"Learning is a strategy you can learn—how can you expect to be great at something when you’ve never been taught how to do it?"

Jim Kwik

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, today’s podcast is all about falling in love with learning!

Learning is essential to our growth and happiness. A love of learning can help us to achieve our goals, expand our skill sets and lead a fulfilled life — yet so many of us have never learned how to learn properly. Behind every high achiever is a love of learning, and learning is simply a set of strategies anyone can learn, and learn to love!

You might associate learning with school and all the studying and memorizing you had to do, or you might already love learning, in which case it’s possible for you to love it even more  — but no matter where you are on the spectrum, today’s show is for you.

In today’s podcast, I’ll be explaining how and why the love of learning could change your life, and walk you through three different strategies to help you discover your love for learning. I’ll explain why going back and learning ‘how to learn’ will enable you to love it, stop beating yourself up for failures and go out and make your goals happen. I’ll take you through a quick list of 10 things you can work on to optimize your learning potential, then explain why taking responsibility for how we feel and cultivating curiosity can help us learn and grow.

Show Notes

WHY LOVE LEARNING?

  • In order for your business to grow, you need to be able to grow.
  • Anyone who has a goal will need learning to help them.
  • A common characteristic of high achievers is growth, they are always looking to take things to next level.
  • If personal development and growth is important to you, learning should be too, because the grandmother to transformation is learning and a love for learning. 
  • Somebody who loves to learn is always growing. Remember: you’re either growing or decaying. 
  • To be happy you want to enjoy progress in your life, and go to sleep knowing something is better in your day than it was when you woke up that morning. 
  • A love of learning is especially great for children: if they fall in love with learning, become okay with mistakes, go and study the things they’re passionate about—if you love learning, everything gets better. 
  • Today people can get bored, frustrated and confused easily when they learn—given how important learning is, this is an emergency or SOS—but one of the things that will change this is a love for learning! 

3 ‘SOS’ STRATEGIES TO LOVE LEARNING

#1: S is for STRATEGY

  • Nobody is born a great learner. There is always a method behind the magic of high achievers—a method you can learn
  • One reason some of us don’t enjoy learning is that we never learned how to learn properly
  • Competence-confidence loop: the better you are at something, the more confident you’ll be at it, and the more confident you are the more you’ll do it and enjoy it, and become more capable at it
  • Remember: learning is a strategy you can learn—how can you expect to be great at something when you’ve never been taught how to do it?
  • Remember: it’s not how smart you are, it’s how are you smart
  • If you weren’t taught how to focus, speed-read and so on, and if the last time you were taught to read was when you were five, you can’t be hard on yourself for not being good at it yet
  • Remember: reading is to the mind what exercise is to your body
  • Consider a goal you have in your life—in order to achieve your goal you will need to learn something
  • A lot of people are shrinking their dreams to fit where they are presently in their life when they really should be expanding their skill set, their attitude, their discipline in order to be able to meet their destiny
  • How can you improve your skill set? Study—and the more you learn about studying, the better you’ll become at learning and you’ll be able to unleash your potential
  • To start learning how to learn, go back to early Kwik Brain podcast episodes! Designed as a portable online academy, best to start from the beginning: 1: Learn ANYTHING Faster and 2: Improve Your Memory Now
  • When you get stuck at something, don’t tell yourself you’re not good at it, instead remember that nobody was good at something the first time
  • When somebody does something magical, look closer: genius leaves clues. Ask yourself: what’s their strategy?

#2: O is for OPTIMIZATION

  • The center for all learning: your brain. Fall in love with your brain
  • If you want to increase your self-esteem, confidence, and identity, study your brain!
  • Your brain is an incredible device: 85-100 billion neurons, a number that dwarfs the number of stars in the sky, but the problem is nobody ever shows us how to use it, which is why we created this podcast!
  • The strategy is the software, optimization is the hardware
  • People upgrade their phone more often than they upgrade their mind
  • Remember: every pro was once an amateur, and no matter where you are in the process, the power of repetition is an incredible tool for improvement
  • Ask yourself how much energy you are putting towards each of the 10 optimization strategies below!

10 keys to optimizing your brain—a quick reminder:

  1. Food: What you eat matters to your brain matter. Episodes mentioned: Dr. Lisa Mosconi, Max Lugavere, My 10 Favorite Brain Foods
  2. Killing ANTS: automatic negative thoughts. You want to separate yourself from the energy-sucking vampires: this can be negative people, projects or thoughts
  3. Movement: how much are you moving each day? How are you taking care of your body?
  4. Brain nutrients: if you’re lacking in certain nutrients, that deficiency might affect your learning, so make sure you give yourself what you need to survive and thrive
  5. Positive peer group: who you spend time with matters! If you want to love learning more and love your brain, it’s not just your biological and neurological networks that matter, it’s your social networks too. Are the people around you encouraging, teaching you things, holding you accountable, are they kind?
  6. Clean environment: your external world is a reflection of your internal world. Simple things like decluttering help, and check out this episode with Ben Greenfield
  7. Sleep: how can you love learning when you are tired? Check out our previous episodes on sleep with Shawn Stevenson and Dr. Michael Breus
  8. Brain protection: wear a helmet, preserve your operating system
  9. Fall in love with learning how to learn: you can use novelty to do this, check out the nuns featured in Time magazine living longer because of a lifelong commitment to learning
  10. Stress management: stress creates cortisol and adrenaline, and while you’re stressed you won’t get the rejuvenation you need or remember the things you are trying to learn

#3: S is for STATE

  • All learning is state dependent
  • Remember: states are not something you have, they are something you do
  • In the morning, you don’t wake up ‘having’ creativity, motivation, and focus, you do those things and follow processes to make them happen
  • Important to put yourself in the right states for learning
  • Information is forgettable, but information combined with emotion becomes a long-term memory
  • Remember: you are in control of how you feel — you’re not a reactive thermometer, you can take responsibility and set the thermostat, you can set a standard or goal or vision
  • You have a to-do list—think about creating a to learn list and a to feel list too
  • Know you’re not going to be a victim, and don’t just hope for success—hope is not a strategy
  • Rumi quote: “Sell or trade your cleverness for bewilderment.”
  • When was the last time you felt curious? To build your curiosity, start by asking questions. Questions become the answer
  • Even if you’re stuck at a boring event, ask questions of yourself to open up curiosity e.g. ‘how is this person boring so many people all at once?’ and those questions will change the way that you feel, away from being bored

SUMMARY

  • Bottom line: in order to be able to love learning, you need to be able to love yourself. We’re always thinking about loving other people—but no amount of love from the outside is going to fill that part of your soul that is yearning for self-love
  • Loving that person in that mirror—especially if that person has been through so much but is still standing—is what is important here to help you start to love learning

CHALLENGE

Take a screenshot of this episode, tag us and share one of 3 things with us!

  1. A new strategy or skill you’re committed to learning,
  2. What area of brain self-care you might have neglected
  3. What state you would like to experience more often

Tag us on social media: @jimkwik | @kwikbrain

Related Kwik Brain Episodes You Might Enjoy

Episode 26: Be A Human Calendar (With This Brain Exercise)

Episode 34: Learn Vocabulary Faster (Memorize Words In Seconds)

Episode 41: The 5 Ways To Organize Information

Episode 44: How To Recall Passwords And Pin Numbers