The illuminating ways that people learn

by | Feb 17, 2014

I have to preface this post with note: You do attract the object of your attention. I have been focusing too much on the discontinuance of the incandescent bulb. I will miss it. I have also stockpiled!

Anyway, on my recent trip to Tucson I had the good fortune to sit next to a gentleman who is a contractor specializing in…bulbs. He makes his living illuminating large corporations, municipalities, and extravagant fountains in Las Vegas. He was returning from a convention where he learned even more about bulbs.

After he had answered my myriad of questions regarding lighting, we went on to discuss other things. We talked about what I do and about my new book. He was extremely interested because his wife and his son, a sophomore in college, have both been diagnosed with learning disabilities.

After hearing about how he helped his wife through her nursing curriculum, this gentleman is one of my new learning heroes. In nursing school, his wife struggled with the massive amount of reading. However, she had a very reliable and accurate auditory memory.

He decided do something to help her use her auditory memory. In a time when the technology was still new and cumbersome, he found a way to scan her textbooks into software that turned it into an audio.

He said it took forever because the textbooks were so long and complex. He would work a full day and then go home and spend hours scanning textbooks into the program.

With the help of her husband, she ended up making the best grades in the class despite her “disability”. All of her classmates wanted to know how she was doing it.

I love this example of ingenuity! Just because person struggles to learn one way doesn’t preclude them from learning well using another modality. You just have to look. You have to be open to doing things another way, perhaps an unorthodox way.

This worked out because they both recognized her strengths and decided to work with them instead of working too hard at methods that fell flat for her. Part of that recipe involved knowing what her strengths were and knowing what learning strategies worked.

You can apply this some type of ingenuity on your own life. The next time you experience difficulty learning something (or just slow uptake of information), think about your learning strengths. Think about times when you learned well – and fast. Then find a way to apply those same strategies to your situation.

Every time you do this, you open your mind to more learning options. The more often you do it, the more nimble your brain will become.

Try it and let us know how things turn out for you!

To Your Success,