Learn something every day

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Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow, Anthony J. D’Angelo

The saying goes ‘you learn something every day’, and if you’re open to it – you actually do! From learning you are able to grow and develop and ultimately it will affect your life and wellbeing in many positive ways. Learning new things opens us to change. It assists us in making informed decisions, encourages curiosity, exposes us to new ideas, and keeps us engaged. Learning can also bring us a sense of accomplishment, boosting self-esteem and confidence as we can demonstrate and speak about what we now know. But the question is: how can you be open to learning every day?

There is no one set thing that everyone can do to learn something every day. The key is being open to learning. When you talk to people, be genuinely interested in the response to your questions. Having respect for the person who is teaching you something new is critical. Listen to the experts or talk to someone you trust in the field, otherwise you will find it more difficult to take on board.

Share your knowledge and skills with friends and family, and encourage them to share with you. Join a club, start a course, ask for opinions and encourage the sharing of ideas – all of these things will help us to grow as much as receiving formal training and qualifications.

How to be open to learn something every day

  • Prepare to learn something every day. Think to yourself “If someone asks me what I learned today, what will I say?” Actively seek to understand things you don’t already know about
  • Use the Internet to research about something you’ve wanted to know. Why the sky is blue, how aeroplanes stay up, the background of your favourite movie or play, how Helen Keller made it to become so famous etc.
  • Read a dictionary or encyclopaedia. It won’t be long before you find yourself reading about something you didn’t already know
  • Talk to people. It could be anyone! An expert, a teacher, a friend – even a complete stranger will have a story and the ability to teach you something new
  • Keep yourself open to learning something new. Pay attention. Listen actively and attentively. Be present in all situations. Keep yourself inspired and encourage child-like curiosity
  • Watch educational television. It’s time to get Foxtel and start watching the History Channel or National Geographic etc. If you’re in Australia, SBS and the ABC also have some highly educational programs. Even talk shows such as Oprah and the Tyra Banks Show have something they can teach you. Even YouTube will have plenty of educational clips for you
  • Start reading newspapers, magazines, blogs, novels, autobiographies, billboards, Wikipedia, facts, figures, statistics… anything you can find!
  • Look to the internet. There’s this fantastic blog by Marc (from Marc and Angel) about Top 40 useful sites to learn new skills – take a look, you never know!
  • Ask questions. There’s no such thing as a silly question – even if it’s how you spell a name like “Smith” – there are many ways to spell names! So ask before you question yourself about asking the question and stop yourself from learning and growing

How to learn something quickly

  • Associate it with something (this is also why history tends to repeat itself in bad relationship)
  • Use a visualisation technique. Get a vivid mental image of what you’re learning, see it in as much detail in your mind as you can
  • Rhyme it with something or make a song about it
  • Make index or flash cards about it
  • Listen to it. Ask a friend to read it to you or read it into a Dictaphone and play it back to yourself when you’re relaxed. Use inflections in your voice as they do on the radio to keep it interesting
  • Research and read about it until you completely understand it. Once you understand how something works, it will be easy to remember it
  • Ensure your teacher is someone you respect. It’s a lot easier to listen to a teacher you have respect for than someone you think doesn’t really know what they’re talking about
  • Write it down – you could even keep a notebook of all the things you learn each day, it will bring you satisfaction when you look back on it to reflect and you’ll never forget your lessons!
  • Nicole Willson, James Quirk and Flickety wrote a very comprehensive WikiHow about “How to Memorize” including various techniques for all learning styles. It is well worth the read!

What have you learned recently and how did you learn it?

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