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The Love Challenge - the love for learning

The love for learning??? Seriously??? I hear you say.


Learning can actually be fun, and an adventure, and exciting, and addictive, most of us just don't remember it anymore, because we spent so much time in a traditional education system where we HAD TO learn, and usually a whole lot of stuff that didn't interest us, and taught in the most boring way, because the standardized system prescribed the method, by a teacher who did his or her best but who really couldn't get excited about teaching the same stuff he or she had taught for 20 years, while having to deal with adolescents who didn't give a monkey's behind.

Some of us also associate additional pain with that environment, like bullying, or incredible pressure to get good grades, which got linked up in our nervous system to the experience of learning. Now, I won't lie, I had a pretty good time at school, but even so, I associated learning itself with boring work - until I was an exchange student in the US. Not only was I totally blown away by the choir and swing choir and thought I had ended up by some stroke of luck in a professional performance company, and suddenly those singing lessons weren't a chore, but I lapped them up because I wanted to get as good as the two girls that I was sitting next to, who had the most beautiful voices I had ever heard, but there was this guy who was so excited about history, he couldn't stop telling me about it.

Now, I majored in history in High School, so I had an interest, but he was so excited about it, I thought he was crazy at first. But then I realized that it was real, and part of it was, I think, that he wasn't told what to study, he chose it himself. He told me stuff about German history that I had never heard of, although we beat the subject to death at school (and I use the metaphor on purpose), and that turned out to be true, and he told me stuff that he thought was good about that history - a totally new concept for me. It was the first time I saw another way in terms of education.

But when I returned, I went back to the traditional education system, graduated from university and from the subsequent training, which got me good results in terms of knowledge, but was pain all the way through - so much so, that the second I had graduated, I ditched the law career and became an actress.

That's not uncommon, not the actress part, but that people don't work in what they were prepared for. At the time I graduated, about 50% of graduates never worked in that job again - the education wasn't useless, because in that particular area we learned how to learn, because teaching us all we needed to know would have been impossible, and it gave a grounding in all kinds of ways, but boy, was it painful. Today, the figure of graduates who do something else after graduation is apparently even higher, even in the US, where people need to pay extraordinary amounts for a good university - in Germany it's free, unless you buy yourself extra tutors, courtesy of the state.

But you will never get your time back. I did the University degree in the minimum amount of time and only "lost" one year because I was an exchange student, but when I joined the work force, I was 27. That's an age at which some people who chose self-education instead long had almost 10 years of work experience under their belt and were way past their first million. Und you know what? When THEY talk about learning their craft, it sounds totally different, they were EXCITED to learn. Of course, they also had hard times in the business, but the learning itself seems to be something they were passionate about! What a concept!

But it's not so surprising, if you look back to before your first school, or see or remember your kids before the first school, and remember how they learned. They played. They had fun. It's how kitten's learn their climbing skills, too. Or watch kids learn about animals. I had a whole bunch of kids in what I call my "front garden" today, who were fascinated by my rabbits, and they wanted to touch them and know all about them. And then a stray kitten stopped buy, and we learned how to gently hold and carry it. It was fun! It was something they CHOSE to learn, because it came natural. And maybe that's part of the appeal of self-education as well - of course there are dangers to it, you can miss stuff, but there are techniques to mitigate that risk. The "knowledge tree" is one of them - it's explained in depth in our online course "So you need a new job. Also called" "Now what??!" in more depth, available on our Website here:

I guess what also motivated those who chose self-education was that they weren't allowed into the traditional education system, because of their grades, or lack of money, and you desire most what people say you can't have. Unlike most people, they just didn't give up.

Be that as it may, some of them now designed training as well, and probably because they weren't used to the standardized way, they created a learning environment - oh my Goodness! It's the greatest fun I've had in more than a decade while they teach really useful stuff - you just don't realize you are learning, because it is so darn entertaining, you can't decide whether you are in a rock concert, a rave, a live drama, or a comedy, and because you are emotionally so engaged, the stuff you learn sticks. I am talking, of course, of Tony Robbins. He has created the most exciting adult learning environment I have ever seen. Learning is fun again, it is exciting, an adventure, even addictive to a degree, but a positive addiction that keeps you going, keeps you learning, keeps you wanting to open the next video and finish the course.

Would you like to know how he does it?

Then stay tuned, because something really cool is coming up! I don't have the link yet, but the second I'll get it, I post it here!

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