When did it become ok not to learn?

“I like challenges, cause I want to learn,” or “I would like to develop this and that…” I think at some point those where the standard lines in an interview. Don’t get me wrong! There’s nothing wrong about wanting to learn or wanting to have a job HR/Sale/Process or anything development. The fact is that not many have the resilience to put themselves into the spot to learn and adapt. It’s always easier to tell others how to do something than do it yourself.

Learn to learn

In my opinion, my husband is a learning machine. He picks up the newest tech subjects for presentations to learn them to give that session, keynote, or interview or simply craft a blog post, and it takes him a surprisingly short time to absorb the relevant data. (More of it here ) And I openly envy him about his capability <3

For me, writing has been something I needed to learn. It took a few months to get myself first writing at all, then a few more to write more frequently. Still, it takes me (at least compared to my husband) a long time to produce a somewhat decent blog post, but I’m getting faster. Slowly but surely.

Why people don’t want to learn?

In the digital era, asking for help from an expert around the globe is relatively easy. That makes avoiding learning easy. If you always get the answer from someone else, all you will learn is finding people who can answer you. Generally, it’s not that bad, but has it become ok not to learn anything by yourself?

Reasons for not learning

At times when you’re repeating the same thing from 10th time, you start thinking, damn, why or why I have to say this again? The constant transformation and continuous change of tools and methods force us out of our comfort zone. We should be used to that, but instead, it seems we don’t have any energy to spend to figure where we are going and why. We seem to be satisfied when we get answers without having to see the trouble thinking about the solution to our problem. Maybe we’re too afraid to learn.

Fear indeed has a paralyzing effect on the body so that even though we are willing to do certain things, fear can physically prevent us from pursuing a certain course of action. Or maybe we cannot see the long term benefit of learning, and we become unmotivated to complete our journey.

Thinking about the unwillingness to learn, I came up with three primary reasons:

  • People don’t think they’d need to learn anything new.
  • Or know they’d need to learn anything new.
  • They don’t want to learn from or because of you.

“I don’t think I need to learn anything new “

Do you know that “I know it all” – type? Frustrating, right? Arrogance is typical in leadership, but also among those who need to be led. Many feel they are in a position because they are the only ones who could do the job or at least have the knowledge. Everyone around them knows it’s not true, but they can’t see it. So why should this natural-born specialist care or need to learn from others, since they aren’t willing to admit or see they have anything to learn?

“I didn’t know I needed to learn anything new “

The other side of the coin is ignorance. We’ve all been there at times! So many times I’ve assumed I had the answers already. I wasn’t interested in learning more because I didn’t know there was more to learn. The development ends with satisfaction said Jari Sarasvuo, CEO of the Finnish company called Trainers’ House already years ago. You can fix some of the ignorance with maturity, age, and experience. And there are times we don’t think we need to know anything new because we don’t see what’s missing.

“I don’t want to learn from you”

It doesn’t sound nice, but you, as a leader, are a more common reason for a reluctance to learn than you know. That is usually very hard for leaders to accept. The reason could be a personal, relational issue, or an organizational position issue. It might merely be a chemistry clash, but it keeps them from desiring to learn from you or because of you. 

Learning pitfalls can change based on a subject

When you look at the people around you, you most likely can spot someone in every category. You might also be able to recognize someone who belongs to all of those categories, depending on the subject. Sometimes, it’s easier for others to spot your maneuvers. So if you have a colleague who doesn’t see his or her pitfalls, offer that person a favor and say something, but be gentle.

Learning as a habit

Looking at my husband and the way he has learned to learn, and most of all, the way he can use the information in his everyday life reminds me that it did not come easily nor quickly. Now, when the process of learning exists, it’s an advantage that only a few possesses, and it benefits him.

I, on the other hand, am still on my journey to learn how to make learning my habit. I want to find the internal motivation and resilience not to take the easiest way but the most sustainable way of managing, and above all increasing my personal know-how.

Have you found yours already?

50 comments on “When did it become ok not to learn?

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      I try to pick up subjects that I’d be passionate about in a discussion with someone. I’m writing to learn how to write and be better at that, so one could say I’m writing to myself.
      I’m not yet as an experienced writer and as a mother of a toddler, my priorities can change in a heartbeat.
      I’m using WordPress theme Bayleaf and it took about 6 hours for me to set it up. (I got help from my husband who is nerdier 🙂)
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