Learning How to Learn

Okay – imagine you signed up to learn a new instrument for the first time, like a violin, for example.

What would happen if your instructor handed you a violin, and asked you to play?

Naturally, having never learned how to, you wouldn’t be able to play, right?

But would you consider yourself unintelligent or bad at the instrument because of this?

The answer is no.

You’ve never learned how to play this instrument before. So, it makes no sense to think that you’d be able to do something you’ve never been taught to do.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that this applies to all learning.

Schools tell you what to learn – but not how to learn it.

Learning How to LearnAnd when you don’t know how to learn, you perform poorly in your classes and later at work.

This can be a blow to your self-confidence and the opportunities you open up for yourself throughout life.

But just like being asked to play an instrument without learning how, trying to learn without the right strategies simply makes no sense.

It’s like sitting in the driver’s seat without knowing how to drive. Or installing a complex piece of furniture after tossing out the instructions.

After all, how can you do something well, and do it efficiently, if you never learned how?

Table of Contents

The Mismatch Between How You Learn and How You’re Tested

Fixing the Mismatch

Learning How to Learn for the Workplace

Why Learning How to Learn is the Most Important Skill

The Mismatch Between How You Learn and How You’re Tested

Learning How to LearnHave you ever noticed that you score better in some subjects than others?

Why might math come easily to you, for example, when you end up struggling with geography?

You might be thinking that you simply don’t have what it takes for certain subjects.

But this isn’t true.

The difference in your performance happens because there’s a fundamental mismatch between how you learn, and how you’re tested.

Think about it this way. Would you be able to gauge how good a chef Gordon Ramsay is with a written test?

Or how about how good an athlete LeBron James is with a quiz?

What they do best, how they perform best, won’t exactly reflect in an essay, right?

The same happens with learning.

Everyone has their own unique combination of learning preferences – but school tests everyone in the same way.

And this is what puts you on an unequal playing field. How you’re learning might not match how you’re being tested, and therefore doesn’t reflect your full potential.

Learning how to learn, though, helps you equalize this playing field.

It involves figuring out how you learn best, and then working out the strategies that best suit you.

This means that no matter what type of learning situation you find yourself in, you’ll always know what strategies to use to learn.

It empowers you and gives you confidence and assurance that you will succeed!

And as a result, you can seek out opportunities and open up doors you might otherwise not even have considered.

Fixing the Mismatch

Learning How to LearnThe fundamental concept that is the key to helping you solve this mismatch is your learning style.

You are a unique combination of three learning styles – visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Some styles are more prevalent than others in how you learn best!

Visual learners absorb and process written information very quickly and efficiently, by converting them into pictures.

If you’re a visual learner, you can quickly grasp and decode visual information, like diagrams, graphs, charts, maps, etc.

If you’re an auditory learner, you learn, process, and retain information better when you hear it.

You’ll find yourself much better at remembering what you heard during a seminar than what you read off the slides.

And if you’re a kinesthetic learner, you like to learn by physically interacting with your learning material and environment.

You probably struggle to study or work at a desk for an extended time, and love experiments and sports.

Taking this FREE learning styles quiz will help you discover your learning style. Typically, you’ll find that one or two styles dominate how you learn best.

And the reason this information is so invaluable? Now, by knowing how you learn best, you can match your learning strategies to your learning style!

School has a one-size-fits-all approach.

You learn the same way as a classroom full of your peers. By understanding your specific learning style, you can tailor your learning to how you learn best.

For example, if you’re more of an auditory learner, you would benefit from listening to audiobooks over reading textbooks.

Rather than trying to learn by sitting at a desk if you’re a kinesthetic learner, you can try pacing or acting out what you’re learning.

And that’s not all. By learning how to learn, you also discover how to add strategies from other modalities to match specific learning situations.

For example, visual learners are at an advantage in school because they naturally convert what they’re learning into mental images.

And here’s a “learning how to learn” secret for you.

Learning How to LearnTurning what you learn into images is one of the best ways to cement your learning and memory!

Your brain decodes, processes, stores, and retrieves images thousands of times faster than it does text.

About 80% of your brain’s surface area is active in visual processing. This means that images activate more cognitive and emotive pathways in your brain, enriching your understanding and memory.

So, visual learners, who are naturally adept at turning what they learn into images, perform better in exams.

They’re better able to show what they know because they’re learning, retrieving, and applying information much faster.

So, if you’re an auditory or kinesthetic learner, adding visual learning strategies to your learning gives you the same advantage!

You’ll know exactly how to match how you’re learning to how you’re tested to guarantee your success!

I cover several of these science-backed strategies and how to incorporate and practice them in my course, Total Recall Learning.

You’ll discover not only the traits of your particular learning style, but also learn exactly how you learn best!

Learning How to Learn for the Workplace

Learning How to LearnThe benefits of learning how to learn aren’t just limited to school.

Quickly learning and adapting to an increasingly dynamic work environment is one of the most sought-after skills employers look for.

Employers cite adaptability as one of the most critical skills they seek.

Indeed, rapidly being able to learn and adjust to changing work environments makes you an invaluable asset to any business.

It also gives you the assurance that you can not only keep up with these dramatic changes, but also get ahead.

The 2018 Future of Jobs report projects an estimated 76 million jobs getting replaced by emerging technologies by next year.

Meanwhile, it predicted that 133 million new roles would emerge because of the same technologies.

Unsurprisingly, your ability to upskill (build up existing skills) and reskill (learn new skills) is vital in today’s workforce.

Learning how to learn gives you the competitive edge to not just keep up in this dynamic work environment, but also get ahead.

It empowers you with the confidence and knowledge that you can quickly adjust to any new shift in the workplace.

And this goes a long way in ensuring not just your job security but also your self-confidence and career advancement.

Learning how to learn gives you the master key to succeed in any new learning situation, throughout your life.

I have helped half a million people throughout my career to unlock this success with the “how to learn” strategies I cover in Total Recall Learning.

Will you be learning how to learn to unlock this success, too?

Pat Wyman is the CEO of HowtoLearn.com, HowtoLearn.Teachable.com, best selling author and an internationally noted brain and learning coach known as America’s Most Trusted Learning Expert.

Pat’s superpower is helping people learn, read and remember everything faster. She has helped over half a million people in schools and corporations such as Microsoft, Intel and Google improve their lives with her learning strategies, learning styles inventory and courses, including Total Recall Learning™.

She is the best-selling author of more than 15 books, a university instructor, mom and golden retriever lover!

Contact Pat to find out more about the Brain 2.0 Brain Advantage Learning and Career Assessment and customized faster learning programs for professionals and students.

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