Learning is a lifelong path with hurdles that takes courage, persistence, and enthusiasm.
Learning is an on-going process, a journey, rather than a destination, where one can arrive at a given point of time. It requires active observation, sensitivity, and reaction to either internal or external cues instead of passiveness or withdrawal. Hereby, it is possible to both produce completely new meanings and connections to subjects and reshape existing beliefs and patterns.
Learning can vary in size and appearance. Whereas it is possible to comprehend vast and fundamental ideas and concepts, it is also worthwhile to grasp tiny details; practicalities and general pragmatism. In order to fully reap the benefits and versatility of learning, it is best if one exposes oneself to diverse, new, enticing, and even somewhat intimidating situations. By confronting with and engaging in various types of situations and socializing with different people, one is able to develop or hone one's skills and understanding to the fullest.
This, in turn, takes quite a lot of courage. It requires an open mindset and a fearless attitude. Ideally, one should not be afraid of making mistakes or failing. Failing, essentially, should be considered as an attempt to learn. Whereas failing may not lead to desired prestige or outcome, it is a crucial step in the overall process of learning that none of us can bypass. Ultimately, learning is a loop of interconnected phases, where errors occur. We learn through trial and error.
Besides boldness, learning entails dedication and motivation. By coupling the softer side of learning – namely, willingness for innovation and creativity – with the more rigid and tougher side of learning – that is, intrinsic persistence and discipline – truly remarkable and noteworthy outcomes may be achieved. Not only is hard work especially valued in a society, it also teaches us modesty and appreciation towards the learning experience. Ambition, herein, becomes central to success.
As referred in the introductory section, learning also involves meaning-making. This is a process, whereby an individual establishes connections between extant knowledge and novel information. If one is passionate and joyous about learning new things and expanding one's understanding, the process of meaning-making becomes easier. In addition, various tactics can be employed in order to facilitate the process. One of them is the concept of 'play', which introduces a gamified learning environment to spark enthusiasm and eagerness.
It's been said that when there is a will, there is a way. I could not personally agree more. Yet, I wish to open up the sentence a bit by suggesting that when there is a will to challenge the status quo despite potential adversities, a will to explore matters in a structured and driven manner, and a will to get excited about everything new and inspiring, we have an excellent basis for further development and evolution regarding the learning experience.
By engaging in the aforementioned activities associated with the three 'wills', the definitive outcomes of self-development and self-fulfillment may be actualized and capitalized. Only then can real value be created for an individual.
Text written by Krista Palmu, a TEDxOtaniemi volunteer