Learning as an adult is extremely tough, and it’s easy to see why. You go through 6 years of elementary school, 3 to 4 years of Middle School, 4 or so years of High School, and then if you go to college (which you should) you have anywhere from 2-8 years of further learning just to get your degree and do the job that you’re training for.
That is a LOT of time that takes you from around early childhood all the way to about the middle of your early adult years. For a lot of people they’ll spend anywhere from 15 years to 22 years just LEARNING.
And to make matters worse, learning is just exhausting, especially if you’ve been through the Public Education system. Not to knock it because a free education paid for by the state is extremely valuable to modern living, but there’s a reason that a lot of people don’t seem to enjoy it. They do it in such a way that it makes learning just not… fun… and a lot of it is extremely redundant.
So you get through all of this and you like a lot of other people, thin that’s it. That you’re done. That’s the end of your training and education and you don’t need to learn or develop after that. Right? You’ve got the degree, the education, and a job and that’s that. Wrong.
In actuality, people NEED to learn and continually develop themselves even after they’ve gotten started on their career. After all, if you were an employer, who would you hire? An employee who can do only one thing, and the knowledge and skills they’ve learned is outdated, or an employee who knows how to do 5 other things related to their job and are continually updating and learning new things on their own time?
It’s obvious why education is important to adults even after they’ve concluded their formal education. It’s not only impressive and shows dedication, but it also shows intelligence since learning new skills is a clear sign of intellect and cunning, and will make you a more valuable employee over all. One that companies will try to poach because having a well-rounded list of skills is highly valued in the competitive jobs market. So it could, even, benefit you with higher wages.
Alright all of that sounds great, but it’s just so hard to learn. At least, that’s what a lot of people think. That education after your formal years are over is just impossible and that the old adage ‘an old dog can’t learn new tricks’ sticks to them because it feels like learning anything is an uphill battle. Right?
That’s actually wrong, and a misconception. You actually continue to learn new things ALL the time without realizing it. New skills, new tidbits of information. People actually like to learn, and in actuality we’re hard wired and biologically programmed to continue to learn because Humans like knowing new things. We’re inquisitive to the point that we NEED that sort of new stimulation to get us going.
It’s actually surprisingly easy to start learning, and it’s a myth you need 10,000 hours into one subject to be a master at it. In actuality what you need is a dedication to learn, and a system that helps you.
So how do you find the system that works? That part is the hard part to do because we’re each hardwired different ways. No two people learn the same way, and that’s why the public education system needs to adapt and change. One person learns visually, another person learns through experience, another person learns through guidance. Some people need to be told what to know and some people prefer learning it on their own.
So if you want to start learning and developing your own system, here’s a guideline that can help you immediately.
- Establish how you like to learn. Whether you like to learn at your own pace, or through classwork, through documentaries, hands on, or anything else. This is entirely dependent on how YOU want to go about your self-education, and there is nothing wrong with whatever way works for you. Trust me; you don’t want to force yourself to conform to another style because it will create burnout for you.
- Schedule when you want to learn. This tricks your mind into focusing when you should. There’s a reason that schools have a set time for learning, and no institution is ever a “come and go as you please” sort of thing. By having a set time to learn, you will eventually come to find that absorbing, and retaining, the information comes naturally.
- Learn, Review, Rest, in that order. Why is that important? Because when you learn, you absorb the information. When you review, you’re actively putting the information to test (either by taking a test to show what you learned, or improving the skill you chose to learn), and resting afterwards allows your brain to put it all from your short term, to your long term memory. If you schedule things properly, whenever you review it’ll move that information further into your permanent memory.
- Motivation. Sometimes you’re not going to want to do it, and that’s alright, but you have to keep improving anyways. Give yourself some sort of award for achieving objectives. Either with food, a movie, a treat, or something else. By giving yourself some goals to achieve, hitting them, and rewarding yourself, you’ll find that you’ll tackle each learning objective a lot better and with more energy than before.
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And that’s really all it takes to get started on learning, and developing a system that enables you to learn. Don’t be afraid to continually tweak your own personal system as you start to grow and adapt, because stagnation is just as bad as being unmotivated to do anything or burning yourself out. Once you get used to it, get yourself motivated, and start learning you’ll find that in no time you’ll master any skill or subject.