication on Review of Research: Brain-Based Teaching Strategies for Improving Students’ Memory, Learning, and Test-Taking Success[5] states how the more regions we keep data stored, the more interconnection there is in the collection information that we later process.

4. Teaching What You Learned to Others

It doesn’t have to be in a tutoring situation, but this method is still a reliable way for two people to grow.

Regardless of learning styles, we retain the information we tell others more effectively than if we keep it to ourselves. Was there a random fact you told someone a few months ago? You are more likely to remember that information because you brought it up to someone.

5. Use Relational Learning

Relational learning is relating new information to things you already know.

A typical example of this is remembering someone’s name. You can better recall that person’s name if you associate that name to something or someone familiar.

6. Gaining Practical Experience

Nothing beats learning than trying it for yourself. Sure, seeing information does have its strong points -and most learning styles benefit from exposed information – there is something to be said about getting your “hands dirty.”

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7. Refer Back to past Info If Need Be

The learning process is not perfect. We’ll forget at certain points. If you ever struggle to remember something, make a point of going back to your notes.

This is key because if we try recalling, we risk ourselves learning or relearning the wrong answer. And again, there is a difference between learning the right way and the wrong way.

8. Test Yourself

While this step may seem odd, there are benefits to testing yourself. Even if you think you know everything about the topic, going back and testing yourself can always help.

Not only does testing improve our recall, but we may realize that we learned a concept or task incorrectly. That knowledge can enhance our effectiveness in the future.

9. Stop Multitasking

While we should be learning new things all the time, we shouldn’t be trying to do several tasks at once. We ought to focus on one activity at a time before moving onto other tasks.

By trying to multitask, we are learning less effectively and are only hindering ourselves. Check out how multitasking is merely another way of distracting ourselves.

Bottom Line

Psychologists define learning as the process of a permanent change in a person’s behavior resulting from experience. The understanding of the learning process is up to us, but do consider the bigger picture. Be aware of what style works best for you, and work to improve it while enhancing other learning styles. The only way we can advance a skill is to learn continuously. Even in the skills you have mastered, there are always new developments.

You can learn more about how you can cultivate lifelong learning and attain an edge in every niche that you get associated with today!

Featured photo credit: Aliis Sinisalu via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Gordon Training International: The Four Stages of Competence
[2] Habits for Wellbeing: Flow: the Secret to Happiness: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
[3] Training Industry: How the Brain Learns
[4] International Journal of Science – Nature: Changes in grey matter induced by training
[5] Judy Willis MD, M.Ed: Review of Research: Brain-Based Teaching Strategies for Improving Students’ Memory, Learning, and Test-Taking Success

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