It’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, vacation is gleaming, most of us are not even trying to think about school. But that does not mean learning should stop!
It’s not just a summer problem. When school is done, learning becomes job related, life skills related, hobby related, maybe new parent related, but not much outside of that. So what are some ways we can continue exercising our brains, feeding it with knowledge to grow, learning all throughout life?
Google is your friend. Or whatever your search engine preference might be. Back in the day, random knowledge had to be physically looked up in a book or encyclopedia but today information is literally at our fingertips. It is important for us to remember that the answers to our questions now can be figured out with the internet and social media. It might take a few times to look something up before you actually learn it or before a follower chimes in with the correct answer, but once you’ve got it, you’ve got!
Ask questions, all the time. Arguably the easiest way to learn more is to just ask more questions. Question anything that interest you even if it means asking a stranger. Sometimes the best bits of knowledge we get are from strangers who are experts in their field. Asking more questions also teaches us how to ask better questions and how to find answers more sufficiently.
Do new things, often. That’s just it. Do new things, often. New stuff can be scary, but it can also be as easy as learning a new recipe (google is your friend), listening to a new artist instead of your usual playlists, or taking a different way to work. In the ‘Western World’ we have very little excuse to not do new things more often; we have freedom to do what we desire. The more new things we do, the more we feed our curiosity and insight about the world and about ourselves. Trying new things forces us to self-reflect, another key aspect in learning new things and developing our brains throughout life.
Develop and invest in peaceful environments. A peaceful environment should be noise free but not necessarily sound free. Noise means sounds that cloud ours minds and limit our free thinking. In a peaceful environment you can sit with your eyes closed and feel a sense of calmness and relaxation; thoughts flow freely not in any one direction. Peaceful environments are conducive to learning. Your mind needs to feel at ease to understand and retain information. Something you learned early in the morning may not really set in until later that evening during a peaceful bath, gaze at the sunset, or your favorite songs on repeat. The more you want to learn, the more these peaceful moments are necessary if you want your learning to be significant.
Develop your confidence in your intellect and speak up! The more you learn, the more you know! And a part of really learning something is being able to teach or relay that information to another person. Teaching is innate to human culture but sometimes that teaching gets stunted when our confidence is muted. Confidence grows with baby steps. Feel strong that you know what you know and when a moment arises to relay that knowledge, allow yourself the opportunity to take advantage of it. Teaching gets easier the more you do it. You learn to work with skepticism and questioning from others who may not be an expert on a topic like you are. Let teaching be fun, do it with a smile, good luck!
Life Commitment or Just Focus on the Now? Your Pick!
Learning is natural to the human brain and the need to understand is a very basic part of human cognition. It feels good to learn! Our minds crave discovery, repetition, and mastery.
The hardest part about learning is getting through that squinting, itching, numbing feeling of the neurons in our brains morphing to develop a skill or commit information to memory. The trick is to remember this feeling is apart of learning something new. Allow yourself to take a break when the feeling gets rough and come back to learning that thing later. When you return, you will find that you have retained some of that earlier knowledge and your brain is ready to soak up more!