learning for the right reason
Learning can feel like a burden or like an amazing journey. Learning can be overwhelming or tremendously satisfying. Learning can bring anxiety of feeling “not being enough” or can make you feel whole. It all depends on the understanding of why do you learn a particular subject in the first place. I believe it is crucial to understand why are you learning a certain topic. In general, there can be several categories that motivate you to learn:
forced learning – I am learning because I was forced to learn either by system (school) or circumstances (lost job)
curiosity learning – I am learning to figure out if this subject interests me
ego learning – I am learning to feel worthy, to avoid uncertainty
zoomed learning – I am learning because I want to deepen my knowledge, expand my business
In my life, I have met people who were obsessed with learning for the sake of being “certified” not for the sake of being wiser. I have met people who were obsessed with learning for the sake of not feeling enough so learning was that patch that temporarily made them feel better about themself. I used to definitely fit in the latter group. Although this learning has definitely some short-term benefits and can impress a lot of people around you including temporarily yourself, it can also become a little prison of yours. Because once the shallow understanding is developed in the initial learning process, you need to rush for something else that would give you that dopamine spike and sense of worthiness again. It is almost like your brain has created a formula of self-worthiness: “I learn, therefore I am worthy”. I call this ego learning. Why many people chase academic success, are getting certified in all types of activities, buy so many books they can’t even read in multiple lifetimes, endlessly complete the latest greatest online courses, listen 2x speed the latest self-help podcast yet are unable to integrate that knowledge in their day to day lives? In many cases, I believe it is because there is certain emptiness they try to fill. A hole in their self-worthiness. A gap between who they are and who they think they should be. That they are not worthy but if they work hard they will be worthy one day. The “one day” is a problem. You can constantly work but never be happy, never be finished, never be satisfied. What is the remedy? Understand your motives and accept that no work will make you worthy. That self-worthiness starts inside, not outside. That internal trumps external. That you are already worthy, full and complete. It might sound too zen, but it is true. We just need to convince our own mind it is true. How? There is many ways, but maybe by reading one of the older articles:
So next time you will learn, understand your motives first by asking the right question: Is this forced/curiosity/ego or zoomed driven learning? If the answer is forced or ego learning, investigate deeply what are the root causes of this type of learning. Maybe you will find something else worthwhile of your time and learning will happen with much bigger passion and joy that will lead to happiness. Something we all seek at the end of the day.