Learning is a science, an art and a skill that has to be acquired. In my opinion ‘learning to learn’ is probably the most important lesson anybody can have in life. However in my experience I find that most people have not mastered the technique of learning well.
I often see people who are impatient, hurried or mechanical. The process of learning requires complete attention to the act of learning. We must focus on what is being learnt and how our mind and bodies act & react during the process. For e.g. if we are learning to swim we must completely and fully feel every stroke that we make. We must feel our body balance in the water. We must concentrate on our breathing. There is a enormous amount of thought that should accompany the act of swimming. I usually notice people get into the water and mindlessly splash like a pro and get nowhere in the process. Similarly if we are learning to play a musical instrument, say the violin, we must feel the pressure of string below the bow, we must listen carefully to the sound that the bow makes, and our mind must start its own timing mechanism. If we rush into the process of learning we usually fail. If we fail a couple of times we are really setting ourselves for frustration.
Learning is a slow and deliberate process. Learning is almost like writing a software program where we determine the steps for progress while also taking into consideration how we determine if we are not on the right path.
The process of learning requires a constant feedback which we send to ourselves. We have to completely aware of the continuous feed back that our minds, our bodies send back at every instant and we must be able to adjust in real time. This is extremely critical to making real progress in learning.
Learning a subject, learning to program or learning to paint or all similar. Learning has always to be accompanies by loads of thought. This is what I call “thoughtful learning’.
For my part I am still learning …