How to enjoy learning
The most important factor for anything important in life is to find enjoyment in doing it. Enjoyment comes from inspiration. While knowledge itself is inspiring, its inspiration can be enhanced by adding new good habits that increase the joy of learning.
Several internal and external factors can help us to feel the joy of learning. In the present article of Reading Jump, we are going to talk about the most enjoyable things involved in learning different things. Even the things we have to learn that we initially think we won’t enjoy. And then, how to include these factors in our learning experience so that we ALWAYS ENJOY LEARNING.
Make your learning times – AN ENJOYABLE EVENT
One of the flaws of the students of middle school, high school, and even sometimes in university, is that study times are considered ‘work’ and work often carries negative connotations. So, what if we changed our attitude from that of work to that of ‘blessing’ our mental health? Or even personalty building and feeding our minds and our future? Learning takes on a whole new meaning, in this case, doesn’t it? So let’s now take this attitude and respect ourselves more by creating an event out of our periods of learning. If we look at the learning event as reading for a second and studies (although learning can be outside of books too), then why not take the time and space meaningful in the following ways:
a) Organize and create an inspiring space to learn
Enjoying learning involves being surrounded by things that inspire you; a picture that makes you happy, a notebook that makes you smile, and quotes from a favorite role model that inspires you. Anything that gets your creative juices flowing can be used as inspiration for learning, but inspiration cannot come if you are surrounded by clutter or disorganization. Our mind enjoys organization and functions more efficiently and effectively as well as more creatively when there are no obstacles such as clutter or chaos. So organize your learning place and you will find that everything else will flow. Colors have significance too in life. Likewise, for learning, blue and purple are the colors of knowledge and spirituality in ancient cultures such as the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui.
Another important thing you might like to include in your personalized learning ‘sanctuary’, is images of major role models in your life who play a role in inspiring you. This can significantly enhance your inspiration and joy of learning. If the subject you are obliged to learn does not particularly inspire you or deems itself a challenge then images and quotes of role models of this particular subject are sure to help to get you into that ‘space’ i.e. you can use quotes or formulas of Einstein if you are studying science, or if the subject is philosophy or psychology then quotes of psychologists or philosophers can help you too and what about art history? You can bring in a famous painting of a favorite artist to inspire you there too. Either way, you get the picture (pun intended).
Another thing that these quotes do is that they give you additional knowledge that will help you in a subject, add to your mental connections and help trigger your memory for things you may have to learn for a course (formulas and definitions in a different color).
b) Have things around your space that inspire the joy of learning
To increase the enjoyment of learning, the senses (smells, tastes, colors, and ambiance) are crucial factors that enhance the enjoyment of anything, particularly of learning. For example, coffee or herbal teas (that help and encourage learning), or healthy snacks (brain food perhaps), even the essential oils in a diffuser or perhaps burning a favorite incense stick can stimulate your memory or help to trigger your muses. Many people find inspiration and enjoyment in lighting candles made of beeswax as this also cleans the air around you as it burns and helps you to breathe better calming you at the same time. Adding specific gem stones and crystals not only remove negative energies (black stones) in your space but can also calm you and trigger both sides of your brain, lift your frequencies into a learning mode and and align your energies so that you can get into the learning mode more quickly and easily. Oh, and TRY turning off your mobile or setting it on silent because this is YOUR time with yourself and your growth for your future and wellbeing so give yourself the respect you deserve.
Don’t squeeze learning times into your schedule
Often we put our learning times into pockets of spare time because we consider it a duty or a chore rather than an investment in our lives so we procrastinate and in the end cram before recall causing stress. But what if we were to turn that around. With the points we have mentioned above, we have already begun to make learning fun so we are more likely to WANT to spend time with whatever it is we are learning. Therefore, we will give learning the priority it deserves and all other things will come second to that time with ourselves or our learning partners – which is the next tip.
How to enjoy learning; Right learning partners
In the same way, as our friends influence who we become, having the right people around us to inspire us in what we are learning is a sure way to do better in that subject or interest and most of all to enjoy the learning experience. If you know someone in the field or subject that you are learning who is inspiring, is particularly good in that subject or just enjoys learning it, then why not ask them on a ‘learning date’. It could be at a local library or one of those mega bookstores (that you can sit for longer periods and no one will ask you if they can help you or give you strange looks), or a coffee shop that you particularly enjoy or even a local park or maybe just the campus of a near university.
