Myths about Learning we need to Stop

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

If you’ve ever thought that you can stop learning when you graduate school, then you’re in for a surprise because the truth is that, we never really stop learning. You see though it’s true that we formally stop learning when we graduate school or university, we never truly stop learning. Think about it, when you enter the workforce, you’re learning about how to navigate the professional environment; something that you’ve never had to do or learn in school, or when you start your own business, you begin to learn all aspects of management and not just focusing on a single thing. Learning is a lifelong process that, once you embrace it, will provide you with one of life’s greatest joys in accumulating knowledge.

So let me try and break down some of the biggest myths when it comes to learning.

  1. Intelligence is fixed

Believe it or not, intelligence is not pre-determined. I’ve met many people in my life and my journey as an entrepreneur, and if there’s one thing that I can vouch for, it’s that your intelligence is limited only to how much you want to grow it. Sure, we all start with different baselines, and sure, some of us have a higher baseline than most, but like everything else in life, if you set your mind to it, there’s nothing in this world that you couldn’t do! Read books, talk to people you think are smarter than you, continuously upgrade yourself and your capabilities and you’ll be amazed at how far you can go. After all, the sky IS the limit.

2. We only use 10% of our brains

This one for some reason is one of the most popular myths out there when it comes to learning. Not only is it damaging because it lets people think that they’re smarter than they think they are because if they can achieve their goals with 10% of their brains, imagine what they can do if they unlock 100% of it. Unfortunately, though, studies have shown that we use 100% of our brains 100% of the time. This means that our brains are always operating at their maximum capacity to help us navigate through life and to help us achieve our goals.

3. Mistakes are failures

Okay, this one is quite common because, especially here in Asia, we have been conditioned to see mistakes as failures. We get punished when we give out the wrong answers in school, and though mistakes are often seen as a negative thing, it doesn’t need to be because, here’s the thing; we all make mistakes, and making mistakes is just an inevitable part of the human experience. We all make mistakes. But rather than focusing on our mistakes and seeing them as failures, wouldn’t it be much better and much more productive for us to see those mistakes we made as an opportunity to learn? To better ourselves in the future so we don’t make the same mistakes twice? The truth of the matter is that we need failure in our lives, it teaches us to be better in the process and becomes a part of our success story so we can appreciate the success that we achieve.

4. Knowledge is power

This one is interesting in the sense that, though it’s true that knowledge is power, it doesn’t really mean anything unless we know how to apply that knowledge into actions, right? I mean, think of it this way, if you know the theory on how to make a car unless you put that knowledge into action and actually build a car, it wouldn’t be too good for anything now, would it? And with that, sure, knowledge IS power, but actions will always speak louder than words.

5. Learning new things is difficult

We often hear that learning new things is quite a difficult thing to do because, to be quite honest, it is! It’s not difficult in the sense that it’s near impossible for us to learn new things, it’s hard in the same sense that making new habits is a rather difficult thing to do. You need to be consistent at it and keep practicing to get better and better at it. It’s like learning to play a new musical instrument or a new sport; hard, but not impossible. You can achieve anything you set your mind towards, and learning is simply no different.

6. Criticism matters

Though it’s true that accepting outside criticism can help us improve, you don’t always have to pay any attention to them. This is because although listening to criticism from those around you is a good way to make progress and improve yourself, we can’t escape from those with ill intentions. Sometimes people will criticize you for the sake of it. These are what you need to avoid and not pay any mind to because they don’t and won’t do anything significantly good for you in the present nor in the long run.

7. People are born geniuses

We often hear this one as people say that geniuses are born and there’s nothing you can do to get to that level, but the truth of the matter is that they aren’t. Just like skilled musicians, geniuses are made through consistent practice and learning and a healthy amount of curiosity. Geniuses are not born, they are made through consistency.

Learning is one of those things that people will just invent myths for to hide from their shortcomings. And though it’s true that It’s not the easiest thing in the world to do, as long as you’re willing and you’re consistent, there’s nothing that you couldn’t do if you set your mind to it. So what are you waiting for? Go pick up that book you’ve been wanting to get!

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Personal Branding Coach and Creator of House of Leaders, a leadership community with 1.3million followers on Instagram.

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Brilliant Liu

Brilliant Liu

Personal Branding Coach and Creator of House of Leaders, a leadership community with 1.3million followers on Instagram.

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