Occupational psychologist Kate Keenan explains how learning can enrich your life
Personal growth and learning play a vital part in running a successful life. If you don’t learn to do new things, or to do things differently, the same unsatisfactory results tend to keep on happening. But if you can learn to do things in another way, you can move on, keep up with the trends and work in a way which ensures your personal wellbeing.
Active learning is the one essential activity that everyone needs to nurture and foster. Without continuous learning, at best you can only stand still; at worst you may actually end up going backwards. Learning includes a wide range of processes, from acquiring new knowledge through to developing new skills.
To learn effectively, you need to experience the four activities which make up the learning cycle. These are:
1. Doing – having an experience through participation and action in an event.
2. Observing – observing and reflecting on what actually happened by contemplating what you experienced, and evaluating how you and others performed.
3. Thinking – forming abstract concepts based upon your observation and reflection, drawing your own conclusions by theorising and analysing what happened.
4. Planning – working out how to turn your experiences, observations and theories into new practical actions by working out how you could do things differently next time you are in the same sort of situation.
What often happens in reality is that many people are good at jumping into action, but tend not finish the cycle by reflecting and analyzing, before they act again.
If you’re not ‘into’ learning, you’re not going to be ‘into’ thriving, as you may find it difficult in moving forward and growing. But once you’re into ‘learning’, you’ll tend to find that running your life becomes easier and more productive, as you will be more aware of new developments and can use these to support you and your family in your aspirations.
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