How Your Brain Works: The Power & Challenge of Studying

piano-ology-how-your-brain-works-the-power-and-challenge-of-studying-featured-photo-by-eliott-reyna-on-unsplash Photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash

Assuming that something is worth learning… and assuming that we’ve given an honest effort to do so… the reason we typically fail to learn something is not because we are stupid or untalented…

It is because we did not STUDY the right things the right way.

To that end, consider the following insights and implications regarding what it means to STUDY:

  • You cannot learn much if you passively expose yourself to something and hope it magically seeps in somehow.
  • If you want to master something, you have to study it.
  • Studying is a conscious, active process that takes insight, commitment, discipline, energy, and concentration. That is why studying is so rare.
  • Studying is what separates serious students from the rest.
  • Studying requires you to cultivate a life-enhancing suite of attitudes and habits.
  • You learn things faster when you study.
  • Material that is studied, rather than merely “memorized”, will be permanently stored in your memory.
  • Material that is studied, rather than merely “memorized”, will be remembered under pressure.
  • Studying makes you smarter. The fruits of studying go well beyond the immediate material mastered. Studying now makes it easier to learn other things later.
  • Studying the right way leads to mastery. Studying leads to feelings of competence, self-worth, and confidence that grow with each genuine accomplishment.
  • You don’t want to study harder; you want to study smarter.  And you study smarter by learning how your mind operates and by changing your study habits accordingly.
  • Studying requires your active participation. You cannot just watch.  You must do.
  • New things are most easily learned when they are related to things you already know.  One component of studying is finding and making these connections.
  • Your brain is not one organ, but many. Studying taps into as many of these organs (intelligences) as are needed to master something in all, not just some, of it aspects.
  • You learn more and you learn better with focused attention for one minute than you do with superficial exposure for weeks or months or even years.
  • Studying requires focused attention. Focused attention is hard mental labor. It takes lots of energy that will wear you out, but this feeling of work is the very evidence that learning is occurring at a very deep level.
  • Studying is a prerequisite for mastery and requires energy that can only be fueled by one thing that all masters have in common: love for what they are doing!
  • Studying is harder work than not studying, but it is not as hard as you think.
  • When you study the wrong way, learning is hard and no fun and it takes a long time to learn something. When you study the right way, learning is enjoyable and it takes a short time to learn something.
  • Studying is a choice, not a talent.
  • So, are you ready to study?

learn more… The ABC View of Intelligence