What is Learning for You?

Lifelong learning is essential to your growth as a person

Learning Myths
Learning Myths

As an established educator and writer I am of course biased. For me, lifelong learning has always been essential to my growth as a professional as well as a person.  Even if you are just finishing college or university, you need to have the same mindset.

On her soft skills list Lei Han refers to self-management skills.  The first skill she lists is having a “growth mindset” –  being able to “learn, grow, and change for the better.”

Why is this key?  Because your success in life depends on constantly learning and improving yourself.  I wrote a previous post on the communication skills most in demand. These skills, for example, include knowing how to interact with others, knowing how to listen actively, and knowing how to write well.

If you’re not naturally gifted or a genius – which I am not, you (just like me) need to LEARN these things.

Recently, I came across a fascinating book, How We Learn, by Monisha Pasupathi.  At the beginning of the book, she talks about learning myths.  Let’s see what you think about learning.

Let’s take a Learning Quiz

Read the following statements. Say whether you think they’re true or false.  Don’t look right away at the answers following the quiz. Read the comments first.

1. Learning is always purposeful and aware.

2. Intelligent people don’t necessarily know how to maximize learning.

3. When you feel you are really learning, you’re confident and successful.

4. Being too emotional doesn’t necessarily get in the way of or prevent learning.

5. If you’re not interested in something, you won’t or can’t learn it.

How did you do?

Here are some comments about each of the 5 points based on Pasupathi‘s work.  The answers to the quiz follow the comments.

1.  We are not always aware of what and when we’re learning.  We learn all the time without always realizing it.

2. People – even smart people,  often make the wrong decision when choosing learning strategies.  They don’t necessarily know what they learned well.  Also, they are not sure about know what to do or not to do to practice.

3. When we’re learning, we are often confused, frustrated and uncertain. This is a good thing. It forces us to reach a new level of understanding.

4. Emotions may help or hinder learning.  Emotions can narrow our focus or broaden and expand it.  They may be helpful in some situations.

5. This statement seems to make sense, but it isn’t so. It seems obvious that interest helps learning. On the other hand,  learning can help us develop an interest we didn’t know we had.

In my next post, I look at more myths about learning.


1.  False, 2. True, 3. False, 4. True, 5. False

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