One effective way in which you can use your brain to learn

How you learn

Learning does not require conscious attention on the topic., Whether consciously or unconsciously, there is not one living being out there that has not had to learn something at some point in their life. All our behaviour has been learned.

What I find interesting these days is how much emphasis people put on learning things consciously and how much they forget about just letting your unconscious mind take it all in.

In my own experience, learning takes much less of an effort when done unconsciously and is far more effective too. As Allan Watts illustrates in his great book The Wisdom of Insecurity:

“The rapid, effortless and almost unconscious solutions of logical problems are what the brain is supposed to deliver”.

A good example of this is when you get stuck with a problem that you cannot solve and then you find yourself in a completely different context (like exercising or walking home), and the answer just ‘hits you in the face’.

Give yourself some time

Sometimes learning comes to you in the moment, and sometimes it does not. Sometimes your unconscious mind might need some time to reorganise and to provide you with some options. What I find interesting is how, in this day and age where the world seems to be moving so fast, we act as if there is no time to wait for an answer ‘because we need it now‘.

Again, quoting Allan Watts in the same book:

“More and more we try to effect an adaptation to life by means of external gadgets, and attempt to solve our problems by conscious thinking rather than unconscious ‘know-how’. This is much less to our advantage than we like to suppose”.

Getting a quick fix to a rather important situation in your life ‘because you need an answer now’ is likely to bring you only temporary results. On the other hand, letting your instinct or unconscious mind take over and provide you with a range of learning options can be far more generative.

Being able to access your unconscious mind and let it provide you with all the resources that it already has is something that exceptionally effective people do on a consistent basis. In order to do this, you have to be aware of the signals that your mind and body give you when making decisions.

“The brain can only assume its proper behaviour when consciousness is doing what it is designed for being effortlessly aware of it (the present).” – Allan Watts

Remember, this is practical advice, not just another theory, so do go out and try it, and let me know how you went.

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