Learning does not just happen

jeff/ August 20, 2020

Learning does not just happen. No one is born knowing everything or knowing anything. We are all learning, learning all the time. Some people seem to learn so easily, almost magically. We think of those people as really smart. But forget about them. Focus on yourself. Focus on how you learn. I am completely convinced that any reasonably thoughtful person can learn anything with the right approach and effort.

The very first step, then, is having the right mindset: that you can learn. That you can even learn something that you think is beyond you, that you think is very challenging. This is called a growth mindset. The wonderful website Brain Pickings distills the distinction between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. Read that post and reflect upon how it applies to your own mindset in learning different topics or even in facing physical and social challenges.

…the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value.

Carol Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

What’s something that you think you cannot learn to do? Code? Draw? Play an instrument? Write a novel? Be a supervisor?

If you can set a goal, how would you break down the complexity involved in learning that? Think in terms of incremental steps. Think long-term, not a day or a week. 12 weeks is a good start.