We have numerous sayings about learning being a lifelong process. It is a notion that possibly no one disagrees with because it is evidently true. However, even the people who claim to believe in this statement have a challenge in following it. For instance, have you encountered people who are fond of joining seminars, courses, or training events for either personal development or professional development yet do not display significant improvement afterward?
While not all of the contents of such courses or training events may be useful, for sure, there are nuggets of wisdom that one can get from those as they are designed for that purpose in the first place. No matter how many training and courses we attend, we cannot use those if we do not rid ourselves of the hindrances to learning. What are these hindrances? The barriers that keep us from learning include the following mentalities that we possibly have:
- “I am intelligent.” This statement is the same as the infamous I-know-that line. When a person is heavily confident that he knows a lot of knowledge and is defined as academically intelligent, that person will most likely have difficulty learning more. When one has this confidence that he knows a lot or everything, he unconsciously refuses to accept the knowledge that is different from what he was initially taught.
- “I am better than you.” Although humans being imperfect is generally accepted to be accurate, people still tend to expect teachers or mentors to be perfect. As a result, the valuable lessons are overlooked when one observes a weakness in the teacher or mentor. We hinder ourselves from learning when we see or observe that the one teaching us has flaws that we think make them unreliable, especially if we are strong in that area.
- “I already achieved success.” Many people tend to rest on their laurels or stop improving themselves once they achieve a win. This mentality hinders one from learning because complacency takes over. If one is complacent, learning is never a priority.
- “I do not see the need for change.” This mentality follows after one achieves a particular win or success. Willingness to learn new things tends to stop for a person with this mentality because, the knowledge or skill that he has worked.
If a person has these mentalities when trying to learn, he will not achieve the goal of learning. The responsibility of teaching falls on the teacher’s shoulder or mentor, but learning is the student’s responsibility. When one is equipped with knowledge and skills yet hindered by his negative mentalities, learning is impossible. Knowledge can only become useful and powerful when applied. Real learning only takes place when we are ready to unlearn or relearn. In other words, when our minds are open.
Do you agree with this?