How to become a lifelong learner
But what is learning?
Learning is defined as the acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience, or being taught.
We start the process of learning by taking in and comprehending new information and skills as we continue along our journey, often not putting any active effort into practicing the skill, until it is mandated by an authority figure, or we reach an event or experience that elevates our awareness and highlights the importance of the practice.
The simple fact is that all of us are already lifelong learners, just that some have not realized this yet. Fortunately, that is easy to change and once we see the significance of mastering the art of learning, it becomes a master key, that can be used to unlock all the skills and talents we could possibly desire!
By the time you’ve finished this article you will clearly understand:
Why should I learn how to learn?
If understanding that you are going to be doing it for the rest of your time here was not enough for you, we will also look at some practical, real-life benefits from mastering the art of learning has to offer.
Learning to learn will help you:
All in all, becoming better at learning, is becoming better at living life!
As you unlock new skills and improve existing ones, life will open up new doors and opportunities for you. The confidence you gain from knowledge and experience is the real thing, and will evolve you into the type of person that is able to better navigate life and any challenges it may throw at you!
Why do we all learn differently?
Some people may learn best through visual methods, such as diagrams or charts, while others may prefer hands-on learning or listening to lectures. Some people may be more analytical and logical in their learning style, while others may be more creative and intuitive.
Understanding and recognizing these differences can be helpful in finding the most effective ways to learn and retain new information.
Some of the biggest distinguishing factors can be determined by:
In addition to these six there are a 7th & 8th, which I view as more important than the others:
- Schematic thinking: Schemas are developed based on information provided by life experiences and are then stored in memory. Our brains create and use schemas as a short cut to make future encounters with similar situations easier to navigate.
The more you are able to piece together the links that interconnect a topic, and understand how the puzzle pieces fit together in relation to other topics and fields, the easier it becomes to understand the purpose and utility of the information you are absorbing.
- Limiting Beliefs: If you’ve ever learned to drive a car, or speak a language, you know how true the saying: “It’s only hard, until it’s not” is. The most impactful reason people learn differently is the difference in belief and expectation they carry with them.
By changing your attitude, and what you view as difficult, you remove the self-created glass ceiling of what is possible to achieve.
So while everyone has a different starting point, with different natural levels of talent and resources available to them, the biggest determining factor is the way we choose to perceive and interact with information, and ourselves.
Nobody has the same circumstances or experiences as you do, meaning that from the very start, your knowledge and ability are unique, which makes you, yourself, your only competition!
The 15 different types of learning
Each individual has their own unique combination of learning styles, and it is important to consider these when trying to learn new information. By understanding your own learning style, you can better tailor your study habits and techniques to suit your needs.
Here are 15 different ways of learning:
Because of the individual variation in effectiveness, there is simply no universal best way to learn, however that does not mean there isn’t the best way for you, by playing around with the ways people learn!
This however, by no means implies that there arn’t pragmatic universal steps you can take to get yourself ahead of the curve when it comes to absorbing knowledge and applying it!
How do I teach myself how to learn more effectively?
We now know why we learn differently from others, and also what the different ways we can learn are, however, if we want to learn how to learn, then we need to find practical ways that overcome individual variations and allow for effective universal application to the art of learning.
6 universal techniques you can apply to become better at learning
Let’s delve a little deeper into:
The 6 best things you can do to become a better learner:
- Dedicated Practice:
Practice makes perfect, but some forms of practice are more effective than others. Dedicated or deliberate practice is a special type of practice that is purposeful and systematic
This is the difference between idly strumming notes on a guitar, or actively practicing chord changes and progressions. It is measured, and has structured milestones, and outcomes!
This allows you to actively engage with the material and make connections with your own experiences, and if you’re doing it right, continuously placing yourself just outside of your comfort zone.
We have a great article on setting achievable goals, that will greatly help with the task of creating achievable milestones for the types of learning projects you plan to undertake
The important thing to remember is that you don’t need to have mastered something in order to teach it to others, simply being able to break something down in a way that somebody else can understand is enough to grant you amazing benefits in your development.
If however, you are already above average or even at master level at a particular skill, a great way to apply this is to either start a blog on that topic, which you can learn how to do here. You could even create your own course on a platform like Podia, both will not only improve your abilities but also allow you to get financially rewarded for the value you are able to add to others!
- Experiment with new learning styles:
We previously reviewed 15 different learning styles, but just knowing what they are isn’t going to bring you much further to improving your ability to process information. The next step is to play around with them, try out different styles and see what works.
