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Learning a new skill isn’t something we should leave behind in childhood. The ability to keep constantly renewing ourselves through learning is hugely important, and keeps us challenged and motivated. We often admire people who have a talent for something, without seeing the hours of hard work they have put in practising behind the scenes. You don’t have to be lucky to be good at something – you just have to be willing to stick at it and use the right learning techniques. Whether it’s always been your dream to speak fluent Spanish, you’d love to learn to sew your own clothes or you want to be a great painter, with the right techniques and some perseverance, you can get there…
Plan Out Your Approach
Like anything in life where you want to be successful, it’s best to put together a plan of attack as to how you’re going to learn your subject. Think about how much time you have to put towards your learning. Will you have a couple of evenings a week free to practise yoga? Could you devote an hour a day to learning a language, perhaps on the drive home from work? Have you got some time off where you really could learn Piano in 21 Days? Schedule your practise time in, so it becomes a commitment you know you will honour.
Immerse Yourself In Your Subject
In order to get the most out of your studies, don’t just stick to one type of learning experience – embrace your new subject. So, if learning a language is your goal, then watch some TV shows in that language, listen to songs, or try chatting with a native speaker – you can find language exchange apps which let you connect with someone you can practise your skills with. We tend to learn best when what we’re doing isn’t just theory, so look for a practical application of knowledge. For example, if you want to become a coding whiz? Build a website. Get stuck in. And learn as you go along. The more you try out things, the more you’ll know what works and doesn’t work.
Teach What You’re Learning
It may sound a little crazy, but actually, teaching someone else what you’re learning yourself is one of the best ways to truly get under the skin of the subject. By teaching someone else, we automatically break down complicated material into easy-to-digest chunks that we memorise. It also makes us look at a topic more thoroughly and with critical eyes, so we come to understand it better. Look for local volunteering opportunities where you can apply what you’re learning and help someone else out at the same time.
Make Sure You’re Practicing Right
You know you have to put the hours in, but if you’re only working on things that you can already do well, you’ll never make any progress. Push yourself out of your comfort zone by practising what you find difficult. It may feel a little frustrating but ultimately it will yield far better results.