Yes, it may sound contradictory but, then again, it’s kind of obvious, as soon as we feel/think we know something, our mind stops trying to understand it, i.e., stops learning.
But first, let’s make it clear that ‘knowing’ something or about something does not necessarily mean understanding it. This has become an exponential problem thanks to technological breakthroughs that provide us with immediate ‘knowledge’ without any need to understand anything other than the desired answer or outcome. This, in turn, has led to a continuous decrease in our mood/desire/need to learn about anything.
So, how can we develop and maintain a Continuous Learning Mood (CLM)?
The simple answer is by turning off the knowledge switch in our mind. Well, how in the world do you do that?
The best way to do this is by keeping an open mind. It sounds pretty easy, but trust me, for some people, it is simply impossible, so I hope you are not one of them :-)
A good way to keep an open mind is by questioning everything, especially our own assumptions and knowledge!
Once you’ve managed to keep an open mind, the next step is to remain intrinsically motivated in order to maintain and further develop your CLM.
Most people find it easy to motivate themselves with simple goals and/or objectives but that leads them into goal-seeking behavior. The main problem with goal-seeking behavior and simple goals/objectives is that these are short-term based and, thus, not sustainable. In other words, you either reach your goal/objective and, therefore, stop and get started on another goal/objective, or you fail to reach your goal/objective and, again, stop and try again.
My advice is to find an ideal/vision or a dream that leads you into ideal-seeking behavior.
An ideal, by definition, is unattainable in the present time/space, it is something that you cannot accomplish in the short term. However, you can approach it on a daily basis and, thus, will have, by default, a series of goals/objectives that will force you to maintain your momentum by achieving them and/or sacrificing them for the sake of the ideal/vision/dream and, eventually, allow you to achieve your ideal/vision/dream, or allow you to enjoy your life in a fulfilling way every day.
Nowadays, people think of Philosophers as idealistic old men with nothing to do other than reading/talking about an ideal world/state. To most people, the word Philosophy is very vague and rather meaningless. This is a real tragedy indeed, for we all should become philosophers, we all should have a great love for wisdom, this is the real meaning of Philosophy.
By finding an ideal, a dream, a vision, we get into ideal-seeking behavior and become intrinsically motivated our entire life, we become philosophers and, therefore, we get into a Continuous Learning Mood or onto a Tropophilic path!
Here it is to the Health of Your CLM and Tropophilic Path!
JC Wandemberg Ph.D.
President & Founder
About the author: Dr. Wandemberg is an international consultant and stocks trader, keynote speaker, published author, professor, and analyst of economic, environmental, social, managerial, marketing, and political issues. For the past 30 years Dr. Wandemberg has collaborated with corporations, communities, and organizations to integrate sustainability through self-transformation processes and Open Systems Design Principles, thus, catalyzing a Culture of Trust, Transparency, and Integrity.