By Kevin Paul, author of Study Smarter, Not Harder
1. The world is changing in favour of those who command knowledge.
Being a successful learner is no longer a matter of choice or mere preference. It is a necessity in order to survive and thrive in the “information age.” The future belongs to learners. As we are constantly told by the various media, we live in a time of rapid change. Every year, 20 to 30 percent of what we learned and understood about our world is obsolete.
2. Employability increasingly depends on the ability to learn quickly and easily.
Teaching yourself to learn is the most valuable skill you can learn today. It’s no longer enough to have the attitude that your learning days are over once you have your degree. To be successful in a world where knowledge is the key, you must be skilled and fluent in acquiring knowledge and making it part of you. This will be a continual process. Learn to learn, and love it, or you will fall behind and struggle all your life.
3. Almost all new industries – and their jobs – are based on information skills.
Until recently – the late 19th and 20th centuries – it has been muscle power that has dominated individual success. Despite humankind’s growing intellectual capabilities, most individual successes as a hunter/gatherer in the Stone Age, farmer in the Agricultural Age, or factory worker in the Industrial Age depended on physical capacity for hard manual work. Today and in the future, it is mind power that will dominate. Wealth and jobs are no longer in the land or physical commodities. Knowledge is wealth. Knowledge is where the careers and security are.
4. The competition for knowledge-based jobs will necessitate excellence in learning capability, not just adequacy.
It isn’t the content that matters necessarily, because that will likely be meaningless in a few years – especially in the sciences and technology. Rather, it is the training you are receiving in learning how to learn that is the primary value. Computer literate, problem-solving employees are commodities in a knowledge economy which requires continual innovation.
5. Every career change will require upgrading of knowledge credentials and skills. Your learning ability must be kept honed and in peak condition.
The average North-American worker changes careers three to five times. When you combine this statistic with the astonishing rate of knowledge obsolescence and the fact that knowledge is now the most valuable commercial commodity on earth, you begin to understand the value of learning how to learn.
6. Because you can. Such learning and intellectual level is within your reach. Try to achieve your maximum potential.
Human beings normally use only 2 to 10 percent of the brain’s capacity for high-level thought. That quality we think of as “genius” is not beyond your current capabilities. In fact, genius level is only utilizing a marginally higher percentage of the brain’s enormous potential. Genius seems exclusive and unattainable only because so few people actually perform at that level. But it is there for you with the proper kind of training.