What makes the best learners?

As students are heading back to school, it got me asking the question about what makes the best learners. Who would I love to teach? And this answer applies to both adults and children. It all boils down to mindset.

Whether you are in a formal classroom or just the classroom of life, the best thing you can do to learn and grow is to enter in with a beginner’s mindset. This is the idea of coming into a new experience with an attitude of curiosity and no pre-conceived notions. Even if you know something about the topic, try setting it aside for a moment and engaging all of your senses. When you are curious and engaged, you become enthusiastic. Can you picture the child’s wonder when they first touch snow? Whether they take a few timid steps in it or throw their whole body into it with joy, they are taking it all in and learning from their experience of it. If they let go of fear and embrace it, they begin to play and discover new properties of the natural world around them. This often leads to the hunger to learn and experience even more.

Think back to something that you loved learning. What were the components of that experience? I am guessing that these 3 things were involved: curiosity, playfulness, and passion or a hunger to learn more. Anything from learning how to play the basketball to studying philosophy require an openness and a capacity for creativity.

When I needed to learn about finances, it felt daunting at first. But when I decided to look into it with curiosity and openness, I began to feel not only a little excited but also creative. This would open up new doors and opportunities for me in places I had not before imagined were possible. And as I quickly discovered, I didn’t need to feel shame about asking “stupid” questions because many others had the exact same question as I did. The more knowledge I gained, the more I wanted to learn.

The next time you need to learn something, try entering into it with a beginner’s mind. Allow yourself to question everything and reconnect with your inner child as you explore it. Deeply listen to what is stirring within you as you interact with others during the process and you will learn about yourself as well. One thing is for certain — there is always more to learn!

About the Author: Julie Glaser is a healer who creates sacred spaces for people to share, release, and grow. She’s in the habit of being in awe and wonder and writes to share her own experiences and learnings with other inquisitive souls in the process of transforming.

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