Allotting the appropriate times for learning
When you schedule a particular time (15 minutes, half an hour, an hour and so on) to your learning, you free your mind and self from anything else that is nagging at you (even the housework). This allows you to focus on what it is that you are learning and focus allows you to enjoy learning because at that point – time stops. Set your timer or an alarm if it makes it easier so you don’t have to keep track of time while you are ‘in your learning space’. Freedom to learn increases the enjoyment of learning.
Creativeness will show us how to enjoy learning
If you thought that we had already covered the creative part of the learning equation, think again. While some people may focus on learning styles (visual, verbal, audio or practical), I am going to tell you to incorporate all of them into your learning. The more senses that you involve in learning, the deeper that experience and knowledge can seep into your mind and memory until it reaches the point of second nature. Learning has stages (as everything in life does). We can understand this better by looking at the development stages of childhood.
A child is more inspired by images, tactile learning, sounds, etc. (the senses) because we live in a physical world and we need our senses to be satisfied before we even reach our needs for the abstract. Not only for this reason but more specifically, the senses such as smell, sight (particularly attractive and meaningful images and color) sound are more closely related to the heart and the heart must be activated before the brain is triggered which translates to enjoying what we learn and remembering more easily too. Whatever we have access to that we can connect to our senses, goes into our memory easier. The imagination connects the mind to the heart and this is heavily dependent on color (while smell directly triggers the. memory) . So the more images and colors you include in your learning, the more enjoyment your learning will give you and the more likely you are to remember what you learn and the longer you will remember it.
Creativity in creating your recall material
Including greater variety in your notebooks OR E-FILE (such as color, pictures, diagrams and even quotes (in a separate color perhaps) will increase your enjoyment for learning anything in greater detail. It also triggers the desire to go deeper into knowing more as well as your memory. Let’s take the example of the image of a heart for a subject like science or human biology. If you see the image first without labels, you begin to question what the parts of the diagram are called, and labeling, in turn, leads to questioning the function, when you know the function then you want to know how they are all connected and then to the rest of the body. Only when you understand how things fit together (physically) can you go into the abstract levels of the heart, bringing in feelings, and emotions and the connection of the heart to the mind (to the most philosophical questions). So getting the most physical aspects of anything out of the way and allowing yourself to explore it – sets the stages for higher learning on that subject.
Give yourself time for questions
Is there anything (outside of stimulating the senses) as enjoyable in learning as giving ourselves the freedom to ask anything we want about that subject. Have we not noticed the most attentive and brilliant students in the class (sometimes the most inspiring) be those who ask the most questions? It’s just enjoyable to ask questions especially if we don’t have a duty to find the answers YET because in questions there is the freedom to not know all the answers.
Ever heard the saying: A question is half of the knowledge? As we saw in the above point, images trigger questions and questions lead to answers. The human brain is such that it thrives on puzzles. As soon as it hears a question or encounters a problem, it goes towards finding the answer or solving the problem so questions lead to deeper insights as well as discoveries and this is how science and art move forward. Inventors, scientists, chefs, and other creative and innovative people thrive on asking the ‘what if’ questions. You can set the timer for 5 minutes and write down in your e-file or notebook all the questions (no matter how silly or bizarre they MAY seem to you at the time or later.
The fact that these questions are in your mind, means that they are engaging you to some extent – even if it is only your imagination or creative juices that are finding their way to be released. The greater permission you give yourself for everything involved in what you are learning as well as to be unique, the more chance you give yourself for enjoying your learning.
How to enjoy learning by rewarding yourself?
What is more enjoyable than a reward? A reward that comes after the enjoyment of earning that reward – after the reward of actually enjoying the learning. Whether it’s the time spent learning or a benchmark in your learning (a chapter, a problem solved, a book completed), whatever it is – reward yourself for reaching that goal. Goals direct our drive and enhance the joy of learning, once achieved.
The reward can be anything that you need or enjoy (a new pair of pants, a trip to the movie theatre with friends or learning partner, a new book you have been wanting to read or maybe a trip to a local art gallery or museum with great company or what about a new interest you have been wanting to take up but you just have too much to study first. Now is the time you get to reward yourself for your learning – with the enjoyment of learning.
Finally, to keep up the motivation and joy of learning
Make a list in your notebook, of all the things that you would enjoy learning. (including outside of the book learning). Allow yourself to invest in yourself and your future with a new one every time you accomplish a milestone.