#231 Learning – S1 E8 – The mindset that changes everything

Have you ever learned something by hearth, just because you wanted to do that? There was no test coming up on the horizon, no exam, or an actual demand for you to know that specific thing? You just wanted to learn it and therefore did exactly that?

It is the funniest thing, but the moment we want to learn something, it feels so much easier to do. The stuff sticks better to our head, we learn very efficient and effective. But why is that the case? Why is that so easy to do, when in other situations we struggle so much?

It’s because of our interest in the topic. We have a tendency to make a lot of connections with things we actually like. There is the fun you have, the good moments, the memories about you doing what you like, the smells, the emotions, the feelings. You do not need to create a web of connections in your head, because it is already there anyways. You are just refreshing these connections, using them again and again. Basically, you repeat them in your head without even actively noticing that.

If it comes to Porsche’s, the very least everybody should know about is to be able to distinguish between the different car models and of course the different 911 generations. Have I ever actively learned them? Not really, but because of my interest, I try to identify each and every car I see. Therefore this is of course learning, but it doesn’t feel like that.

But the question is, does a change in my mindset really helps me to learn other things in the very same way? Is it really that easy?

When I was thinking about this topic, I came up with one argument against the theory. If I start to learn something new, in my case this would be for example programming, but I simply hate doing that, what does it matter if I change my mindset towards that or not? I still do not have experiences with it, I still have no clue what is going on.

Well, that might be true, but what is also true is the fact, that the moment I started to think about that, there was a road map coming up in my head, telling me exactly where I need to go and what I need to do. I would inspire myself, watch some interesting YouTube videos and get the missing connections. I would dive deep into the topic, listening to what experts say, watch some tutorials and stuff and then, working on my skills. Step by step, day by day. But sure, that means a huge time investment, therefore, I need to find a reason. I need to be convinced, that this is the right thing to do. But after doing that, for sure, I would dive into the topic, learning the stuff like it is the easiest thing in the world.

But what did I do in the past? I was neither passionated about it, nor did I ever wanted to be that nerdy guy. “This is just not what I want to do. This is just not where I see myself in the future.” Therefore I learned the stuff, but hardly very efficient. And for sure, after a couple of weeks, all that “knowledge” was gone again. I lost the connections, why? Because these where no real connections. I just faked them, I used storage room for that, which I needed for more interesting stuff afterwards.

But why talking about that so much?

I realized this week, that learning doesn’t need to feel hard, exhausting, or even needs to be done at a desk. Learning can be fun and it doesn’t even demand from you, to actively focus on learning. You can basically learn something even without noticing it and without even trying.

As so often in life, the mindset seems to play a very important part. It gives us a reason for enduring something. For letting us invest some of our valuable time, following our goals and actually achieve them.

The moment you have understood how to use this weapon effectively, you will realize how wonderful this world really is. Limits? There are no limits. You create them. You set them. Therefore you can overcome them.

Learning is such an essential part of moving forward, you definitely don’t want to miss out on that. Too often in life, we focus on learning something temporarily, but not for the long run. You study for that one particular test, but after that, it’s done. The mission completed, no further questions required. You got your grades, now move one to the next task. So what do we do? We do exactly what they demand from us. We learn for exams, but not for life. Our mindset towards learning seems to be just wrong and actually feels wrong as well. I have realized that years ago, but still I fall back into the old pattern. How can it be, that we are losing the big goal from sight, but rather adapt ourself to the environment we are living in? Where is the point in studying something, if we focus only on the stuff that will be a part of the test?

Change you mindset, and you will see, the sky is the limit. You can learn everything, if you want to.

See you next time!

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