Learning to learn as an adult


Sometimes, or often in our lives, we will be confronted with having to start all over again and having to learn to learn.

This can be frightening but not at all. If we accept from the start that life is all about falling and getting up again, then the relearning process tastes as good as your best hot chocolate or cocktail.

It is quite easy for a child who is learning to walk, to fall and get up again and again before learning to walk. If you apply the same scenario to an adult, most adults will give up quickly. So why have we changed as adults? Why are we resistant to change?

Firstly, we must understand how our adult brains function.

Contrary to children, adults need to understand what they are learning and to remain motivated.

Motivation is a key factor in adult learning.

There are 2 key reasons for adult motivation:

Intrinsic motivation. We are not learning because we are forced to learn, rather we are doing this for the pleasure of learning something new which is of interests to us.

Extrinsic motivation: We are learning because it is asked of us. This can be rewarded by bonuses at work, but often it is not the best solution, as what we produce is maybe good but creatively, it could be better. If we had been intrinsically motivated, it may have been better.


If you are considering learning to learn again as an adult, consider some of the following criteria to have a better result:

Understand your motivation

Be prepared to have to learn to walk again (in another way)

Determine the time you can allocate to your studies!

Find out if you have offline and online support

Be open to criticism

Consider the quality time you can allocate to your family

Be prepared to be self-directed in your education.


So, a penny for my thoughts: before you embark on a training as an adult, give it a long thought. 

Am I doing this for intrinsic or extrinsic motivation?

Do I have the time?

Am I prepared to change and criticism?

Do I have a family and virtual network to support me?

Am I self-directed?


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