Learning and Experience
As I mentioned earlier, the unspoken primary goal of every person is to know, “who am I?”
This is the absolute truth but it would not be possible to attain the goal of knowing without life’s tools of learning and experience. We begin learning from the time we are in the womb until the time we lose our mental health. The body, brain and mind are all geared toward automatically learning from the environment, it’s hard wired in us so that our minds grow as we physically grow. A person with mental retardation and a learning disability will not likely ever be able to live on their own because learning is crucial to surviving independently.
Learning automatically takes place from the time we are in the womb; a mother reads to her tummy or places headphones with classical music on her tummy because studies have shown that the child’s ability to learn is positively influenced by the environmental experience.
As an infant, we learn how to effectively meet our many needs, such as for a diaper change, food, affection, etc., by simply expressing the physical need through crying for a parent. The baby learns that the automatic psychological crying expression of his or her physical need will cause the environment to send a warm and loving provider, making it more likely for the baby to cry next time to just simply have the environment send a warm and loving provider to satisfy his or her human need for affection. When a physical need must be met, the baby will experience distress that motivates the sudden expression of crying to produce psychological energy that motivates the environment to create an experience that meets the need.
I will explain the importance of needs in a moment but let’s continue with understanding life’s tool of learning which is required for a happy and satisfying life. From the time we are a baby, we begin automatically creating experiences to meet our needs by spontaneously having a crying spell to attract the loving provider to satisfy our need.
Learning is so vital to living life that a child will go through an intense phase of inquisition where “why” becomes the most frequently spoken word. The child is experiencing an intense urge to learn and know about the massive world around them. Many parents become frustrated and say, “because I said so” or something of that sort. However, I feel that this is a crucial moment to increase your ability to communicate with each other and your child’s ability to learn before he or she starts school.
Schools manifested into reality to satisfy and develop our ability to learn. We are put in school to develop our learning but more often than not, school doesn’t effectively teach us how to learn, only what to learn, memorization to spew back the right answers. This narrow and limited approach to learning actually turns people away from learning as adults.
The experience of learning was so crappy and unsatisfying that there’s no motivation developed from childhood to seek experiences of learning as an adult. Most adults say, “I know all I need to know” but nothing could be further from the truth.
Adults are usually deemed wiser than teenagers because adults have been automatically learning from every experience since before the teenager was born. Adults who say “I know all I need to know” really mean they don’t feel like writing, reading or thinking deeply, past experience has taught them that the process of learning isn’t interesting or rewarding enough to feel like doing it.
The reward is in the ability itself, including being able to know things beyond what you’ve directly studied and were unaware of, providing a sense of knowing things you didn’t know you knew. How interesting is it that a well developed ability to learn provides knowledge we don’t directly learn?
For example, my mother said a medical term in relation to her friends heart test results and I was able to describe the results of his test based on the medical term she previously said. She was shocked and asked, “how’d you know that?” I was kind of shocked too because I had the habit of always offering up the most logical explanation for things, even if I wasn’t certain, so when she said my explanation was what was printed on the paper in front of her, excitement and confidence struck strong only to suddenly disappear behind my blank stare. I was able to combine my limited knowledge of the heart, blood circulation and vocabulary to understand something i wasn’t previously educated on. I wondered, “what else don’t I know that I know?” “What else do I know that I just don’t know of at this moment?”
After having hundreds of questions like these bombard my mind and daydreaming about the experience I just had while blankly staring at the wall for 20 seconds, I came away with the feeling that I knew a lot more than I knew at this very moment. When our ability to learn is developed and constantly used, our minds can include knowledge that wasn’t directly learned. Over time, the very act of learning makes you smart not just by knowing what you studied but by knowing things beyond what you’ve studied.
Our mind has the ability to know about something before we experience it in any way or are even aware we know it. This experience supercharged my desire to learn how much I do know that is beyond the content of my academic material and my immediate awareness.
Life is all about experiences, learning how to more positively interact within them and how you create them. Many believe experiences automatically happen to us rather than believe that they are our own creations. It’s easier to believe experiences just happen to us because if we believe we create them, we must take responsibility for every experience we create, meaning we can no longer blame others for how we feel about any experience we have chosen to create and participate in.
We very easily and so frequently create experiences that they do not always appear in our immediate reality to be the result of our choosing and creation; they are likely a resulting manifested experience from our past choice to create a certain experience. For example, a friend may suddenly phone you to talk and it would appear as though you didn’t create that experience for conversation but you might want to think about that. The only reason the friend phoned was because you choose to be their friend; you choose to regularly and spontaneously phone your friend so he or she does the same. Your choice to have that person in your life is what allowed the possibility of the friend phoning experience to suddenly be created, so a long time ago you did create this experience by pursuing the friendship and it just now manifested.
You choose to call or how often you hang out with someone, you choose what and where to eat, what clothes you wear and buy, what you watch on television, where you work, etc.; we create experiences to satisfy our needs.
We become hungry and we create the experience of preparing food at home and eating it in front of the television or dining out.
You need to financially survive so you choose jobs to apply for and the car you buy.
We have the need to develop loving and affectionate social bonds, so we make friends, hang out with them and family and sometimes stumble upon a romantic partner.
The most influential need demanding satisfaction before we experience happiness is the need for accomplishment. Experiences that satisfy our need for accomplishment also provide confidence and a sense of direction in life. When this need goes unfulfilled an increase in feelings of insecurity and frustration are experienced.
When a child starts asking “why” a lot, this signals that the mind is ready to accomplish understanding more and it is now time to enter school to satisfy our need for accomplishment to grow. In school, we are constantly accomplishing doing homework, taking notes and tests and working on group projects.
When we leave school, the many supplied experiences that satisfy our needs for accomplishment suddenly have to be created and attended to by us. We never created the homework material, assignments and tests used to satisfy our need for accomplishment, so we often don’t understand how to create experiences to satisfy the need for accomplishment.
First, seeking my assistance is an attempt to create experiences to satisfy your need for accomplishment; second, frequently developing goals, writing them out and working toward attaining them will lead to experiences that satisfy your need for accomplishment. Developing and maintaining goals constantly is extremely important; if you see and read your goal written out on the counter, you’re more likely to be motivated to think about your goal and how to attain it, further motivating you by making you aware of what actions to take to attain it, making you more likely to take action from physically reading what actions were possible to take.
Goal setting alone is an important tool that can satisfy our need for accomplishment if we habitually follow through in completing them and in creating new ones to complete. Our need to attain goals is so strong that shoppers report a high from buying new things because it was a goal that accomplished attaining something new but since what is attained has no true value, the high wares off fast compared to buying a house of great value which has a high that hangs around.
If you’re truly sincere about changing, you have to be completely ready to learn and work hard on the habit of goal setting; if you aren’t ready, it’ll just be a waist of both our time. If you aren’t willing to do anything for change, you probably aren’t ready. I want my clients to be really serious about making change because I’m serious about helping them make change.