Learning how to improve the function of your mind revolves around your ability to learn. There are 10 essential skills which will increase the capability of your mind. Here is a core learning skills program to help you bolster your learning ability.
In order to reach our full potential we need the proper self-awareness tools and techniques. When we use the right tools, we remove roadblocks to our growth. In fact, using the proper tools will boost your ability to learn, retain, and use knowledge.
It’s easier to do than you’ve been led to believe. Because the lower the level of your functioning, the easier you are to control. A lot of people and organizations want to control what we think, so they can sell us things. If you can learn to spot these tactics, they can’t control as easily.
What Are Learning Skills?
Self-Awareness Tools And Techniques
- our level of awareness
- the capacity of memory
Developing a Core Learning Skills Program
Most people can easily diagnose their weak learning skills by reading the definition. There are more elaborate tests that can confirm what you need, but you don’t need this level of detail to know where you should start.
What you need to know is your learning skill with the least level of capability determines your general learning level. This is your learning blind spot. Consequently, if you enhance your blind spot, you increase your overall learning ability. Here’s an alphabetical list of the skill sets and things you can do to enhance your thinking. With this in mind, read the following list of skills and find your blind spot. Find out where you need to place your efforts.
1) Abstract Thinking
Abstract thinking is one of the most overlooked skills in the modern world, because it is easy to find things using the internet. While the internet is useful for some things, it eliminates the need for abstract thought and problem solving. It also reduces our use of memory. Because of this, abstract thinking is an important part of any core learning skills program. In simple terms, it involves the ability to understand and use complex concepts where the causal connection is weak or not immediately apparent.
For example, we see aircraft in the sky every day, but few people can explain the formula for flight. Here is basics. The maximum height of an object, given the initial launch angle and the initial velocity is found with a simple formula. The formula is: (h=v2isin2θi2g h = v i 2 sin 2 θ i 2 g). Similarly, the time of flight of an object, given the initial launch angle and the initial velocity. We find this with the formula: (T=2visinθg T = 2 v i sin.)
You may not understand above equations. You may not understand the science behind other complex theories like evolution and climate change. However, just because you do not understand something doesn’t mean they are wrong. Still, that doesn’t stop some people from expressing their uninformed or misinformed opinions about the subject. Don’ be one of these people.
This is the ability to respond quickly to change. Adaptability is a trait shared by successful people. Because of this, it one of the most sought skills for employers. To be adaptable, one must be able to consider known and unknown variables.
3) Analytical Thinking Abilities
Analytical thinking is a common sense approach to problem solving. It is a skill set which involves analyzing data using simple math and logic. It includes learning how arguments are used and how to spot their misuse. In addition, critical thinking skills leverage intuitive thinking skills as well. It enables one to brainstorm, detect patterns, and interpret data in different ways. The core of critical thinking focuses on logic and rational thinking.
4) Attention Control
This is the ability to choose what to focus on and what to ignore. It is the ability to focus on complex tasks for long periods of time. Moreover, attention control is a key component of perception (1). In essence, this is the platform for decision-making which produces the best outcomes. There are three levels of attention control: sustained, selective, and alternating.
First, the ability to sustain attention enables us to concentrate on complex tasks for long periods. Next, selective attention enables us to ignore unnecessary data or distractions to maintain concentration. Last, alternating attention enables us to shift focus between different things. It isn’t easy to cultivate these attention control skills because we live in a culture dominated by the advertising industry. They promote a short attention span to drive impulse buying decisions.
5) Cultivate the Ability to Deal with Ambiguity
We don’t always have all the data or the time to find all the data, but still need to make decisions which have a large effect on our lives. When you can deal with the uncertainties and ambiguities of life, you can cope more effectively with change. You can handle risk and doubt and still make quality decisions.
Flexibility and adaptability are skills we can cultivate. Here, we must first identify and remove the barriers preventing clear thinking. Another key point we mentioned before, prejudice, bias, and racism are barriers to thinking.
Learning to maintain emotional equilibrium in stressful situations is critical to dealing with ambiguity. This, too, is a skill you can learn.
6) Memory Enhancement
If we were to list these skills in order of importance, this would be number one on the list. After all, our memory is the foundation of your core learning skills program. Furthermore, there are several memory enhancement techniques which enable us to create a memory palace. It is well-worth the time and effort to learn how to create memory peg-board systems.
7) Goal Setting and Planning
Goal setting and planning are skills of “follow through.” In other words, a good planner learns to follow through with their good intentions. Goal setting involves following through to a specific objective. You have a better chance of reaching any goal if you write it down. You have a better chance of reaching your goal if you have a viable plan to get there.
Here are the secret formulas:
First, create written SMART goals with reasonable plans to accomplish them. SMART is an acronym for goal setting:
- Achievable or Actionable
- Reasonable or Relevant and
- Time sensitive
If your goal AND your plan to reach them have these elements, you are more likely to reach the final objective.
Second, by all means, break your big goals into smaller objectives and timeframes.
If your goal is to be a PHD in physics. Start by finding out what courses you need to get a bachelor’s degree. Is your goal reasonable? Do you have an aptitude for the subject?
8) Inhibition Control
The ability to control instinctual urges and substitute healthy for unhealthy or relevant for irrelevant activities is an important asset. It involves being able to control thoughts, attention, and emotions. We are not trying to ignore these impulses, but inhibit automatic responses.
This is one of the self-awareness tools and techniques companies use to train executives. You learn it too. Sit with another person and get them to pretend they are angry. Then, you practice controlling your emotions and deescalate the situation. It is without a doubt a valuable skill to learn.
With this in mind, practice hard job interview questions in the same manner with a mirror. Learn to control nervousness and the use of filler language which detracts from your answer.
9) Self and Social Awareness
Self-awareness and social awareness are skills which enable us to leverage the benefits of a healthy mindset and relationships. When we increase our self-awareness, it also illuminates those character traits that we need to repair or replace. If you don’t know these defects exist, you cannot address them.
For this reason, increasing self-awareness helps us navigate the complexities of relationships. Healthy relationships make life more meaningful.
10) Sensory Learning Skills
We have five senses which we can leverage along with our imagination to expedite learning. Many learning platforms are based on auditory and visual input. We can learn to augment this by using our imagination to add kinesthetic, taste and smells. The more connections we make to new information the easier it is to learn and to remember.
Sensory learning is a subset of memory enhancement. When we emotion to the mix, we have a powerful learning system.
The five senses have physical limitations. However, the imagination has no limitations. Perceptual learning involves exercises to enhance observational skills.
“Perceptual learning then refers to an increase in the ability to extract information from the environment, as a result of experience and practice with stimulation coming from it. That the change should be in the direction of getting better information is a reasonable expectation, since man has evolved in the world and constantly interacts with it. Adaptive modification of perception should result in better correlation with events and objects that are sources of stimulation as well as an increase in the capacity to utilize potential stimulation.” — Gibson E.J. Century Psychology Series. Meredith Corporation; New York, NY: 1969. Principles of perceptual learning and development (2)
It’s never too late to enhance the abilities of the mind. Pick the learning mode from the list above, which is your blind spot. If you can increase your blind spot, you increase your overall learning ability. When you learn, you improve your life.
(1) Fundamental components of attention: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17417935/
(2) Principles of perceptual learning and development: https://www.worldcat.org/title/principles-of-perceptual-learning-and-development/oclc/49911