Let’s be honest, learning isn’t fun…

Learning is hard

Learning is hard, it requires self-discipline to learn. But its a misconception today that learning should be fun & interesting and if it’s not fun, skip it and move on to something different. In fact, this is a big problem for the coming generation as they misconstrue that learning can only be when it’s interesting.

Whereas we know that initial attraction to a subject or activity is very different from actual learning. Actual learning requires hard work, self-discipline, and a lot of patience.

Learn what you are interested in, really?

As a student, if we only learn what we are interested in then we will never learn anything. Think about it, what have you learned in Maths? Guitar? any Subjects? unless you are pushed to learn, practice & kept working on it on regular basis.

Yes, the initial attraction may help to jump into it mainly because we get motivated by seeing toppers, seniors(parents), or successful people in that field but that’s just the first attraction, as soon as we dive in, if we don’t endure hard work and be patient we cannot learn & succeed.

As the saying goes

All “overnight” successes take 10 years of learning

– Jeff buzos

Yes, there are rare individuals (Gifted ones) who are born with deep interests in one area but still if they do not pursue it with willpower, they haven’t been successful. 

Another problem with “Learning what you are interested in”, is that our interest changes as we grow. It changes based on our environment, surroundings, and peers.

So if I truely follow my interests, I will not learning anything, as interests keeps changing.

Even kids today get too many choices in school. Today an eleven-year-old student is given many different options to choose from, Chess, Guitar (or any musical instrument), Cricket, Gymnastics, whatnot, you name it and it’s available in schools. Are they able to learn? Nope. Because of initial dabbling, they know a bit but couldn’t learn or perform it even to a basic level. 

Once the kid crosses an age, by giving choices and allow switching between them they develop the tendency to shift goals as soon as the hard part of learning starts. These choices and switching, also lead to Attention deficit, they cannot focus on one single thing for long.

I would rather that today’s schools let them focus on one thing and teach them to learn the subject or activity at a much deeper level. And be honest with them that learning isn’t fun.

When you know how to learn one thing, then you get good at learning, which goes a long way in life to achieve success.

The most successful people in the world are always lifelong learners. They fully understand that their level of education directly determines their quality of life.

-Jim Rohn

So what we can do as a student (If want to learn) or teacher, parent, or seniors guiding kids to learn?

Do lot of research on what you want to learn and why:

Before choosing any activity or subject understand what drives you and how it can be achieved by taking this path, do a lot of introspection. Do research on the subject or topic, the best part is in today’s digital era it’s easier to find a lot of details about any topics and then choose.

The end goal is to understand what you will achieve or envisage what you will become if you go down this path. In fact, this also helps keep us motivated to follow the path.

For kids, parents/teachers can help them envisage their dreams. Also what & how they want to do way forward and decide.

Apply brain as well as heart before choosing to learn.

Talk to seniors/experts in that field if possible:

Talk to seniors, teachers, or relatives who have already achieved a level and understand from them. What they feel after going thru the journey in this field? That will help you in deciding whether it suits you or not.

Once decided don’t switch or allow switching:

Learning anything big or small will have hurdles and need hard work, but unless we cross them we will not learn. Also apart from the subject or topic, the biggest learning is “How to learn”, which is very different for every individual, there is no set path. But continuous learning is the most important skill you need to develop for a successful life.

Environment impacts a lot:

Lastly get a good Mentor & Peers who are learning the same, this is the biggest reason to get into a good college, school, or community which has a renowned faculty and environment for that subject or activity. Moreover, this gives you a social nudge (Peers, Collagaes) to be motivated and keep learning and growing in the chosen field.

Follow a routine for learning:

Set a daily routine to learn, study, and practice. This will help make learning much easier than just random bouts of learning doses. Make it a habit, so that at later stages, if you want to learn something similar, you can just replace the current subject with a new one and fit into that habit…

Overall Learning is critical for achieving success, happiness, and freedom in life. So let’s ensure we learn “how to learn” and impart our coming generation(s) how to learn the best way possible.

Always remember:

“Whatever advancements happen the way of learning will be the same” 

Anonymous

Performance Goal vs Learning Goal

Getting an A in French class is a performance goal. Being able to speak French is a learning goal.

Both goals can fuel acheivement.

A performance goal (Getting higher grades) is effective for relatively straightforward problems but often inhibits one to apply the concepts to a new situation.

