The curious thing about loving the learning life
Updated: Feb 26
One of my favourite end-of-day wellbeing activities is the GLAD exercise. As you wind down, take a moment to take stock and reflect on something from your day that you:
G: are Grateful for
D: Delighted in
The aspect that I often find the most challenging, but also fulfilling, is reflecting on what I have learnt. This is a reminder that every day, no matter how dull, is an opportunity to expand our minds and gather new information.
Both formal and informal learning of new things moves us to consider the broader context of our lives, which in turn "develops new interests, provides new opportunities, and thereby generates purpose, hope, self-esteem, self-efficacy, and personal growth" and builds increased resilience to adversity.
So what's the secret sauce to learning?
In order to learn we need to remain open-minded and curious. A person with high levels of the character strength of curiosity is likely to have a high zest for life and enjoy exploring and new experiences. Curiosity helps us to survive, stay happy, achieve great things, empathise and keep strong relationships.
Studies of curiosity have consistently shown its strong positive correlation with happiness across ages and cultures, and its connected to intelligence, life longevity, meaning and good relationships.
Curiosity also ensures, that know matter how much we have learnt, we understand there are always more possibilities and different perspectives to consider. Adam Grant's powerful new book Think Again is an important call to beware of certainty and stay open to think again, un-learn and re-learn. This never-ending process helps us to maintain curious, open minds that aren't afraid to be proven wrong because every time we learn that we have been wrong, we get a little smarter and more evolved.
"The purpose of learning isn't to reaffirm our beliefs, it is to evolve our beliefs" Adam Grant.
If you think you have room for more curiosity and learning in your life, try these suggestions:
The G.L.A.D activity is a great reminder and conversation prompter at the dinner table.
This article has some great tips including to add a daily reminder to your phone to "try something new". New experiences, new books, new foods, new locations, new people are all learning experiences waiting to fill your mind with new possibilities.
Think about something that you are particularly curious about and make a commitment to yourself to explore it thoroughly.
This article explains how you can embrace boring and become a "thinkerer".
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