Surprisingly little is known about how our brains learn and remember a phone number, a friend’s face, a familiar melody, a complex motor skill, or a shocking event. Miraculously, we seem naturally wired to do so. In fact, the processes our brains use to seek, interpret, organize, store, retrieve, and relate sensations and information are almost entirely unconscious. And they are so powerful that they need not ask permission from our conscious minds to do so.
But, while we cannot control the unconscious, behind-the-scenes workings of our brains directly, we can control what and how we feed this powerful and mysterious organ. To that end, we introduce the critically important notion of STUDYING… and highlight how it relates to learning:
- LEARNING is an unconscious, passive process beyond our control.
- STUDYING is a conscious, active process within our control.
Learning how to STUDY… by feeding our hungry brains meaningful and useful things in an appropriate way… is essential to the mastery of any complex skill… and has the power to make learning efficient, enjoyable, and self-sustaining.