Learning is a lifelong activity. While yes, it is the primary focus of schooling, the act of learning goes well beyond that.
For some reason, many people get it in their heads that once they have completed school, they are largely done learning. This is totally not true, however.
Learning is how we grow, evolve, and change with the times. Because there is always new information to be had, we can always find something new to learn.
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
What does that mean? It means there is always room to come to know more.
There are a couple of truths we need to accept about the nature of learning.
Seven truths of learning
· Learning is ongoing. Almost every day you can and likely will learn something new. Some of what you learn is extremely subtle and almost insignificant. Some, though, can change your whole life.
· We evolve through learning. To the point, learning is how we evolve, and grow. You have learned a lot of things as an adult you didn’t have the foggiest idea about as a kid.
· Change is constant. Because the Universe is always changing, we are always learning. Further, things you learn today may be completely different tomorrow.
· Learning can be passive or active. Some lessons you come across, while others you choose. Some things you learn you would rather not learn, and some you seek out.
· Knowledge is power. The more you learn, the more you can do to impact your life. From there, you can work to change the world.
· Mindfulness is learning. Every single time you look at your own thoughts and feelings, you learn something new.
· Learning empowers you. If you desire to choose to be happy, and to live the best possible life that you can, learning will empower you to do that.
Everything you do not know can be learned
For the most part, you can learn almost anything you set your mind to learning. If you study, examine all the resources available, you can probably learn just about anything you desire to.
Most limitations are self-imposed. However, there are instances where we lack aptitude. There may also be other environmental limitations. For example, humans cannot fly unaided. Sure, there are ways we can use tools and technology to fly, but we are incapable of bird or insect-like flight, because we lack the biology.
There are concepts some people simply cannot grasp. I can’t get much past basic math, for example. My science knowledge is largely pretty general, though if I REALLY wanted to, I could probably learn more.
And that’s another thing to take into consideration.
Desire to learn involves passion
When you really want to learn something, you are likely to develop a passion for it.
Active learning, in especial as adults, tends to be fueled by emotion. That emotion is usually passion. The desire to know the thing you are working to learn can be really powerful.
Passion empowers you. Feeling and working through passion can really inspire you to greater heights, and open you up to learn even more than what you initially set out to.
This can be super exciting. For example, when I get a really good idea for a blog topic, I write swiftly. My fingers fly across the keys, and I can blast out words nearly as fast as I can think them. I also know that my keystrokes get loud, a physical manifestation of the passion I am feeling about a given topic.
This is exciting. It is a point from which we can generate a ton of positivity. New knowledge, ideas, concepts, and so on can change us. Some are so powerful they can change the world.
Fear of learning
I think a lot of people fear learning because they have bought into the notion that “ignorance is bliss.” Becoming aware of things can open you to pain, to suffering, to knowledge of things that you would rather not know.
But on the other side of the coin, knowledge is power. We can do so much when we know things. You can be empowered by knowledge, and gain understanding of new concepts and ideas.
The fear that comes of learning? I suspect it all comes down to one thing: fear.
When you learn something new, it could cause change. Despite the fact that the Universe is in a constant state of change, people tend to fear change. Why? I suspect because of the comfort that comes of the familiar.
Humans need to have connections. That is not just about other humans, it also extends to things. Some of those things are tangible, some intangible. This is why we have favorites. Clothing, blankets, stuffed animals, and so forth.
Yet because this applies to intangibles, we also get comfortable with other familiar things. Feelings attached to communities and places and people. Comfort in specific situations.
When that changes, we lose the comfort and familiarity. Often, this happens when you learn something new.
This is where the fear of learning comes from. Learning new things opens you to the possibility of losing comfort and familiarity. That can be a fear so deep as to be paralyzing.
One way to overcome this fear, in fact likely the only real way to overcome this fear, is through mindfulness.
Learning and mindfulness
Mindfulness is the process of becoming aware of what you are thinking and how and what you are feeling. Once you become aware of your thoughts and feelings, you empower yourself to influence and even control them.
Pretty much the only thing in the entire Universe over which we have any real control or possibility of control is our thoughts, feelings, and actions. You, and you alone, are in your own head. Being mindful of what is going on in there empowers you to learn, to grow, and to drive change, flow along the current of change, or stand against it.
It is entirely up to you as to whether you view a learning experience as opportunity or adversity. You can also choose if you desire to learn more actively, or passively.
Because you will always find new things to learn, using mindfulness to direct learning and make choices about what you care to know can positively impact your life. Don’t be afraid, be excited. You have opportunities galore to make your life incredible.
There is always something new to be learned. Make the most of learning, and see just what all you can do to empower a really kickass life.