Many Students focus more on learning what they are taught in school and pay less attention to the importance of self-education. That’s why, after leaving school, many consciously or sub-consciously stop learning. The truth is that education extends beyond the boundaries of classrooms and textbooks.
This means learning should not end with graduation. It should be a lifestyle. Every day presents an opportunity to learn and develop personally.
Self-education is about continuous improvement and becoming a better version of ourselves. To achieve this, we must become intentional learners and students of life.
7 Ways To Become an Effective Student of Life
Question Everything: Always remember this: the things you don’t know are often linked to the questions you haven’t asked. Don’t simply accept things at face value because, in reality, many aspects of life are not as they seem.
Be curious and ask questions. Seek answers beyond the widely accepted beliefs and traditions. Challenge the status quo and dig deeper to find your own truth. Avoid relying on safe or biased solutions, as that can close your mind to discovering new perspectives and ideas. Stay open-minded and inquisitive on your learning journey!
Read Wide: Like I said in the introduction, don’t limit your learning to just your academic subjects or future job. It’s vital to have a broad understanding of the world around you. Pay attention to things that interest you and even those that don’t, as sometimes we realize we don’t know as much as we thought when it truly matters. The solution to this is simple: Read! Read as much as you can.
Keep expanding your knowledge every day, and never be content with what you already know. Stay curious and eager to learn more. The internet makes this easier than ever before, as there’s a wealth of valuable information and knowledge available if you know where to look. So, keep feeding your hunger for knowledge and keep learning every day.
Approach Issues With An Open Mind: Learn to approach issues with an open mind, not a biased one. Avoid assuming you already know everything, as you might be mistaken. Making assumptions hinders true wisdom. Instead, refrain from automatically assuming something is true just because you’ve always believed it or were taught to believe it.
Take the time to consider various perspectives and base your judgments on facts, not on preconceived ideas and prejudices. Keeping an open mind and seeking the truth will lead to a deeper understanding of the world around you.
Reflect More: Learn to reflect on your thoughts and experiences, both positive and negative. Life teaches us valuable lessons every day, but we often miss them because we’re not mindful enough. Take a moment to seek the lessons in everything you experience—there’s always something to learn.
Reflecting allows you to understand the messages life is trying to convey through your thoughts and experiences, whether they are personal or not. It helps you learn from your mistakes and gain valuable insights to improve yourself.
By examining your life, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you. Remember the wise words of Socrates: “An unexamined life is not worth living.” So, take the time to reflect and learn, and it will lead you to a more fulfilling and enriching journey of personal growth.
Increase Your Level of Awareness: To learn from life, you must be genuinely interested in what’s happening around you. Pay attention to people and events with curiosity. Don’t just passively interact with your surroundings; become an active participant, not just an observer.
Stay present in the moment and be aware of your environment. Notice the small details that others might overlook or ignore. Sometimes, the most significant lessons come from those seemingly “little things.” So, stay engaged and open to learning from every experience life presents to you.
Learn From “others’ Wisdom”: I’ve come to realize that each of us possesses a unique body of knowledge. We all understand things differently based on our experiences and exposures in life. Some individuals have learned valuable lessons through challenging experiences. However, you don’t have to go through all they have endured to gain the wisdom life has taught them (some experiences may be too difficult or even dangerous).
When you meet people who have valuable life lessons to share, it’s evident from their words and experiences. You don’t need a fortune teller to tell you. Take the time to listen to what they have to say because they are likely speaking from personal experiences.
Confucius once said, “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is the noblest; second, by experience, which is the bitterest; and third, by imitation, which is the easiest.” In simple terms, he meant that the easiest way to gain wisdom is by learning from the experiences of others. So, when you encounter such people, be open to learning from their experiences, as it can be a valuable and safer way to acquire wisdom.
Explore Your World: Be adventurous and explore! Sometimes, the best way to learn is by getting involved in things. Life is all about experiencing and participating. Engage in meaningful activities where you can put what you’ve learned into practice. This allows you to see what works and what doesn’t.
Take the opportunity to travel and meet people from different cultures. Trying new things helps you discover hidden aspects of yourself and life that you might not have known otherwise. Embrace exploration and expand your horizons. Through this, you’ll not only recognize your flaws, faults, weaknesses, and strengths, but you’ll also continuously update your understanding of the world.
Remember, self-education involves exploring and engaging with the world around you. So be curious, take risks, and be open to new experiences.