Learning with Passion and Enthusiasm
How to Develop a Passion for Learning
If you're open-minded and curious about the world around you, it's possible to learn something new every day and never stop growing. You become passionate about learning when you make an emotional connection with the subject you're learning. Getting hands-on with creative activities is one way to get more interested in the subject and develop a passion for learning.
Making Emotional Connections
Connect different subjects to your own interests.If you already have an interest in one thing, search for ways to connect it to other subjects or disciplines. If you can relate something new to something else you already love, your interests will expand.
- For example, suppose you're interested in making films, and have started studying photography. Your interest in cameras and photography relates to geometry, and learning about geometric patterns and formulas will allow you to frame better shots.
Relate the knowledge to your own life.You'll be more passionate about learning if you find a way in which what your learning directly connects to your own life. You'll want to learn more if you can find a practical way to use the knowledge you've gained.
- For example, you might not be all that interested in learning math. But if you find a way to relate the principles you're learning in math class to your favorite sport, you now have a reason to memorize all those formulas.
Surround yourself with positive people.You are more likely to be interested in something if your friends are also interested in the same thing, or if they encourage and support your interests. To develop a passion for learning, make friends with other people who love to learn.
- If there are people around you who discourage you from pursuing your passions, stay away from them if possible or try to shut them out. You won't develop a passion for learning if your friends are constantly making fun of you or calling you a "nerd" because you're interested in learning.
- Others who also are passionate about learning can help motivate you to learn more and apply your knowledge in innovative ways. You might want to join a club or interest group dedicated to learning about a particular subject or discipline. You can find these groups online and through social media as well.
Take control of your learning process.You're unlikely to develop a passion for learning if someone else is forcing or requiring you to learn particular information. The more of a choice you have, the more room there is for passion to grow.
- If you are in school, you likely don't have much control over what you can or can't learn. The school system will have particular subjects and information that you have to learn to pass on to the next grade level or to graduate. That doesn't mean you can't also learn on your own.
- For example, suppose you're learning about British monarchs in history class, and you become interested in Queen Victoria. Research Queen Victoria on your own time, or ask your teacher if you can do a special project on her.
Cultivate imagination.Being able to think creatively and imagine different stories or images about something can help you develop a passion for learning. Engaging the creative side of your brain gets you motivated to learn more.
- Even if you think an idea sounds silly or seems like a distraction, allow yourself to pursue it. If you have limited time, use an egg timer. Set it for a few minutes and allow yourself to explore the idea. When the timer goes back, you can return to the task.
- When you imagine different scenarios, you're directly engaging in the topic and looking at it from a different angle, which can open new learning opportunities.
Encourage experimentation and alternative approaches.You'll be much more interested in learning if you have an opportunity to try different methods of solving the same problem.
- Discovering a solution on your own through trial and error gives you some ownership over the learning process. When you find the solution, you'll have a sense of accomplishment you wouldn't have if you merely memorized a solution provided in a book.
- The sense of accomplishment you get from discovering a solution for a problem can motivate you and give you confidence to try to solve more difficult problems. That motivation and confidence will help you develop a passion for learning because you'll see learning as something you're good at.
Create opportunity for innovation.One way to develop a passion for learning is to try to apply the things you've learned to different circumstances, or to try to find a new way to do something if the old way is confusing or inefficient.
- Look around for opportunities to improve various tasks or projects. Brainstorming different shortcuts or "hacks" can stimulate your interest in learning as well as increase your productivity.
- If you're interested in a particular field, you might be able to find clubs or groups that have competitions to foster innovation in that field. For example, if you're into coding groups, you might join one of the numerous competitive coding groups.
Set aside time to create.Work creative or artistic pursuits into your daily life, so you're regularly spending time in a creative headspace two or three days a week. Find something you enjoy and commit yourself to regular practice.
- If you have limited experience with the arts, you might want to take a class if you can find one you like in your area. Introductory classes in painting, pottery, or poetry can help get your creative juices flowing. You'll also meet other creative people that can help stir your passion for learning.
Use collaboration to expand your horizons.When you collaborate with someone else on a project, you can learn new ways of doing something. Working together and finding compromises expands your mind to new ideas and possibilities.
- When working with someone else, ask them lots of questions so you understand what they're doing and why. The conversation will help both of you actively engage in the process.
- Figuring out why someone's approach to a problem is different than yours helps you see that problem from a different angle. When you look at another problem or question, that exposure will open your mind to other ways of thinking about it.
Keeping Learning Exciting
Increase difficulty gradually.Once you already know something, it can be mind-numbingly boring to keep going over the same information. Over time, that boredom will lessen your interest in learning anything more about the topic.
- Once you've got one thing down, move to something a little more difficult that builds on that original knowledge. Master that, and then move on to progressively more difficult issues or problems.
- If you end up working on something that's too difficult, slow down and take your time. Work at it a little at a time, incorporating the knowledge you already have, so you don't get too bogged down or frustrated.
Work at your own pace.Different people learn in different ways and at different speeds. While healthy competition can motivate you, it doesn't mean that if it takes you longer to get something than somebody else, that means they're better than you.
- If you're working on something too difficult for you and you become frustrated, it will discourage you from continuing to learn and grow in that subject or area. Instead, break up larger problems into smaller chunks that you can handle without a lot of effort.
Use humor and play.If learning feels more like a game to you than work, you'll enjoy the learning process. Feel free to laugh at a joke or amusing anecdote, or engage in fun activities related to the topic you're learning about.
- Humor can be particularly effective when you are learning about a particularly dry topic. It can also help you more easily memorize facts you need to know. For example, you might create a funny limerick to remember a concept from economics.
Do hands-on activities.Museums and libraries often have hands-on activities and playtimes to get both children and adults interested in that particular subject. You also can find educational kits online or in stores.
- For example, you could use water and ice to learn about water displacement and the water cycle. Heat water in a closed container to learn about water vapor and condensation.
- Keep safety in mind, particularly when doing at-home science experiments.
Focus on fun.Rather than looking at how difficult something is going to be, or how much work it entails, look at the more entertaining aspects. If you find learning exciting, you'll develop a passion for it – but for learning to be exciting, it needs to be something you find enjoyable.
- Make the process of learning enjoyable and think of that process is important and meaningful in and of itself. Try not to look at learning as simply needing to know particular facts so you can perform well on a test.
Video: Develop a passion for learning, you will never cease to grow
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