Learning is the process of acquiring new skills and knowledge. It’s easy to see how babies and toddlers learn. It’s easy to see that anyone in school is learning. Do we ever think about how we are learning constantly? We do not live in a static world. There are always new people, new situations and new information coming at us, and we process it and learn from it.
We are always capable of learning. After puberty it takes a bit more work than before, but it is entirely possible. A couple years ago, I read a book called, The Brain That Changes Itself, which is all about learning and how our brains are much more capable than we ever thought.
It is so important to keep our brains plastic (changing), and working. This means that we have to do stuff that’s hard. Learning a language as an adult is one of the most difficult things you can make your brain do, but it is so good for you. When we challenge ourselves, we see what we are capable of. If I never went out of my comfort zone, I would never learn anything new about myself. The learning that is done when I push myself, and even fail, is far more valuable than the learning that I do from the comfort of my easy-chair.
That’s not to say that I’m not learning if it doesn’t hurt. I am open to learning in all situations, from all people. I never know what someone might have to say that is surprising. For example, I get canker sores when I’m stressed. I have gone to doctors and tried every dreaded remedy from salt to prescription gunk. Nothing really works, but that doesn’t stop me from listening to anyone who proposes a solution. They might be right!
I often see this and find it frustrating: Max has a problem. He goes to a doctor, who doesn’t help. He goes to 2 more doctors who don’t help. He deems the situation unsolvable and shuts down anyone who has a suggestion otherwise. If I have a problem that is not currently solved, I try to keep an open mind so that when I eventually run into the person who has the solution for me, I hear them and am able to solve my problem. I know that it gets difficult, and we lose hope, but we mustn’t. You don’t take every suggestion to heart, but you listen. A solution will come, and we must be ready for it.
Just because someone says it, doesn’t mean it is true for me. Sometimes people are wrong, and I use my brain to figure out what is right for me. I keep my mind open, and alert.
It is the same with school. As a teenager and younger adult, I thought that I would not be able to learn from teachers I didn’t like. So I sat there rolling my eyes, thinking about how smart I was and how stupid they were. Life became a lot easier, and productive when I realized that I can learn from anyone, at anytime. That really annoying co-worker? They’re there to challenge my patience, compassion and communication skills. I can learn a lot from them.
People I learn from:
- My boyfriend, my sisters and brothers, my parents
- My nieces and nephews
- My friends
- My coworkers
- My twitter friends
- My cat