Today, I was blessed by a very thought-provoking conversation with 3 friends who challenge me and my business in some amazing ways. I decided to jack-leg that conversation and fit it into a blog post.
We’re going to look at 5 everyday ways to become a better learner. Practice these tips daily, and you just might find yourself tapping into brain cells you thought you lost in college.
1. Stop Seeing. Start Observing.
We are witness to hundreds of events which unfold around us each and every day. More often than not, we simply see them take place. We’re so wrapped up in our thoughts and emotions that we only catch the most superficial aspects of what’s occuring around us.
Slow down. Look deeper. Do you see an old,dirty bum on the street? Or, do you observe an eternal human soul with thoughts and emotions; a beautiful creation with a less than fortunate history? Get beyond yourself and look beneath the surface.
2. Read to Teach
Next time you’re reading a blog via RSS Feed, or an article via newspaper, try to focus on how you would teach the material to others. It’s difficult at first, but well worth the process. You will retain more and will be able to apply the material more directly to your life.
This happens when you actively frame the material into your context as you read it. In searching for ways to teach it, you connect on a much deeper level with the information. This has worked wonder for my retention with books.
3. Ask The Question ‘Why?’
Don’t be a child about this, but do seek to understand the concepts and principles that are at play in different situations around you…
There are some potentially complex answers to each of those questions. By asking why, you can peel the layers back and dig into some very interesting concepts. This will work wonders for exercising your critical thinking skills.
4. Challenge Assumptions
We make assumptions all day long. We assume the expressway will be clogged, so we drive a different way. We assume our significant others are in a bad mood, so we leave them alone. We assume that folks with points of view contrary to ours are ignorant or misinformed.
Challenge every assumption you make. This will take some hard work and introspection as you start to realize just how many of these assumptions you’re working off of throughout the course of the day. Be brutally honest with yourself. It’ll be extremely enlightening.
5. Have Deep, Intelligent Conversations
Like the one that sparked the idea for this blog post. Get together with friends who are wiser and more experienced than you. Pick their brains. Argue with them. Passionately present your point of view and then let them tear you to pieces.
At the center of each of these tips is humility. Disregard your pride and learn to be teachable. In every experience and situation, their is so much to be learned. Take these tips and get intentional about how you tap into the amazing learning experiences all around you.
Do you have any tips to add to the list?