If you look around, you’ll notice one key trait in all self-made people; they are successful learners who understand what they’re doing in life.
These people are masters at the art of learning. Before initiating a project, they make sure they understand what they’re getting themselves into and this trait alone helps them avoid dozens of hurdles in the way.
But in order to be a successful learner, there are a lot of other traits that you’ll need to develop.
You see, learning is a multi-factorial trait that’s influenced by a number of factors and habits.
In order to become a successful learner, here are a few traits that you need to inculcate in yourself.
Successful learners understand that learning takes time. For them, persistence is the key to success because nothing worth learning is learned in a day or two.
As an individual, I believe that the lack of persistence is what holds most people from achieving greatness.
Almost everyone has grand ideas and ambitions in life. But only a handful of people manage to accomplish their set goals and targets because others usually don’t put in the amount of work needed to achieve their goal.
I say this a lot:
When it comes to dreams, most people are just in love with the final product and not the process.
Successful people, on the other hand, are in love with both.
Persistence and patience often go hand-in-hand. And successful learners are masters of both.
With that said, there’s some difference between both these terms.
Persistence is usually for the known while patience comes in handy when the unknown strikes.
Allow me to explain:
When you plan ahead and work consistently on it, that’s persistence. In this case, you’re continuously working towards your goal and following the set plan or layout.
However, patience is tested when that plan unknowingly fails or experiences a hurdle. That’s when there’s a huge chance of people backing out.
But successful learners practice patience and take their time to work past problems.
A good way to build patience is to accept that your plan or projection is bound to show deviations and discrepancies.
People who can’t accept the fact that their plans could fail are the ones who fail the most. Successful learners avoid that problem by expecting their plan to not work out exactly the way it’s supposed to.
3. Conceptual Learning
Successful learners believe in understanding and grasping concepts instead of rote learning.
A lot of successful people are of the view that grades aren’t important. That’s because what matters is your understanding of the concept, not the final grade that you get.
In real life, the concept is what helps you to apply your learning and get something out of it. That’s why successful learners spend more time building and strengthening their concepts than they do on rote learning.
4. Strong Memory
Sure, concepts are important. But there’s a lot of stuff that needs to be memorized after building a strong concept.
There are other things like language that require minimal concept and maximum memorization. That’s why successful learners have a strong memory and that’s something they spend a lot of time working on. In fact, you may find brain and memory games on their phone as they spend ample time working on their retaining ability.
5. Leading Abilities
Successful learners are often important people in social gatherings. That’s because people recognize them as learned individuals that need to be respected on the basis of their knowledge. Often, that knowledge results in an influx of wealth that further helps in improving the social status of these individuals.
All these factors add up to create a personality that’s a leader by nature. It’s like their aura has a magnetic effect that pulls others around it.
Now the thing about this trait is that it often isn’t acquired directly. It’s not like successful learners learn to lead. It happens at a subconscious level often as a secondary output of their learning ability.
6. Discerning Valuable from the Useless
When I went into college, I was right-out intimidated by the size of the books we had to study. And for a while, this used to bother me because I was under the impression that we had to study each and every word of those books.
But as time progressed, I realized that merely 40% of the book was enough to get me 80% of the grades. Essentially, that 40% was the valuable part of those books that I needed to focus on before I decided to work on anything else.
This is similar to the Pareto’s Principle, otherwise known as the 80-20 principle which suggests that 80% of the outcome comes from 20% of the effort.
By focusing on the parts of books that mattered the most, I wasn’t just able to score good grades but it also allowed me to distribute my time to other activities. I would study, get good grades, maintain a social life and work on any side projects that I wanted.
Most people thought that I’m awfully lucky or gifted, but the secret behind all of this was simply the ability to discern valuable from the useless.
If that’s something that you want to learn, I’d urge you to look around yourself and see what sort of learning activities or topics take most of your time but are of least importance for your goal, be it getting a good grade or succeeding at your business venture. If the task doesn’t contribute to your goal, it’s not worth spending your time on.
7. Bold Attitude
Successful learning requires a bold attitude.
I know it sounds absurd. But not everyone has the courage to learn everything.
A lot of people are intimidated by the time and effort required to learn a skill or a subject. And that intimidation holds them back from even taking that first step. They look at the mountain worth of input required and avoid the whole task in itself.
As I mentioned above, nothing worth learning is learned in a day or two; and successful learners understand that. To excel in their field, they take on a bold attitude that embraces hardship and uncertainty.
The key to effective learning is to question the matter. In fact, a recent study showed that elaborative interrogation (or self-questioning) is a useful learning method.
By questioning yourself and your logic, you’ll uncover aspects of the topic that you didn’t even know existed.
What’s more, you’ll notice that by questioning while you learn, you’ll be able to look at the concept from a variety of angles and point-of-views which will help you attain perspective.
In order to use this technique, set aside some extra time to ponder and question yourself about what you’re trying to learn.
When you do that, go into specifics and ask yourself questions that you probably don’t know the answer to. You’ll be surprised to notice that most answers just pop into your head once you actually question yourself.
9. Following Routines
In a world full of distractions, managing one’s time is one of the most useful techniques to learn.
And when it comes to time management, there’s nothing better than the good’ol daily routine.
Almost all of us have a mental to-do list in our heads as we go about our day. However, what a lot of us lack is a routine and a priority order for that list.
Successful learners, however, are great at creating and following routines that help them maximize their learning and implement it in daily life.
Another aspect to consider here is that this ability of following routines stems from high self-discipline. A lot of people are great at creating routines, just not so much at following them. And that’s all that matters.
Take a look at these Powerful Daily Routine Examples for a Healthy and High-Achieving You.
10. Sticking to Their Learning Style
There are many different types of learners in society. Some people learn best by listening while others write things down. Then there are individuals that like to have a hands-on learning experience.
The thing about successful learners is that they know what sort of learning style works best for them. This allows them to focus their learning methodology according to their preferred style so they can maximize their learning.
If you’re unaware of the major learning styles, here are a few:
- Visual Learners
- Auditory Learners
- Reading/Writing Learners
- Kinesthetic (hands-on) Learners
As soon as you know how you learn and the best way to learn, you can better retain information more effectively.
So here you are, 10 things you can learn from the successful learners in order to become a faster and smarter learner.
More on Learning Fast
- 6 Effective Learning Techniques that are Backed by Research
- How to Memorize More and Faster Than Other People
- 8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More
Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com
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