I’m an autodidact. I have a natural drive to learn that not everyone shares. I love to learn new things. Libraries, bookstores, museums, random college courses, and more seem to call out to me.
In fact, despite the fact that I am “doing okay” without a graduate degree, I am going back to school. Why? Because I want the extra knowledge I will gain, and besides that I want my Master’s in Writing and Rhetoric.
What doors will it open for me that are not already open? Well, probably a few, maybe ones I don’t even know about yet. But for me, opening those doors is not even the point. It is the opportunity to learn from others, gain new insight, and understand another perspective on the world.
But what if you don’t have that natural curiosity? I mean, it’s almost essential if you are going to be a writer, but truthfully if you are going to be in almost any career, you need to be able to learn and adapt as technology changes your career.
You can develop a sense of curiosity and a desire to learn if you do these things:
Make Time to Learn
You schedule in exercise for your body by going to the gym, or for a walk, run, bike ride, or hike. You can do the same thing with your mind. Make learning a part of your weekly routine whether through taking a class or simply reading a book on a subject you are interested in.
Figure Out Your Rhythm
Everyone had their own brain rhythm. Some people work better in the morning (me) while others work better late at night (my wife). Find the time when your brain is most suited for learning, and schedule your study time then.
Keep Track of What you Learn
One of the best ways to accomplish something is to set goals, and one of the best ways to feel good about reaching those goals is to keep track of what you have accomplished in the past. Track what you are learning, what you have read, and what courses you are taking, whether in a spreadsheet or somewhere else. Where appropriate, add these classes to your LinkedIn profile and your bio. It never hurts to boost your resume while you learn.
Learn Your Way
One of the best things about being an autodidact is that you can learn things your way, whether that is hands on, from a lecture, video, webinar, or podcast. You are free to learn things your way. Although don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Embracing a new way to learn things is sometimes the key to understanding an elusive topic.
So that’s it. Even if you are not a natural learner who wants to be a student for life, like me, you can learn to like learning by adopting some simple habits.
Best of luck, and keep on learning!