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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Thursday's Psychology Research Results Part V: Note To Younger Self: Keep Learning

Thought for the Day: Somehow I feel like I’m playing catch up lately. My clinical work has been busy and there have been several critical incidents which impact on my writing time. Perhaps by trying to do qualitative clinical research, I have slowed down my process as well. The richness of conversations with readers has been worth it to me and I will be posing additional questions soon. Here’s the last group of responses to the question: "If you could write a note to your younger self, what would you say in just two words?” (You may want to take a look at the other posts in this series to get the full picture.  Part I: Results From Advice To Your Younger Selves: What Makes Us Regret Our Youth?Part II: What Makes One Person Survive And Thrive & Another Bend & Surrender? & Part 3: Mind Games Or How Do We Learn To Trust Ourselves? Part !V: Are You A Social Learner An Action Taker Or Both?)

In my mind, I have saved the best for last. I must say that I am a bit prejudiced since this group shared my two word advice to my younger self. I did not want to share my to word choice till the end, since I wanted to hear your thoughts without influencing yours. There were only seven out of 73 respondents who saw education as key to gaining insight and wisdom in life. 

Although I have put this group into a separate category, it actually belongs in at least two of the other groups, the Mind Gamers and Action Takers as well. I called this group “Eduction As the Answer.” They like the Mind Gamers encourage their younger selves to not only trust themselves, but to keep learning. They are also action takers who focus on learning, education, the pursuit of the truth and focusing deeply as the kinds of action needed. As one person said “Education = Survival.” 

They came to this decision for various reasons. Some of the people in this group learned the hard way after making mistakes in their younger years. One of the responders said, 
"I regret every decision I have ever made in my life without prior knowledge and learning, consideration and thought. Mistakes made at the beginning of anything are difficult and sometimes impossible to recover from. Knowledge before action is my greatest life lesson.” 
Another person in this group, realized later in life that she should have studied harder when she was younge. She was struck by a disease in her thirties which impacted on her memory. She wonders now whether the disease would have done less harm if she had been more diligent as a student in her younger years. 

For me the words “keep learning” have been a mantra from when I was a young curious child who loved to read. My grandmother encouraged me to cherish every opportunity to learn. She was the youngest 85 year old woman when she passed away, I have ever known because she practiced what she preached. She never stopped learning and challenging herself. The more you learn the more prepared you will be for any of life’s challenges. Although formal education is important, I believe there are opportunities to learn from every person you meet and from any and all life experiences. Mistakes are simply opportunities to learn and correct them. 

In some ways this response is an answer to the people who are in the "Defeatist" group. If they could learn that it is never too late to learn and correct mistakes they would be able to overcome their negative attitude towards life. It can also be helpful for parents (or grandparents) to help inspire them to grow and learn throughout their lives, but it can also help each of you as you face life's challenges and regrets with new conviction and determination. Have a wonderful weekend!

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