In my research, I have discovered that there are six easy ways to access the genius mind. Number one, create quiet time, time to listen, time to observe, time to dream. Two, look at your learning or any area of life from different viewpoints. Pretend you are a friend of yourself; how would you see it? Or pretend that you are a tree. How would you see it? Observe. Number three, ask questions. Number four, pay attention to details, for it is details that make the whole. Number five, do things differently. And number six, take time to listen.
For to listen is to hear the singing of the birds, the wind running, dancing, skipping through the trees. It is to hear what people are really saying. It is to be in tune with universal knowledge, receiving each answer as we ask each question. It is all there, if we listen. But in order to listen, we need to still our conscious mind and tune in. Refine our mind so that we may pick up finer and finer frequencies.
The truths of life are given to those who know how to listen, for only the listeners have stilled their ego enough to turn it off and put their attention elsewhere, acknow1edging that they do not know all but that they need to listen in order to learn more.
Let’s consider that there are different learning styles. “Know thyself” was taught by Socrates and is always in order for anyone wishing to learn easily, grow more, and develop his or her potential. Knowing our learning style is invaluable, for it helps us to identify quickly what we may need to do in order to learn and remember the material at hand easily.
There are tests available to help identify our learning styles. These are great, for they help give us ideas about ourselves and see things about ourselves. They help us to know more about how we learn. But they can also be limiting if we accept that we only have a certain type of learning style and do not move beyond that. It is not the tests that are limiting, but people boxing themselves in and saying, “I’m that type of learner,” without any further attempt at expanding.
Most people are a combination of styles, different styles for different areas of life. To expand our potential, we can choose to work with a way of learning or thinking that is normally not our first preference. My first mode of learning was visual, linear, whole picture, and multiple tasks. Auditory was my last mode of learning. I always wished the material put on tapes would be in a book so I could access it easier. Yet, I wanted to learn what was on the tapes, so I continued listening to tapes. Plus, I continued using auditory in my own music learning techniques. I have felt my auditory growing, but just a week ago I became aware that I was looking forward to listening to tapes, that tapes were becoming their own books, in my mind. I realized that my auditory had expanded to a new level.
To go into great detail about all the different styles of learning is beyond the scope of this article, but asking questions of ourselves will help us understand our preferences. Here are some of the questions: Am I devoted to getting facts? Do I figure things out logically? Am I more involved in answers and actions than in questions and theories? Am I sensitive to moods, atmospheres, and attitudes? Do I have a strong interest in people and communication? Do I prefer to work alone? Do I prefer to picture things rather than verbalizing them? Do I thrive on tension and chaos? Do I enjoy many possibilities?
Am I strong on procedure and order? Do I need to see the whole picture first, or can I immediately begin with the details? Do I need structure, or do I learn easily in unstructured situations? Do I skim-read several books on the topic, or do I start one book and read it thoroughly? Can I handle many books at a time? Is visual my first choice of learning? Is auditory my first choice? Is kinesthetic, the hands-on approach, my first choice? Do I need to write, make graphs and tables, or can I picture it in another fashion?
We may want to have a name for our learning style, but if we listen and write down what we prefer first, we discover that our learning style is usually clamoring to be used. For example, “I just have to feel it. I don’t get it until I do.” “Wait! I have to write that down.” “No, I have to see the big picture first.” What we need to do is listen, observe, and write down what we feel, and our style will start to come into focus.
Consider these questions and you will begin to understand the type of learning that suits you best.