If your answer is yes then you probably know what proclivity means! Proclivity is a tendency or bias toward something. Some people tend to like or enjoy learning whereas some people dislike or don’t enjoy learning. This, though, seems, upon deeper thinking, to be quite untrue. We are all constantly learning from our experiences. Learning is not something we enjoy or dislike. It is simply the result of a set of circumstances or events. I think it’s more correctly stated to say that some people tend to like or enjoy the learning process whereas some people tend to dislike or not enjoy the learning process.
There is, however, a level of knowledge beyond the mere lessons we learn from our life experiences. 2 men may be farmers in the same city at the same time. 1 farmer works all day and uses his free time to rest. The other farmer also works all day but uses his spare moments to read books about advanced farming techniques. Over time the 2 farmers look drastically different, though they are subject to the same set of circumstances. The farmer who seeks knowledge begins to incorporate new techniques or tools that increase his productivity which affords him more free time. Eventually he has enough time and capital to attend a local college where his knowledge is further expanded.
The second farmer has done what so many of us neglect to do, he has incorporated the collection and application of knowledge into his free time. We can all see the benefits of his small efforts, yet we often let these moments slip by out of laziness or the dislike for having to concentrate or focus on a subject.
3 Keys to Enjoying Learning
1. Learn from Someone, Not Just About Them
An exceptionally rare amount of people like to simply learn facts for the sake of knowing facts. I think the majority of those people can be found answering questions on Jeopardy! If this is true, then why do we treat historical knowledge this way?
Reading and learning about historical figures and events is extremely important. Many learning institutions, however, focus on learning names and dates instead of lessons and truths the can be gleaned from the events and lives of those who were victorious in them.
So, my encouragement to you is to learn FROM people and events, not to just learn ABOUT them. One thing to do is define areas in your life that you notice a lack of knowledge. This could be leadership, conversation skills, writing, or a host of other topics. Then find an event or historical figure who is known for showing great skill in your desired area. And boom! You have an instant increase in desire to learn!
2. Use Your Imagination
Ok, so this might not pertain to calculus, even though most equations might easily resemble objects or people!
But, when learning about events or people, using your imagination could make all the difference in the world. Why? Because it removes you (somewhat) from you biases and things you take for granted. For example, if you are studying about Aristotle, it helps to imagine the time period settings. Though they are living in a time of great wealth, they don’t have many things that we take for granted: electricity, cars, global knowledge, etc. Putting yourself in this situation helps you to appreciate their knowledge and apply it in a meaningful way to your own life.
3. Look at the Big Picture
As Westerners, we tend to be very individualistic and focused on objects. This can lead us to look at information as something that is advantageous to us or not, mostly with a sense of immediacy. But, if we take a step back and look at the bigger picture, we see that information is not momentary. Learning leadership lessons from Theodore Roosevelt may help you this weekend, but it will more likely be more useful to you in the future as you continue to mature and develop.
To the Eastern mind, this is natural. The world, more often than not, is seen as a whole. Every part is interconnected, including people and the environment. What a great lesson we can learn from those in Eastern Europe and Asia.
What Are Your Learning Tips?
There’s no shortage of learning tips on the vast internet. I intentionally stayed away from google searches while writing this post. These are my thoughts and I’m interested to read your thoughts! Reply with a comment below and share your favorite learning tips.