November 1, 2011
How to Better Learn Important Lessons
Ways to Learn Life Lessons More Deeply and Quickly
To make the lessons of life that you want to learn take root in your mind for permanent memory, get yourself better at introspection, repetition, and exploration.
Learning Brings Lasting Success
Success in anything will not last without learning and learning some more. We are talking about significant success, as with finances, personal growth, expertise, reputation, health, and especially personal relationships. You may pass a course, but you need to learn more to graduate. You can learn a skill, but need a lot more to become an expert. You can find a great relationship, but need to become your better self in order to keep it and have it flourish.
No Quick-Fix Learning
Our American society has provided us with lots of conveniences and quick-fixes, which are available to most unless one is poor. Cars, microwaves, bathrooms, showers, washing machines, vast supermarkets, television, iPods, and medication bring us comfort and ease unheard of 100 years ago, all of which most of us would not want to do without. Nevertheless, this way of life has softened and conditioned a lot of people into thinking that success in life should not be so hard, and that learning to succeed should be easier as well.
3 Keys to Learning
Some major life lessons include: listening well, staying calm, being respectful, accepting yourself, facing your fears, harvesting your strengths, and living in the moment. If you want to learn a life lesson really well (or any lesson at all), there are three basic methods:
- Introspection. You look into yourself, your attitudes, motivations, strengths, and hang-ups. You determine what is helping you to learn and hindering you from learning, and find ways to remove roadblocks and forge ahead.
- Repetition. “The mother of learning.” Most solid learning comes from studying and processing over and over. Although you can learn a piece of data with short-cut memory strategies, learning a life lesson requires lots of repetition and revised practice.
- Exploration. You expand and deepen learning when you explore ideas and methods beyond the familiar and the comfortable. Learning something from a different point of view or with new approach helps keep you current and on the cutting edge.
Let’s use Being Respectful as an example of how to use these learning keys.
- Introspection. Examine your family background and your habit-beliefs about respect, “fairness,” and vulnerability. For instance, do you believe that if you don’t get respect, that it’s “unfair” to have to give it?
- Repetition. Repeat the skill of pausing and breathing instead of reacting in anger. Learn the skill, over and over, of respectfully disengaging from a silly or toxic argument. Again and again, learn to validate and “truth-hunt” another’s point of view without “yes, butting.”
- Exploration. Get feedback on your respectfulness skills from responsible friends and family. Model respectful people. Get some counsel, attend a seminar, or read a book on the art and skill of being respectful.
Other brief examples:
- Accepting Yourself. If you’ve had trouble with low self-esteem, it will help to examine if for instance you were shown love or approval only if you were obedient or got good grades, or just not shown much love at all.
- Staying Calm. Practice ways to self-talk and calm your body when you are frustrated, angry, or nervous. Learn to meditate and get some coaching to get some good direction.
- Harvesting Strengths. Unabashedly look at (and write) what you’re really good at and what you love to do in work, activities, and hobbies. Explore ways to utilize your strengths and get training to get even better.
Take on these steps to better learn the life lessons important to you:
1st List 3 important life lessons that you need to learn better. Choose from here or anywhere else.
2nd Pick one item from your list and write something introspective, such as a sincere reason you need to learn it better, along with the value of better learning.
3rd Write up a “lesson plan” for that one item that includes scheduling time for practice and for learning more from some teachers. When you are ready, get a lesson plan for your next item, starting soon thereafter.