Monday, February 18, 2013

Become an Active Learner (Here's How!)

These days, learning is absolutely critical to success. We live in the knowledge society, and there are constant changes in our world. Business, education, and social structures are all changing rapidly, and we must be constantly building and improving our knowledge so that we can adapt and thrive in our volatile environment. 

We Can Learn!
Our minds are designed to learn, but most people go through life passively learning whatever they are fed by their environment. This is a huge problem, because our environment regularly spews toxic information that is often useless and even harmful. In this post, I will describe how we to become an active learner in your life. I will provide several tips and strategies for immediately become more proactive in your learning so that you can achieve greater success and fulfillment.

We Must Become Active Learners
To be competitive and remain relevant as individuals in society, you must become an active learner, continually gaining and applying relevant knowledge to your life. But what does it mean to be an active learner, and what are the best strategies for using active learning? Active learners are (1) engaged in their learning, (2) purposeful in their studies, (3) reflective about what they learn, and (4) apply what they learn in meaningful ways. Active learning yields powerful positive results in peoples' lives, but how can you become more active in your learning? 

Questions for Becoming an Active Learner
To begin becoming an active learner, answer the following questions. Be sure to really answer the questions and even write them down - doing so will help you to really begin to create a more active approach to your learning and will give you greater fulfillment in your life. Ask yourself these questions:
  • Self-awareness - What do I like to learn about? What knowledge will help me succeed in my business or in my profession?
  • Orientation toward learning - How can I easily become more oriented toward learning? (See the tips below)
  • Goal-oriented learning - What specific knowledge and skills would I like to learn? What attitudes would I like to adopt in my life? What career goals do I have, and what would I need to learn to reach those goals?
  • Control of information coming into your mind -
    • must be positive - Ask yourself: What information is positive and motivates and inspires me? In contrast, what information provides little benefit? What information actually harms me or others? Control what you allow into your mind and ensure that it empowers you and would give me the ability to bless other people?
    • must be truthful - Ask yourself: What information is based on evidence? What information will provide me with the results I desire? Make sure that you fill your mind with knowledge that is credible and produces results.
Tips for becoming an Active Learner
Over the last several years, I have learned how to actively learn in my life. Based on my experiences, I have distilled several tips and strategies:
  • Join learning groups and organizations - get involved with people who are learning about what you are interested in.
  • Attend workshops - many of these are free or inexpensive, and you can get a great deal of useful knowledge by attending.
  • Attend motivational seminars - motivating knowledge can be extremely powerful, and many of these seminars are very low-cost.
  • Listen to motivational books and speeches- this is an excellent way to fill your mind with positive, encouraging information.
  • Earn a college degree - a formal education continues to be one of the most powerful ways to obtain excellent knowledge that will benefit you throughout your life.
  • Always read - ensure that good knowledge is continually flowing into your mind.
  • Listen to audio books - if you listen for an hour a day as you commute to and from work, you will end up with over 250 hours of acquired knowledge in one year, the equivalent of 40-50 books!
  • Become a writer - writing helps you to assimilate and organize your knowledge and helps you understand what you have learned more clearly. I personally blog about the things I am learning about, ant it seems to
  • In a formal learning setting, such as a classroom, do the following:
    • have a goal you want to accomplish or a problem you want to solve and use the knowledge you gain to solve that problem.
    • ask questions that are pertinent to your needs.
    • take notes on what you are learning about.
    • ask for examples of what you are being taught.
    • ask for explanations, especially if you do not understand.
    • ask for additional resources so that you can learn more.
    • ask for additional people to talk to.
    • search for more knowledge in the internet.
    • set goals and learn more on your own.
You Must Keep Learning
Learning is one of the most important things you can do to succeed in today's society. Our world is constantly changing, and you must continually learn and adapt so that you are equipped to succeed and excel at everything you apply ourselves to. I have found that the more I learn, the better I get at it, and the more I learn, the more I want to learn. Knowledge is power, and these active learning strategies will give you power to move forward in your own goals.
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