When it comes to learning anything new, we almost every time go through the same process of learning. Even though there are a few different directions for our learning process, the final step is always crucial.
In short, we start from a reason which can be connected to an expectation or a vision. Then comes the effort required for learning and it involves the speed of learning and the ability to keep learning however painful it may be.
Let me give you a few examples.
The first example. You want to learn how to write better because you are thinking about writing a book. Then you put in the effort and you write 30 to 45 mins daily. But even if you do this for a whole year, you may find that you have just improved your writing skills but didn’t even start writing your book.
The second example. You want to learn how to dance so you can become less of an introvert and have more friends. Then you go to dancing classes and you do it twice a week. But even if you do this for a whole year, you may find that you only become a better dancer and you are as introverted as you were when you started dancing.
The third example. You want to learn how to cook so you can become a chef and get a job at a nice restaurant in your town. Then you go to cooking classes and you start cooking for your friends to make sure you are learning. But even if you do this for a whole year, you may find that you still don’t have that desired job.
The one-year period is a fictive period – it may take more or less than that for you to reach to the point where you have the skill but realize that the reason you started learning is not still accomplished.
But here’s a fourth example.
It takes you a really short period of time – less than one week – to learn that smoking is bad, right? But you may still do it even though you know it’s bad.
In every case, something is missing. For a long period of time, I thought it’s the practical side of things but you can practice as much as you want if you don’t do this thing.
Adapt to what you learn
Adapting to what we learn is more than just being practical. It means that we have to become a different person. It means that we add or remove different habits to our lifestyles. It means that we have to think differently.
At the same time, all these changes are so small that we need to become conscious to understand them.
When it comes to learning something, the last part of the process is adapting to what we learn. It is also the most important part. Otherwise, it’s just a skill we acquire and it’s as useful as any other skill we have and don’t use.
If you think about it, everything is tied to that reason that you first set yourself.
“I want to learn something because [INSERT-REASON-HERE].”
That reason, right there, is part of who you want to become and you’ll have to adapt to that. But you’ll only be able to do it after you have the skill. Without that skill, your mind can’t see the possibility of a better version of you.
The thing is, everyone can learn a skill and it may take different periods of time for different people. But simply learning the skill can’t be your end goal and here’s why.
Imagine you set yourself to learn photoshop. No reason for doing that. You simply want to learn photoshop. Is it useful to know photoshop? For sure and you can use this skill for so many things.
But if you are only doing it because you find it useful, then you shouldn’t do it at all.
Instead, try to define that usefulness and, after defining it, in case you find yourself a reason with a higher purpose, then you may start learning photoshop.
Otherwise, it’s just a waste of time.
When the reason is missing, we end up failing
Wasting time and quitting things are habits too.
Imagine you decide that you want to learn photoshop and after two weeks you find it’s too hard and you quit. But then you decide that you want to learn painting and after four days you find it’s too boring and you quit. Then you think even more and you decide that you want to learn to code but after one month you realize it’s not for you and you quit.
In this situation that lasted for one month, two weeks and four days, you quitted three times. If you do this for a whole year, you end up quitting more than 15 times. That’s waaay too much!
But worse than that is the new habit that you’ll create: quitting.
Every time you’ll want to do something else, you’ll be able to easily find a reason to quit because you’ve already done it 15 times in a year and it will come to you naturally to quit things.
Therefore, set yourself a reason with a higher purpose when you want to learn something new.
That reason will be the foundation of the better version of you.
With love and optimism,