The “I can’t learn” mindset

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There are a lot of people who say “I can’t learn.”  They think they are unable to learn and that they will never become more intelligent.  If you or someone you know believes in that way of thinking then please keep reading and set the record straight.

Learning is the most important thing in life because it has given rise to everything we hold dear to us.  If you think you don’t need to learn or don’t realize how important it is you have to read my article on The Benefits of Learning.

Innate Ability to Learn

When you were born your brain was created by your DNA with all the tools necessary for it to fully function.  From when you were the size of a raisin your tiny little brain was growing and learning to support itself.  Even as an adult your brain is still well equipped to soak up information like a sponge.  When it comes to your genes the most important thing they gave us is the incredible ability to learn.

There are many factors that set us apart from other animals, but scientists have only scratched the surface of the great mysteries of the brain.  One thing is clear; the characteristic that widens the gap is our ability to observe, interpret, remember and influence our world.  By taking advantage of this, our ancestors have built upon centuries of information to get us to the technological marvel we are today.

You probably have learned many incredible things in your lifetime that you probably take for granted.  You learned how to walk, talk, read, write, think, and many other more specific things.  No matter how big or small, all of your experiences and achievements were a direct result of learning.

If you have learned how to do all of the things in that list, then you should consider yourself very lucky because mental illness is a serious issue that should never be taken for granted.  There are many illnesses that can severely debilitate people and place a major strain on those closest to them.  I have experienced this first hand with an adult relative who has the mind of a one year old.  It is very humbling to realize that true life is halted with the absence of learning.  The next time you want to give up because you think you are not able to learn think of the people who weren’t able to try.

Learning Disability

On the other end of the spectrum, Learning Disabilities are also a reality for many people.  They are very crippling and should not be taken lightly.  If you think you have a learning disability you should contact a doctor.  Being diagnosed with a learning disability is not the end of the world.  The Learning Disabilities Association of America is a great resource for anyone with a learning disability.  Having a disability means that you have to learn how to adapt to what works best for you.

Many people have overcome their disability to make great achievements including Galileo, Mozart, and John F Kennedy.  Those people have recognized the importance of learning and set their sights on bigger things in life.  They never let their inabilities hold them back from achieving greatness.  The most important thing is never to give up when faced with adversity.  There are many ways to reach the same point, but sometimes some are harder for others.

Everyone is unique.  Some things come naturally to some people but what these people lose is the experience and perseverance it took to climb the mountain.   Other people have to work harder to reach their goals making the view from the top much more breathtaking.  It’s up to you to find the best path among the ones laid out to you.

Growth Mindset

One of the most influential learning ideas of our time is the philosophy of the growth mindset.  It was discovered and highly researched by Stanford University psychologist, Carol Dweck.  The growth mindset has revolutionized education.  This book entitled, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, was written by Carol and explains in detail the concept of a growth mindset.  It is a must read for any parent, teacher, or leader.

The idea behind the growth mindset is that believing in the idea that you were not born smart actually holds you back from learning.  On the other hand believing that intelligence is based on your hard work and dedication actually accelerates your ability to learn.  The idea is quite simple, but it makes perfect sense because perception is everything.  The key point is that your level of intelligence is related to what you do and not how you were born.  If you want to read more about this subject is a website solely dedicated to spreading the benefits of this way of thinking.

Learning Skills

If you still don’t think you can learn or if you want to improve your ability to learn then my articles on how to learn and improve memory will give you the tools to start the fire.  They provide a list of resources to give you the right guidance to be a better learner.  If you want to prove to yourself that you can learn new things and break through that rut then subscribe to my newsletter as I outline a path to learning many useful subjects.

The next time you say “I can’t learn” think of all of those who haven’t been able to try.  A good exercise to show your brain that you are capable of learning is to sit and write all of the things you have learned in your lifetime (Nothing is too small).  The best thing you can do for yourself is to realize that you are the captain of your ship.  You don’t have to drift aimlessly in the ocean you can steer it to the port of intelligence.

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