Do you feel like you have mental blocks that prevent you from studying or learning anything new?
We all do. Even people who excel at their studies and pick up knowledge fast find learning difficult.
The difference between people who study well and those who quit learning is that the former can dispel myths about learning.
Want to know what these myths are? Keep reading on.
Some people are just better at learning
When people think that some people are just good at studying, they’re talking about the outer appearance that’s visible to them when they observe ‘clever’ people or ‘good’ students.
They see someone who has focus, memorizes facts faster and seems to easily pass their exams or develop a new skill.
This doesn’t do justice to people who are average in intelligence and get through challenging subjects by sheer effort and will.
The truth is that many people who learn well or seem super smart simply have more practice learning. And that they’ve figured out how to quiet their own self-sabotaging thoughts.
Virtually anyone can become a great learner. They just need to know how.
Learning has no practical value
Most people find that there’s value in going to college. Or in reading magazines and journals that provide high-level information about various topics.
Generally speaking, many agree that it’s important to learn in general. But people who dislike learning often claim or believe that studying literature and abstract subjects have no practical applications and thereby is a waste of time.
Here are a few things to think about:
- Learning something abstract does not have to have practical applications for it to have value. Just exercising your mental capabilities and imagination are valuable uses of learning
- It’s rare to see someone who denigrates studying put their mind or efforts towards gaining non-academic or alternative information. In some cases, the idea that studying has no practical value is an excuse to not work
- You never know when you’ll need the information you have! In fact, the broader your knowledge is, the deeper the well from which you can draw out creative thoughts
- Even if a subject has no easily identifiable practical value, it is still doing you some good. You’re essentially giving your brain a workout by making it learn. At an unconscious level, you’re still picking up language-related skills and data that can serve you later
You have to have a formal education to be learned
I think that formal education is a form of grooming. Depending on where you go and what you learn, you’re groomed towards belonging to certain groups aka job roles, industries, and social groups.
Therein lies one of the benefits of a formal education.
But schooling and higher studies have not been the norm from the very beginning of human history. You had to be rich or lucky to even be literate.
Nevertheless, history shows us that some of the world’s greatest leaders have been people who came from impoverished backgrounds. People like Abraham Lincoln simply read a vast number of books and used critical thinking to rise to prominence.
Anyone can learn. You don’t need to go to college for you to have a meaningful education.
All you do need is to be able to read and write and to have some kind of access to information. If you have access to a phone, a computer, and the internet, you have more information at your fingertips than you could consume in a thousand lifetimes.
If you can visit a library, then you can pick up a book, a magazine, or use the computers available there to start your learning journey. You can be educated at home and be smarter than people who teach at colleges and universities. It’s a matter of consuming information and thinking about it critically.
Learning has to be tedious
This myth is related to the previous one. When people think about learning or studying, they associate the activity with schoolwork which is admittedly unstimulating for many people.
But you don’t have to learn only in the way you’re in school. You can make learning fun and engaging even if your teachers don’t provide you with the materials or information you need.
You could play memory games, join an online group that focused on a specific topic or talk to experienced people who can give you context.
You need to learn from only specific sources
Even when your school, college, or workplace gives you a specific syllabus to learn from, you’re not really restricted to only the material you get in your textbooks. As long as you get the right information, you can expand the sources you learn from, so long as you check that they’re authentic.
Even if you have to cover specific topics, you can find sources for such information from everywhere.
I got through my college years by reading blog posts on economics made by smarter people than me. And by watching YouTube videos.
One recommendation I make is to read a ton of fiction if it’s in any way related to your subject at hand. Picking up a novel around a scientist will give you context on a specific field of study. Reading about adventures in a country will make you familiar with important geographic landmarks and cultural contexts.
Back to you
Each myth in this post deserves its own page with extended information. For example, I still haven’t expressed how I think that the vast majority of people are extremely smart… they just don’t know how to leverage their brains and their thinking processes.
In the future, I’ll share more information about how our brains work. The brain is a sponge that thrives on stimulating new information. Everyone can learn because their brains are built to do just that.
Meanwhile, I hope you’ve found this post helpful. Do share it with others and explore more content on this website.