It gives a feeling of entitlement, If I clear IIT (A prestigious engineering exam) I am entitled to the bests in life (Which is far from true).

Performance goal leads to the entity theory, If I do this, I will get this. And is a system that requires a diet of successes otherwise we give up easily on the goal (Or change the goal). As it’s more extrinsic than intrinsic.

People, therefore, choose easy targets that, when hit, affirm their existing abilities but do little to expand them.

In Learning goals, one doesn’t have to feel that they’re already good at something in order to hang in and keep trying. After all, their goal is to learn, not to prove they’re smart.

It is more in the belief that ability is malleable and working harder is a way to keep getting better and better.

Given a choice between the two, always go for the learning goal, as it’s much more fulfilling and rewarding than the performance goal.

Distraction vs Traction…

Traction is any action that pulls us toward what we want to do or what we are interested in doing. These actions are done with intent and purpose.

Distraction, on the other hand, is an action that pulls us away from what we want to do or rather what we need to do.

So if kids want to watch TV to get distracted from studies or escape from studies. It should be a big NO.

But If s/he wants to play Video games it should be fine as long as it’s scheduled and meaningful. However, playing Video games to escape from their responsibilities is a distraction.

Distraction if remained unchecked can form a negative habit, whereas Traction changes the perception and makes it more meaningful and positive.

Traction can also be used with if…then rule…

If you complete your studies in time, then you can watch TV for one hour.

If you help me with kitchen, then I can allow you to play video game for half an hour.

Same is true for us, so …

If I can finish that office presentation, then I can watch TV for one hour.

So anything including digital devices or digital time can be made positive and purposeful if used in the right perspective and within limits i.e for Traction, not Distraction.

3 Key Lessons to teach our Children about Money

The way we handle our money in our working life determines how well or worse-off we are. Those with utter disregard for money, savings and investments, end up living a miserable post-retirement life.

I would say this is the most important lesson in life which some of us come to know when its a bit late.

Hence we should teach these lessons to our children as early as possible:

Lesson #1: Teach Them that Money is Earned by Hard Work

My kid thought that money is produced by ATM machines. Just punch how much you want and it will give out that much to you.

It is important to tell our children where the money is ‘actually’ coming from i.e., from hard work.

Also, I told him if he continues to expect the ATM for money to meet their never-ending desires, you (the caretaker parent) will one day run out of all money to meet their needs in the future.

Lesson #2: Teach Them the Virtues of Saving & Investing

Saving is a virtue, the benefits of which we realize only over a period of time. Thus it’s important for us to make our children early starters on this front. Let’s teach children that there’s more to money than just spending. And teach them by example – through your own saving habits.

So if your child wants to buy a computer game that most of his friends have, ask him what’s the cost of the same, and how much he would need to save every month to reach that target. If he understands this simple math, he will easily recognize the virtue of saving to meet a future spending goal. He will also realize that if he saves more every month, he will reach his target even faster.

Again lead by example here.

Lesson #3: Teach them About the Dangers of Debt

This probably isn’t a lesson a child of 6 or 7 years can understand. But teenagers can grasp this concept very well.

Tell them about loans, credit cards, and other debts. And how it works, if you a home loan or any kind of loan tell them with example concept of EMI etc.

They soon learn that making regular debt and interest payments reduce how much is left to pay for other stuff.

Overall, I think understanding the financial concepts specifically the above lessons are the much more important in life for your child than even the basic school concepts as this will help them grow financially which is what all of us are working towards….arent we?

Don’t Punish…

Adults who aren’t afraid to fail were once kids who didn’t get punished for experimenting with their ideas

Dont punish your child for experimenting ideas or playing wildly.

As Working Parents, Carve Out Some Time for Hobbies…

As working parents, we know that it’s important to take time for ourselves. But what does that actually look like in practice?

One option is committing to a hobby. It can help us relax and recharge, hone new skills, become a better problem-solver, and connect with our kids better. But to reap these benefits, we have to be diligent about carving out regular time in our busy schedule. Whatever is our interest areas — arts and crafts, exercising, or reading.

Most importantly let’s set aside regular time for it, at least one consistent hour each week to delve into them. Consider organizing a book club or a musical group, or joining an exercise class that we look forward to. Invite friends to join if possible. (These activities can be held virtually in case of social distancing right now.)

Once the schedule is set, let’s ensure to communicate the time commitment to our family, so everyone can respect it when it comes around each week. It’s our self-time, and it’s important to be vocal about what it means for us.