Learning – the human instinct

Learning is a natural human instinct. 

We learn to survive in a competitive world in which the fittest of species survives and excels.  It is competition that achieves excellence and in its process, promotes innovation for creativity and productivity of mankind.

Learning begins even before birth and learning never ends until life itself ends. This is the reason why we believe that learning is life-long and learning is a natural part of life.  Learning occurs in all facets of life and nothing can progress without learning.

Could the internet come about in such amazing ways to transform how people communicate, do business, enjoy leisure and educate society?  If we just look at one gadget – the telephone, the speed at which innovation of this communicative technology that human beings have been capable of, is unbelievably frightening but yet, totally amazing!

We all learn in different ways.  Some prefer sitting and talking in groups while others learn best by reading and thinking by themselves.  Many young people today cannot learn in a quiet space.  Instead, they seem to learn better with their iPods connected to their latest music hits.  To excel in learning is to first understand ourselves as learners – to get into the environment that makes us learn best.

I have found about myself through the years that I learn best through observation of other people’s work.   I like the quietness of self to rationalise what and how people do things in order to succeed.  I contemplate over my own learning and filter my readings of acquired knowledge and skills before applying them to my needs or a specific situation.  I trial my ideas and see how they work for me.  Of course, I do fail at times but I learn how to pick myself up to try again another way until a problem is fixed.   Not quite incidentally though, this description reflects how a young child learns his initial skills – whether it is learning to speak, to walk, to feed oneself or to ride the first tricycle.  The child learns these skills instinctively by observation and imitation with the support of his or her parents who provide the right environment for learning to thrive.

In the same way, an athlete must know how the human body works, and how his or her body can be pushed to extremes to achieve the desired performance.   It is the same for each one of us.  We need to learn about ourselves – the natural instinct to learn within our personality that motivates us to learn.  What I mean is that we need to know what is naturally within us that motivates how each one of us can learn most naturally and effectively.

Have you learned about your own self and about what motivates you to learn?  That is your first step towards being a successful learner.  Know your personality and create the right environment for yourself.  It seems an easy advice but it could be so difficult to get down to it.  We complain of being too busy and too tired to learn something so necessary basic, let alone to speak of learning a new, unfamiliar thing.  As I write, I remind myself to be wary of this constant battle that we are facing because we live in a complex world that offers many tempting options which sway us from our need to learn for ourselves.  If we are honest enough, it is really the lack of self-discipline that prevents us from reaching our goals.  Regretfully, we can be too weak to admit the truth that self-discipline is the basic ingredient to all successful ventures in life.

My dear readers, I wish for you to discover how you can venture into ways of developing yourselves as successful learners by first KNOWING YOURSELF and then, develop self-motivation to learn for oneself, not for others.  All the best!

Shirley