Why do people stop learning?
The more I know, the more I realize I don’t know. I say this all the time, to my friends and clients and anyone that will listen, because it is such an important part of what I deem a “smart life.” When I was in college, I remember thinking about how it would feel to graduate, and how smart I would feel then.
Wrong. I graduated, and felt confused (and broke). What do I do now? You can't do much with just a B.A. in psychology, after all.
So I went to graduate school to pursue my Master's and Doctorate degrees. There, I imagined what it would be like to finally have my doctorate degree. Then I graduated with my doctorate, and didn’t feel any different than before I started my educational training. In fact, I don’t even refer to myself as “Doctor Smith” really, unless I need good dinner reservations or another medical professional to actually listen to me when I’m speaking.
Almost twenty years later, it is more true than ever. I know that I don’t know, and that is because there is so much more out there to understand.
I know that all knowledge begets new questions, no matter the topic. The root of all wisdom lies, then, in the pursuit of self-education.
You and I need to take responsibility for our own learning, and our own growth and development. In the educational field, we refer to this as metacognition, or, the idea of learning how to think about our own thinking.
So how can we do that? It starts with changing our ideas around education.
We can stop looking to others for all the answers all the time! Our path is our own, and we can't abdicate that responsibility if we are to truly learn from our choices.
We can start trusting intuition, and our own experiences.
We can push ourselves to seek out people smarter, or those more experienced than ourselves. In discussions with these sorts of people, we will be able to find the gaps in our knowledge base.
We should hang out with bright, inquisitive people. They will challenge us to grow.
We can read! Books, magazines, blogs…Be a student of the world you live in.
When we focus on effectiveness in our lives and careers (getting the right things done) over efficiency (getting things done) we become infinitely smarter with how we chase down our learning.
You can commit to being a better, wiser version of yourself tomorrow. This is the basis of a good start, and a solid self-education. I know I will!
Categories: Mental Performance