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You’ll Definitely Find Learning New Things Easy If You Know These Tips



We all have a passion to learn something new, whether it’s getting new skills, picking up a new habit, or just taking on an entire new learning experience. However, unless you’re incredibly dedicated to it, learning something new can prove to be quite hard. So, how do stick to that new skill, subject or habit you want to learn until you master it?

1. Know why you want to learn it

learning-new-stuff

First things first, you need to figure out what you’re actually interested in and why you’re interested in it. That seems easy on the surface, but with so much information out there it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what you want to learn or what skills you want to develop. That’s it’s usually recommended that you try your hands on a couple of things and do your research to spark curiosity.

Curiosity requires some initial knowledge. We’re not curious about something we know absolutely nothing about. But as soon as we know even a little bit, our curiosity is piqued and we want to learn more. In fact, research shows that curiosity increases with knowledge: the more we know, the more we want to know.

2. Be innovative with how you learn

It’s incredibly important as an independent learner that you understand how you learn best. Some people prefer to learn on a defined path (syllabus) and others prefer a kind of unplanned and unsupervised learning which has to do with starting with the thing you’re curious about, and letting yourself follow the tangents you need in order to understand what you’re interested in, or master the skills you want. So, some self-reflection and innovation really matters.

innovative-learning

3. Learn by doing as much as possible

In most cases you’re going to learn best by doing. For instance, learning computer programming is best achieved by making programs,. Also, learning a new language is best achieved by speaking it. If you’re having trouble getting over the learning process and it starts to get difficult sticking to it, you might simply need to change the practice context. The summary is that you should practice, practice, practice!

Neuroscientists have discovered that certain areas of your brain do expand while you are in the process of learning something new. This characteristic of the brain is called neuroplasticity. Some neuroscientists believe this occurs when your brain is trying to solve a problem it doesn’t know the answer to.

brain-exercise

Your brain (or more specifically your cortex) doesn’t necessarily know which area of the brain is best equipped to solve the problem or learn a new skill. So it recruits a good portion of the cortex, to hunt for the answer. When this happens, your cortex expands and new neural pathways are created.

4. Space out your learning calendar

All those nights spent cramming for tests and examinations in school, might have you believe that those short bursts of study time are the best. But, that is further from the facts, research shows that spacing out your studying over a period of time is actually the best way to enhance your memory of the material.

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In fact, if you want to remember something for 5 years, your best choice is to space out your periods of study of that thing around 6 months to a year. That seems completely counter-intuitive but doing this helps the brain build a solid foundation for knowledge.

5. Make Mistakes

mistake-learning

You may as well get used to making mistakes right now because whenever we learn something new, we can’t help but make them. Our ability to make and learn from our mistakes is essential to acquiring a new skill and even to our very evolution and survival.

The brain’s medial frontal cortex (located in the frontal lobe) monitors negative feedback, action errors, and decision uncertainty — it’s perfectly suited to process our mistakes. The frontal cortex adapts based on negative feedback or diminished rewards.

When your brain has finally solved a problem, the cortex will once again contract. The skills that we acquired during that learning period remain. And because the brain work this way, it means making mistakes is vital to the learning process.

If you make a mistake don’t panic, don’t give up. Realize that everyone makes mistakes and that by doing so, you are actually training your brain to avoid the same ones in the future. Without mistakes, we simply would not be able to learn or grow.

6. Eat right and get enough sleep

sleep-memory

Foods like whole grains, fish and nuts are known to be good for the brain. It is important to get the right food in the right quantity for proper functioning of your brain when learning something new. The importance of sleep for cognitive functioning of our brain and memory enhancement cannot be overemphasized as it helps to solidify what we have learned and it helps to clean out old memories from our brain to make room for the new ones. So, when we are learning something our best choice is to sleep more.

7. Learn to enjoy the initial frustration

The frustration barrier doesn’t just make learning more difficult, it also cuts you off from new life experiences. When you face the barrier repeatedly in one area of skill, you may confess to yourself that you are simply not born with the talents necessary to be successful in that area. But that’s not true, all masters of different fields all passed through moments of frustration while acquiring their skills when they felt like they were incompetent.

frustration-learning

It’s true that it’s easier to enjoy things your good at. However, just like you can have fun on a cloudy day, you can have fun being lousy at a skill as well. Fun is mostly about creative perception, so if you learn to enjoy the intensity of the challenge you are under, you can surmount the frustration barrier.

8. Have a Huge Dose of Patience

Patience is highly required especially when you have a million and one things you could be doing with much less effort. Live in the present moment. What you’re learning may seem simple when done by those teaching you or others you know who do it well, but you just started learning it and they have been doing it for years.

So give yourself space and time to learn without demanding too much all at once. Remember that we don’t learn everything all at once and that’s okay. All learning takes time and if you keep at it, before you know it, you will know that thing as if you were born with it.

patience-in-learning

9. Use the Internet

Use a search engine such as Google and type in something you’ve always wanted to know. It could be anything from the history of a mathematics to the process used to assemble cars. The Internet has rapidly become the best source of quick and up-to-date information.

Using the Internet allows to easily customize your learning experience and get fresh information quickly. The reality of learning is an ever-changing one. What we used to have to ask our mother for is now replaced by “Google”. Learning is rapidly changing for everyone with the revolution of the Internet.

using-the-internet-to-learn

10. Just do it

Our brains are spectacular but they don’t work magic. Don’t expect to understand a subject when you’ve only just started reading about it. Your brain makes neural connections; the more you get to know about a subject, the more you practice a skill, the better the connections and consequently the easier it becomes to understand and remember the concepts and use the skill.

learning-by-doing-it

So, whatever you are trying to learn will only be learnt when you work at it patiently and consistently.

Just read, even if at first you don’t understand what you’re reading.

Just do it, even if at first you are totally bad at the skill.

It’ll only be a matter of time before you become good at it. Cheers!


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