We all agree that things continue to change, and it seems at an accelerating pace. Keeping up with it all can be a challenge. Whether technology changes, health and wellness advice, the businesses and shops within our local area, or any number of additional things, new things are available to us all the time.
Sometimes it’s just so much, and we hear those voices saying ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.’ But those are old tapes and they do us a disservice. In fact, some of the new things available to us are insights about and approaches to our lifelong ability to learn and grow. At every stage of life, we make choices about what is worth our time learning, based on what will benefit or enrich us most.
No, at this age I’m not interested in learning to skateboard or do mathematical calculations. There are other things that I am simply interested in learning about or learning to do and if I prioritize them and figure out how, I can learn them. Is that how you approach learning new things?
Thomas Oppong wrote an extremely helpful article, “6 Habits of Super Learners, Learn Any Skill Deeply and Quickly.” I think you may find them interesting.
Oppong’s first habit: super learners read a lot. He says, “In a world where information is the new currency, reading is the best source of continuous learning, knowledge and acquiring more of that currency.” As an avid reader, I am delighted to see this as number one. The hard part of this – the overwhelming amount of new information available every day. That’s why it’s helpful to be connected with networks and individuals who offer some recommendations that are pertinent to us. It may be an online group or website or people who share your values and interests. Where do you find that input?
Adopting a growth mindset is another of Oppong’s habits. A growth mindset is the opposite of a fixed mindset and it allows us to be open, curious and always ready to learn. This is especially important as we age. It can be too easy to slip into a pattern of assessing possibilities in the framework of our past rather than future opportunities of thought and action. Dr. Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset, the New Psychology of Success, provides much valuable information about how we can have a growth mindset. Importantly, her approach is broad. When she speaks of success, it is in any part or endeavor of life.
The final tip I will share from the article is that super learners teach others what they know. As the author states, “Teaching others what you know is one of the most effective ways to learn, remember and recall new information. Psychologists call it the ‘retrieval practice.’” I expect that many of us have had that experience, formally or informally. It is a process of both deepening our understanding and putting it into action.
Increasing our super learning habits and skills can pay off in many ways. How about starting with deciding what you would like to learn and determine what you need to be and do to make that a reality?
Perhaps you are not sure what you want to learn right now. Here’s a way to get started – a 3-Part Bucket List and Journal. With this 3-Part Bucket List, you will divide your desires into three main categories: 1) things I want to learn about, 2) things I want to learn to do, and 3) things I want to do. In addition there are goal setting/planning sheets, journaling pages and doodling/sketching/mind mapping pages.
Thomas Oppong has a variety of books on Amazon, which you can find here: https://amzn.to/39szzf7
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck is available here: https://amzn.to/32H90A2