Visual learning as an example is one of the most effective forms of learning, as humans we absorb the information presented in such a manner at a much faster rate than from reading it as a textbook as an example, however, this does not mean it is the best form of learning for you!
The most beneficial way of learning is likely to be one that is tailored to your individual needs and goals, and that is something that you will only establish through trial and error!
Once you have a learning style that works for you, the next step is to take the subject or skill you wish to master and to:
The compartmentalization of information is a fantastic tool for forming your own personal schema of how something works.
- The shotgun approach
A shotgun aims to hit a target through a wider spread than using a pistol or rifle.
Let’s say that you know next to nothing about a subject or skill, but still, need to rapidly increase your knowledge in a particular field. While dedicated practice would be effective, it also takes a large amount of time and effort, much less effort than say reading 2-3 books on the subject or investing a few hours into Youtube.
This is exactly the shotgun approach, by jumping into the deep end and baptizing yourself in the knowledge of others, you are not going to attain mastery at something, however, it will serve to dramatically improve your understanding of that topic.
If we were to compare your knowledge to an empty glass, the first book or video, won’t fill the glass, but it will add 20-30% of liquid to it, however, that’s not the real magic, the real magic is that the knowledge you take in compounds and by your 3rd book, you’ve got a broad understanding of 70-80% of what is required in that particular skill.
Using practice like the shotgun approach to build a foundation for your skill is a fantastic way to save yourself a lot of effort, compare multiple sources of information, and also to determine what is important on the subject or skill.
The first step in learning is gathering an understanding of what you need to know, which is then followed up by turning that information into something practical and useful. By utilizing these 5 tips on how to learn effectively you will find that even vast and complicated topics become substantially easier to understand!
How do I find good teachers?
Good teachers can make a huge impact on a student’s learning and development. They can inspire and motivate students to reach their full potential and achieve success in their studies and in life.
Good teachers have the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to effectively teach their subject matter and help students understand and retain the material.
In today’s learning environment we are blessed with abundance when it comes to access to knowledgeable and inspirational teachers. With the resources available today, a good teacher isn’t limited to a classroom or an environment of formal education, there are fantastic people out there, spreading their knowledge and insight at zero cost to you as an audience.
Let’s look at some places you kind find great educators!
Best Free resources for learning
Free learning allows individuals to access education and knowledge without the financial barriers that may otherwise prevent them from doing so. This is especially important for those who may not have the financial resources to pay for education, as it allows them to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in their chosen field or to pursue their interests.
Free learning also has the potential to democratize education and make it more accessible to a wider range of people, regardless of their background or circumstances. This can help promote social mobility and give more people the opportunity to better themselves and achieve their goals.
Then we have the biggest of them all:
In the modern world, the answer to almost everything is “google it“, always do your own research, and when you know how to use them, there are no better tools than Google and Youtube!
Free learning resources help to promote the sharing of knowledge and ideas, which can lead to innovation and progress in various fields. It can also foster a sense of community and collaboration, as people come together to learn and share their knowledge with others.
Overall, free learning is an important tool for promoting access to education and knowledge, and has the potential to benefit individuals and society as a whole!
Best paid platforms for learning!
While I am a firm believer in having education as freely available as possible, and quite opposed to the high-priced debt traps that pass as educational institutes, this, however, does not mean that there are not good value-for-money solutions out there!
There is nothing wrong with paying for quality and finding courses and programs where people have gone through the effort of summarizing and composing their knowledge and information into well-structured presentations is well worth it for anybody looking to improve!
Our top course learning platforms are :
These platforms all offer affordable courses on a wide variety of subjects, from graphic design to engineering and accounting. Basically, if you can learn it, it’s on here. I have personally gained a lot of value from the courses I’ve taken from these platforms, and would highly recommend you find a few that pique your interest!
The 7 most important tips to learning how to learn successfully
We have covered a lot of information in this article, and you should understand the importance of dedicating your time to improving your ability to learn. You are aware of the different ways people learn, and have the practical tips necessary to create a system that works for you as an individual!
You also have access to the resources needed to find good teachers and information that will allow you to master whatever you set your mind to.
We are going to finish this post you some great tips and tricks that will not only help you learn but will also make it fun and dramatically improve your likelihood of success!
The 7 Best tips for mastering the art of learning
You now have everything you need to enable yourself to not only learn how to learn, but how to learn effectively!
The next step is to start applying this to your life and put in the work required to master it!
If this was helpful to you, be sure to check out our related content and take your mastery of life to the next level!
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