If you want to succeed in life, you ought to learn to fall in love with learning. This may seem easier said than done at times, as I am sure everyone can remember lessons at school where the time dragged on almost as much as the teacher! Of course, not all lessons were like that, and not all teachers are tedious, but the need to enjoy learning has been shown in studies of successful people. In fact, Steve Siebold, the author of the book ‘How Rich People Think’ argues that it is this desire to learn that marks successful people out. He even says that this innate love of learning is more important than factors such as further education, and he should know – he is a self-made millionaire himself! But how do you learn to love learning?
The first thing to understand is why a love of learning can set you up for life. Just imagine that when you are born you are like a blank canvas. Ignore the effects of circumstances or opportunities right now and imagine that everybody starts out the same, like a little sponge ready to soak up whatever information the world offers them. As you grow you learn new things, new skills and information which inform who you are and how you think. It is not just learning to read (although that is important), but also what you read. So, for example, if you were to just read all about space, then after a while you would become more knowledgeable than those around you who didn’t specialise like this. In time, you could become an expert on space, and maybe get paid to talk about it.
This rather simple example shows how, in essence, your learning can shape who you are and what you can do. Of course, there are plenty of variables to be added to the mix, such as your own background, schooling, interests, and the availability of opportunity. You may also want to find a mentor to help you to keep learning and progressing towards your career goals.
Plus, not everybody likes to learn in the same way. Some prefer to just read, while others like to get involved in a project themselves. In fact, it is best to use as many different methods as possible as they will help anchor the information in your mind. So, for example, reading about something in history, watching a film about it, and then going to a museum will help reinforce the information better than any single learning technique. using different methods alongside each other is different from multi-tasking, which can actually reduce your effectiveness.
However, as you learn more and add new skills to your repertoire you become more employable, command a higher wage, and mark yourself out for promotion. In addition to this, Siebold’s study of 1,200 wealthy people over three decades showed that those who keep learning are the ones who go on to become ranked among the super-rich.
Siebold stated, “Many world-class performers have little formal education, and have amassed their wealth through the acquisition and subsequent sale of specific knowledge,” adding, “Walk into a wealthy person's home and one of the first things you'll see is an extensive library of books they've used to educate themselves on how to become more successful."
Even if you are not aiming to be a millionaire, you can still enjoy learning. Find something that interests you and then learn about it – whether that is music, gardening, or anything else that comes to mind, Who knows, in time, you might become an expert and you could find yourself in a career doing something that you love.