Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Attributes Of Lifelong Learning...

I mentioned in my post about the wall coming down how angry I was at the idea of having to memorize some principles for a class. I am most thankful to announce that those negative feels continue to hold no place in my heart now. And amazingly I have felt a blessing of being able to quickly recall the 10 points of the 5,000 Year Leap that I have thus memorized.

Last week my mind was opened to another foolish attribute of mine. I am beginning to see that I don't understand what it means to say that I will give 100 percent of myself to a project. I have always said sure I'll give 100 percent of what I can. So what I'm really saying is that I'll give 100 percent of the 5 percent that I actually am seriously giving to this endeavor. Wow, you mean I have actually never given 100 percent to anything Nickie? Yes my dear you never have. And what is really true is that I have not given a great percentage to God. I don't think I can give a big percentage of myself to any one thing because I'm giving in many areas. This doesn't mean I a failure either. I just learned that I can't honestly give 100 percent to this class I'm taking and although I ought not use numbers with myself, I think I'm being pretty honest with me if I can give 10 percent.

Funny thing is that I am getting much more back in return.

However, what I learned while praying last week is that I should not be using a number system to determine what I am doing in a given area of my life. What I learned for me and at that moment is that if I am incorporating the teachings I am seeking to learn for the good of my mission to serve my family, help others, teach others and be taught myself towards becoming a greater follower of Jesus, then that is right.

Today and last night I tuned in to BYU TV on the web to watch a talk given by Robert D. Hales during Education Week 2008. He entitled it, "The Journey of Lifelong Learning". His talk is what the eternal doctor ordered for me (Scott Anderson gives a fantastic talk too).

The positive attributes of life long learners are these: Courage, Faithful Desire, Humility, Patience, Curiosity, and Communication. I would imagine that for some people, lifelong learning is a gift that has naturally been a part of said person. For me and many others, we can be taught the drive and determination for lifelong learning through the development of the above qualities. Courage is needed to enter the cave of education. Don't let fear stop you. (Br. Anderson uses a quote from Jeffrey Holland regarding the disgrace we give to God when we are exercising fear instead of trust.)

Lifelong learners desire self-improvement and desire knowledge to be better mothers, fathers, teachers, servants, neighbors, etc. Yet humility is key to lifelong learning. Intelligence is a gift from God, and each discovery of knowledge comes from God. The value of learning now may not be fully realized for many years. It takes energy and time to seek out and find pure knowledge. Three key words when talking about patience: search, ponder, and pray.

Upstairs in our home, I have a printed sign that says, "curious kids are observant kids". As adults we need to apply our hearts to learning and develop techniques that are not taught in our school systems today. The key is to hold on to our God given curiosity and ask WHY and then find the answers.

Lifelong Learners don't give up says Br. Hales. I thought of giving up two weeks ago. I have since learned two important weaknesses about myself that I can now begin to improve upon and at some point maybe I will be a help to someone else suffering in the like manor. But if I had given up I would not know this yet.

Lifelong learners are here today. In the present. Having learned from the past but not dwelling in the past. We ought to communicate with God by prayer to give thanks for the opportunity to search, find and learn. As a lifelong learner I need to develop the skill for listening and actually being present with my mind focused on the person talking. It's not about you when someone else is talking.

Scripture study is a lifelong learning experience. Why just last Sunday I was surprised by the lesson in Relief Society. I came right home, read the lesson for myself and then I prayed that I might learn more to begin to understand the depth of the plan of salvation for mankind. Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little. Then my mind and heart will grow and expand to come to appreciate the goodness of eternal principles.

Lifelong learning is about who we are becoming. That means me, humbly asking for help to do better then I have been doing. My lifelong learning is taking shape because of my past, my present and the future. What I do with my time determines my lifelong learning, my eternal rewards,my growth and development.

I.Q. is a gift from God. Add knowledge and experience and you get wisdom. And with wisdom seek understanding.

I ask myself, and you can ask yourself; How do these 6 attributes apply to me?
How can I enhance these qualities in my life?
Are my goals in line with lifelong learning?

Good luck! I think it's already exciting.


Christina said...

I think it's good to realize that we are not meant to give 100% of ourselves, our devotion, our everything, except to God -- the scripture says, "Love God with all your heart, might, mind and strength, and the second is like unto it, Love your neighbor as yourself."

I think lifelong learning is a mix of many things; it's both seeking out learning and trying to understand what we are to learn from the everyday experiences life brings to us, and simply turning to God in whatever we encounter.

Thanks for posting your insights. I admire your quest for knowledge and understanding.

Nickie said...

Thank you Cristina. Also, I'm glad that Joey was able to visit today.