Learning leverages healthy decisions (3/3)

Readiness is key to learning something new. If we’re not ready to learn something… it will probably go straight in one ear and out the other.

That was a favourite phrase of parents and teachers alike – if we weren’t paying attention, they’d lay that line thicker than peanut butter on a slice of white bread. And, they weren’t wrong. When we were distracted, information went “straight through us” without taking seed. It was true when we were in school, and it’s even more applicable now as we engage in a daily onslaught of information dissemination.

Social media and news streams keep us engaged and entertained, but seldom do they leave us educated. This is why we keep making choices that we regret. If access to information were key in making healthy decisions, none of us would struggle with making the wrong ones!

It’s not the access to information that’s important; it’s the learning that’s important.

The best time to offer advice (a learning opportunity) is only, ONLY, when it’s requested. Essentially, this recognises that if we’re not ready for advice (not asking for it), there’s a good chance that we’re not ready for it – and it won’t stick.

In line with some recent blogs, this one offers four more thoughts on how we can leverage learning to make healthier decisions; for our money, relationships, career, and anything else that we value in life.

Embrace novel formats

When lockdowns and Coronavirus hit the world, it led to exceedingly tough times, but it also created an upswell of novel learning formats. Online learning platforms (free and paid-for), TEDTalks, YouTube channels and smaller community-centric groups all began to provide places to learn that, in many instances, were more effective than traditional structures of learning.

Practice mindfulness

A healthy mind is a powerful mind. In line with recognising how prolific and persistent the engagement of technology and social media is in our lives, setting aside time for mindfulness is profoundly grounding, healing and helpful. The gurus all recommend starting with just five minutes a day and building up from there. There are plenty of great apps to help you get started.

With a healthy mind, anything is possible.

School was simply the starting line

Graduation is about levelling up, not about completion. All lifelong learners recognise that school is nothing but the starting line of our true education. This is a simple paradigm shift, but once we internalize it, we’ll start doing things differently.

Play the long game

“The greatest riches in life – personal or professional – come from compound interest.” Sahil Bloom. The hardest element of benefiting from compound interest is that it takes time, lots and lots of time!

Lifelong learners play the long game; they know that lessons will continue to be learnt and that whilst the truth may not change, their perception of the truth will continue to deepen.

(All of these ideas were shared in a compilation by Sahil Bloom – @SahilBloom – on Twitter)