August 14, 2012

Six Ways To Get Motivated To Learn.


When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.

Written by: Annie Murphy Paul

Maybe it's the August heat that's making us all droop, or maybe it's the looming start of school in September, but I've been fielding a lot of questions lately about motivation—how to get kids, or employees, or ourselves excited about learning. Fortunately, scientific research has provided us with a number of ways to get the learning juices flowing, none of which involve paying money for good grades. 

1. Fine-tune the challenge. We’re most motivated to learn when the task before us is matched to our level of skill: not so easy as to be boring, and not so hard as to be frustrating. Deliberately fashion the learning exercise so that you’re working at the very edge of your abilities, and keep upping the difficulty as you improve.

2. Start with the question, not the answer. Memorizing information is boring. Discovering the solution to a puzzle is invigorating. Present material to be learned not as a fait accompli, but as a live question begging to be explored.

3. Beat your personal best. Some learning tasks, like memorizing the multiplication table or a list of names or facts, are simply not interesting in themselves. Generate motivation by competing against yourself: run through the material once to establish a baseline, then keep track of how much you improve (in speed, in accuracy) each time.

4. Connect abstract learning to concrete situations. Adopt the case-study method that has proven so effective for business, medical and law school students: apply abstract theories and concepts to a real-world scenario, using these formulations to analyze and make sense of situations involving real people and real stakes.

5. Make it social. Put together a learning group, or find a learning partner, with whom you can share your moments of discovery and points of confusion. Divide the learning task into parts, and take turns being teacher and pupil. The simple act of explaining what you’re learning out loud will help you understand and remember it better.

6. Go deep. Almost any subject is interesting once you get inside it. Assign yourself the task of becoming the world’s expert on one small aspect of the material you have to learn—then extend your new expertise outward by exploring how the piece you know so well connects to all the other pieces you need to know about.

Comments or questions? I'd love to hear from you. Email me at And if you'd like to read even more about learning, you can visit my website, follow me on Twitter, and join the conversation on Facebook

Write Your Comment

  1. amit ahuja

    What a great article. I love your inspired blog. Thanks for nice sharing. soft skills training

  2. Sethu Raman

    Great article this article really inspired me to have a new look at my subjects now I will start to seek solutions and answers in a different way the article also inspired me to think before study a great and inspiring article . A must read article if you are a school or college student

  3. keder

    This was a really great blog I truly enjoy it, I gathered some good information I hope you don`t mind... I wrote a blog about it in the same line you can check it out and let me know what you think?

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