Developing A Learning Mindset So You Can Learn From Everything
Updated: Aug 21, 2020
Choose a simple concept from outside your professional sphere yet in your daily life and try to explain it to a child. Try it – demonetisation or internet protocols or myopia – whatever catches your fancy. Chances are what you say will be too theoretical or complicated for your audience or you’ll be stumped by question number three!
So let’s talk learning mindset.
We can find many reasons for it – the education system, a society that rewards moving ahead all the time with no time to pause – ultimately we forget how to learn. Concepts and abstract learning are quickly replaced with a structured set of things we need to know. As a result, most of our formal lessons do us limited good in adult life and we are rarely able to associate the concept to its real-life example.
However, as the saying goes, learning begins in the womb and goes on until the tomb. It is never too late to develop a mindset of learning and succeed in all spheres of life.
But first, what is the learning mindset?
It is the difference between a challenge and an opportunity, a fussy client and a demanding one, good work and great projects. It is our own ability to look at seemingly negative or even mundane situations and take something away from them for life. Indeed, most of the lessons we learn in adulthood are applicable across many different aspects. How do we develop a learning mindset? By slowing down, first and foremost. There’s no way we can assimilate lessons from a situation if we’re quickly moving from one to the next and the one after. If you’re looking for ways to slow down, disconnecting from all media for a day just to be bored is a good place to start. Today, we make very little time to do nothing. A bored mind is one where new ideas have space to grow, as opposed to a constantly engaged mind that has no space to process anything. Once you’ve figured out your slowing-down sweet spot, here are a few other ways to develop a learning mindset.
Have a clear picture of what you want to learn about. Leadership, strategy, delving deeper into your domain, exploring alternative career options are all goals. Knowing what interests you gives you a better chance of sticking to the learning path.
Find what motivates you to learn. For some people, it is the certificate at the end of a course. For others, it is the insights that come with learning. For a third group, it may be the stimulus of brainstorming with a group. Finding what motivates you and creating an atmosphere full of these rewards can help you stay consistent on your learning journey.
Look for lessons outside of the structure. Associating lessons with real-life examples reinforces them in your mind and helps you build connections to other scenarios where the same lessons may be applicable.
Develop a love of knowledge for the sake of knowledge. No one’s ever died of knowing too much. In a world that increasingly looks for polymaths, the more you know, the greater your chances of success are. Even something as seemingly unrelated to leadership as origami can help you develop discipline as well as give you an eye for the smaller details. So, never give up on a chance to learn.
If all else fails, go back to structure. We all love to learn. There’s no doubt about that. Learning is the basis of our growth as human beings. However, sometimes, try as we might, we sometimes fail to figure out the learning method that works best for us. In such cases, taking a structured class can give you some ideas and allow you to observe if a classroom setting is indeed what you need to learn better.