FYI | Day 29 – Learning

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For Your Inspiration! (FYI!) Month 2011 – This article was part of an exciting and challenging month dedicated to discovering passions, setting goals, learning success strategies, and sharing thoughts to ponder throughout the day!  If you’d like to find out what this month was all about, check out FYI Month 2011 for more information!

FYI: For-Your-Inspiration Month!

“If I am through learning, I am through.” ~ John Wooden (UCLA basketball coach who won 10 NCAA championships)

Life-long learners are those who are prepared when opportunity comes a-knockin’.  Life-long learners handle change well, become leaders, possess value, and stay ahead of the pack.  They seek knowledge to increase their personal value and success in every area of life.

Most of us work hard all day to satisfy someone else’s needs and to grow someone else’s bank account. What have you done for yourself lately? Most of learning is done outside the classroom.  Where do YOU obtain it?

Two Types of Learners

“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” ~ Jim Rohn

There are many different types of learners, but for this discussion there are ONLY two. Active learners and passive learners.

Passive learners soak up knowledge when it arrives at their feet. They are not planners and learn what it is necessary or forced upon them to survive. They will learn best in an educational setting or at the workplace, but not during their free time.

Active Learners are those that seek knowledge, they pull or attract learning opportunities to them, and make an active effort to be ahead of the game.  They learn information and skills before it is needed. Active learners are self-educators! Active learners are usually leaders or become leaders.

Which one are you?

Learning On-the-GO

The average commute to work is about 30 minutes each way. That is one hour PER day that could be devoted to something better than yelling at speedy teenage drivers, honking at slow-poke elderly drivers, or jamming out to the latest Lady Gaga song.

For me, I like to recapture that lost hour by listening to Audio CDs. I can listen to books I haven’t had time to read, listen to great speakers, or learn a new language (Tengo que usar el baño ahorita!).

Another great time for Audio CD is when exercising! Sure, I love to listen to tunes that pump me up while weight-lifting, but when I’m doing cardio I love to zone out with my thoughts and listen to an audio that will stimulate my mind.

There are so many audios out there that you can learn anything you want while on the go!  Check the library first (free is awesome), the next best place is the huge collection of almost everything at Amazon Audio CDs.

Learning is Fun

At a young age we discover that learning is not always fun. We are plastered into a tiny desk where silence is required of us, information is shoved down our gullets and we are forced to learn things we don’t particularly enjoy! Additionally, we are not normally told why we have to learn except for the smiley at the end of the semester.  Learning is hard to retain unless you can tell your brain WHY.

Next, we need to identify methods of learning that we enjoy! Learning is not just from a book and most of learning is done outside the classroom. My favorite way to learn is by DOING what I want to learn, and doing it with someone.

The goal is to find someone who can do what I want to do, or knows what I want to know and spend time with them. Assist them in DOING what I want to learn… and doing it for FREE of course. Who wouldn’t want to have an assistant that is driven and motivated… and is no cost to them?

How do YOU like to learn?

Leaders are Readers

Every time I walk into a library I have to put blinders on when I walk down the aisles, otherwise my brain would probably seize and explode upon exposure. There is so much knowledge in that place! Start reading a little each day and you’ll be miles ahead of the game! It’s also important to read the right books.

I tend to read quite a bit and if I don’t walk out of the library with more than five books, it’s a good day. For book recommendations, check out the collection of books I enjoyed and learned from by looking at my book list at Amazon. (I’ll add my recommended readings to the site soon).

Additionally, leaders take the time to stay ahead of the game and continuously learn. If you are a leader, you may be nodding your head right now, if you are not a leader yet, hop on the book bandwagon and start today. (Read about how to be a leader?)

Lastly, don’t just read often… read faster! We are taught to read word by word and to say each word in our heads. This is a very difficult habit to break but you can do it! Learn to read and retain without vocalizing it in your head (called subvocalizing)!  You can learn to double your reading speed fairly quickly, but getting up to much higher speeds takes a lot of time and effort. I’m currently going through the steps in the book: Break Through Rapid Speeding by Peter Kump – Probably the most popular and famous book on speed reading, I recommend it.

Good Ol’ Learning Suggestions

I encourage everyone to learn to love learning, it’s the greatest addiction you’ll ever have.  Here a few suggestions that work for me!

  • Reduce TV Watching. I read recently that the average American watches 6 hours of television per day… how is this possible?!? Remove one hour of TV per day and spend it doing something productive! Read a book, practice a skill, spend time with your wife and kids, exercise, etc!
  • Read More to Earn More. Read every day about something you enjoy, something that will grow you, or a subject in your field of expertise. The more you know, the more valuable you are, and the more likely you’ll increase your personal value and your income/profits!
  • Model Your Behavior. Who are some of your favorite people through history? Discover people who have lived an amazing life and learn their story! Study the lives of great people!
  • Create a System. Make a commitment to read a book a week or read 20 minutes a day. Can’t afford to buy books? Borrow them or go to your local library. Simply spending a short time per day will put you leagues ahead of most in creating an amazing life.
  • Learn How You Learn. How do you learn best? What do you enjoy learning about? What strategies help you learn best?
  • Get CURIOUS. “You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.” ~ Clay P. Bedford

Your Task

Remember when your mom would say What did you learn today? Be your own mom and encourage yourself to always be learning something new.  Always!

Today, create two lists, one labeled ‘I WANT TO LEARN:’ and the other ‘I SHOULD LEARN:’.

In the first list, make a list of everything you are passionate about learning!  A new language, how to fix cars, how to draw or paint, the life of Abraham Lincolns, traveling the world on $10 a day, etc.  When you look at this list, your eyes should pop, ears should lift, and perhaps even drool a little bit.

In the second list, make a list of subjects that would probably be a great idea to learn.  Perhaps subjects that would help you advance in your workplace, assistance in an area in your life, market trends, politics, the economy, how to raise a family, … subjects that will better your understanding of the world you live in.

Take it farther by putting together a reading list that excites you!

“The only stupid question is the question that questions the value of questioning!” – Me 😉

This post was written by

Greg has written 69 articles on Student of Me.

Greg is the creator and primary writer for Student of Me. He probably spends way too much time on the computer writing, researching, programming, and working on his photography. He loves escaping from screen-time to travel, ride his motorcycle, experience the outdoors and spend time with loved ones. You can contact him at greg (at) studentofme.com!

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Share your thoughts or comments below!

2 thoughts on “FYI | Day 29 – Learning”

  1. cepee says:

    Hip Hop Harry is spreading the word.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXjlmE4U1OE

  2. Greg Yung says:

    Wow. Hip Hop Harry knows what it’s all about 😉

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