The Secret Mindset Shift That Will Make You A Better Learner

Fab Giovanetti by Elijah O’Donnell on Unsplash

I have been blessed in my family with both my grandad and my brother being self-taught musicians.

My grandad could play five different instruments, including the banjo. I asked him to teach me more than once, but his answer would always be the same:

“I have nothing to teach you that you cannot learn yourself”

I’d sit next to him whilst he was playing, trying to replicate some of my favourite songs. He once told me that is exactly what my brother would do.

When you are fully immersed in the environment, culture, or world you want to learn from, learning becomes almost second nature.

By creating a structure that allows you to create an achievable, structured way of learning (for more information about breaking big tasks into chunks, head back to habit one, when talking about breaking goals into smaller tasks).

Make sure you are looking at the task as a whole, then breaking it down into very small units.

This will also allow you to slow down your pace, and therefore learn more effectively.

Another important aspect of learning is the motivation that propels you to go forward.

That tiny voice that keeps telling you it’s all worth it. This is also why I am not a massive fan of learning-overload.

Commit to a new skill, practice, course, and let that be your sole focus until you feel you are at the level you wish to get to. Motivation gets diluted, tiredness, and discouragement kick in, and it’s harder to follow through.

Highly influential people seem to agree with me, as 70% of them state to be “sort of obsessed with a specific topic right now, and that obsession helps me succeed” (Make an Impact)

Do you want to become better as a creative?

Become obsessed with learning first, and then become obsessed with what you are learning.

Why are you learning what you are learning?

“I have learned that champions aren’t just born; champions can be made when they embrace and commit to life-changing positive habits.” ―Lewis Howes

When I asked Niki Webster, recipe developer, and cookbook author Rebel Recipes, about why she decided to study as a health coach, her response was quite telling:

”It’s something I thought about for a long time before deciding to study. Two main reasons: Enhance my nutritional knowledge in a more formal way. Ie get a qualification. The holistic approach to health is very important to me. I wanted to develop my coaching skills. For myself and others.”

Whatever it is that you want to improve, you’ll only get there if you change yourself first.

What is the quickest way to do that?


Habits shape us. Not only how we act, but who we are, is, to a large extent, defined by our habits.

By making learning a new habit, you can include it in your daily routine without making it yet another task in your to-do list.

Learning should be as much your drive to grow as a person, as it should be your interest in widening your horizons.

Learning is, after all, a very fine form of self-development.

When Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, embarked on his quest to truly understand the nature of success, he began by immersing himself in some 200 years worth of literature on the topic, starting from 1776.

Based on his study he concluded that generally speaking, there are two ways to strive for improvements to your life.

The first method is to work on the skills necessary for the behavior you desire.

This is what we see more often when wanting to develop any kind of personal skills — for example, if you are looking to deliver speeches in public, you’ll work on your communication skills.

This is what he calls the personality ethic: a method particularly popular since the 1920s but very often considered a shortcut.

A lot of people use this method instead of working on their character and therefore miss an incredibly valuable piece of the puzzle when it comes to the learning experience.

In all truthfulness, the second method, which focuses on your core habits and belief systems, is what should be addressed first.

How beliefs can help you become a better person

“Depending on what they are, our habits will either make us or break us. We become what we repeatedly do.” ―Stephen Covey

Covey argues that working on your beliefs should be paramour.

Once you are able to recognize and analyze the beliefs that form your view of the world, you’ll be able to understand which skills you want to develop, and for which purpose.

This aspect, called the character ethic, encourages people to get clear on which values they want to prioritize in their life, such as courage, integrity, and the golden rule.

This approach is the one that has been identified before the 1920s — like, for example, in the writings of Benjamin Franklin.

Using what you learn as a way to learn more about yourself, is what can be utilized to learn new skills, enrich your knowledge base, and overall feed into your expertise and grow credibility.

I was interested in exploring the dynamic of working together as a pair.

When asking the duo of creatives Hannah and Emily (from Twice the Health) they shared:

”We are both very aware of our strengths and weaknesses and luckily a lot of our weaknesses can be strengthened by the others skills. It’s not always easy, but we are certainly getting better at listening to each other and recognising who knows best. We can both be a little stubborn, but I guess that’s something to work on right?“

I recommend everyone to revise their core values at least every six months.

Values can be family, love, commitment, freedom, success, expansion, and so on.

Learning can often be mistaken as the need to learn something new about the world when most often the best learning we can do is the one about ourselves.

All the PhDs in the world will not stand the test of time if you do not allow yourself to learn exactly who you are, what are your core values, and how you want to enrich the world through them.

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