The Power of Learning

We all seek and learn naturally!

The amount as well as path of seeking and learning varies from person to person. This variance is due to numerous factors mostly stemming from early stages of childhood. Many are fascinated by new technologies, some love competitions and group events, and some put the effort due to the pressure from influencers such as friends, family, peers, acquaintances etc. A seeker of knowledge finds it easier to read and learn leading to a higher probability to do well in studies or at work because inquisitiveness quite naturally ends into putting the required effort.

While there are seekers and doers, there are also those who hesitate and lack motivation to seek and learn. This may be because they do not see value in doing so or because they lack the intrinsic confidence to learn or simply because they are in an occupied or distracted phase in their life. There may be other reasons as well but a prolonged disinterest and lack of effort towards learning may prove detrimental to one’s progress.

The Diagnosis

Am I aware of me being passive? The visual of mercury level moving gradually up in a meter is unfortunately not there to help you assess how passive you are.

Do you find yourself struggling to put effort into an assignment even when you know it is very important? If yes, then probably you lack the required amount of commitment and seeking quotient.

Sometimes, the easiest way to do it is through taking feedback. And rounded feedback which involves self, peers, friends, and teachers or boss is a bit more holistic. But before you reach out to the feedbackers, spend some time on the list of points that need to be covered in the feedback checklist. While seeking feedback, one needs to be open to surprises, avoid looking at feedback as criticism and look at it as an opportunity to change for the better.

The Process

If you are one who recognizes that your lack of motivation to learn is impacting your growth, you should consider consciously crossing these 5 stages:

Stage 1

Articulate well - What do you want to accomplish or learn?

Define the goal with clarity and be specific with limited or nil ambiguity.

Stage 2

Resources - What do you lack and how will you acquire the resources?

Brainstorm and make a list of the skills, behavior, and resources that will have to be put in.

Stage 3

Staying the Course - Think about what will keep you motivated during the process.

Routines can be trying and so making the process exciting will give you the much-needed encouragement periodically to stay the course.

Stage 4

Get help - Get a mentor who will help you keep at it.

Many hit a roadblock or find it a steep climb. It is not a lonely world and so why not get the occasional nudge and guidance.

Stage 5

Small Celebrations – Recognition at significant milestones helps you look forward to the next!

These shorter goals must be marked upfront so that the journey towards the milestone is easier.

The Path

Not everything is measurable with units like money or Instagram likes. The path of seeking or learning is somewhat spiritual – you set milestones towards your goal with pieces of innate knowledge subconsciously or source external information. Without the faith in yourself i.e., your creative confidence and routine, you may find it harder to progress on the path. Your engagement may be low due to a few factors. The sooner you recognize and work on those factors, the better.

Merely setting milestones may not be enough. Each person’s outlook, set of competencies, support system etc., is exclusive and that journey may have unique hurdles as well. Envisioning the path, proper planning, and regularly taking stock will make the ride smoother. You need to periodically assess whether you are on track, or your progress is at risk. These mini assessments would give you a sense of comfort and you shall not end up surprised or too far from the finish line. Such an assessment will help you understand what the development need is, which aspect needs attention, what help is needed etc.

Such a performance management process increases the chance of success.

When your approach switches from passive to active, you shall find yourself exploring in many directions – you may start networking better, even strategically reach out to industry experts, and those who are in the process of seeking. You may also start reading content and watch videos relevant to you much more than before. Once this change in learning quotient takes place, you will find transformation in your approach, diversity in outlook and enhanced knowledge levels. The success of a ‘Learning Management System’ is less about content being hosted for access and more about whether the user sees personal benefit in the system. Learning content is available today on various platforms and for free too. The Organizations and Institutes benefit when their wards see value and consume content consciously. Yes, technology should facilitate access, assignment, and assessment but if users don’t seek and remain passive in the self-transformation process, the impact of the tech product will be marginal.

This then brings us to the larger question – What kind of a system is the need of the hour?

In my view, there are 2 main requirements:

  1. Making the person see the correlation between her/his lack of skill/knowledge/behavior and the impact it bears on personal/career growth.
  2. A good design that empowers the user to discover the opportunity and see the milestones within path of learning. They should also be able to plan their learning journey and get guidance during the process. The system should help the user assess and recognize his/ her personal competencies and developmental needs, then link it real time to the personal learning planner.  That way relevant content can be accessed or assigned.

The Impact

Those with yearning along with persistence and grit quite often find progress. Such journeys fuel productivity and innovations. Your journey of learning and progress serves as an inspiration. The learnings along the way don’t stay with you and find their way into the lives of many and that effect then, dominos further.

About the Author

Yugandhar Penubolu is the author of ‘The Transformational Lens’ – A people and performance management book. He is also the founder of (Winzard Solutions Pvt Ltd) – A Performance & Learning Management Tech firm and the co-founder of (Badi Soch Innovations Pvt Ltd) which is a tech online blogging and publishing media company.

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