how learning can save your life (or at least improve it …)

Whoever does not get lost will never discover new paths. (Joan Littlewood)

Do you like to learn?

Do you consider that you have stopped learning when you leave school?

Learning is an asset with which we will have to learn more about composing.

Find out how learning can improve your life, and maybe even save it!


Survive a world that is changing faster!

Have you noticed that the world is changing at a brisk pace?

The Internet, new technologies and the globalized economy have built the knowledge society.

Here are some of the latest revolutions that have touched us recently or will affect us in the near future.

And it's not about scenarios from science fiction, it's the reality of today or tomorrow:

  • Total portability of computers with tablets and smartphones: today we have access to a wealth of knowledge in the palm of the hand that would have made envy encyclopedist Denis Diderot in the eighteenth century (even if we use them especially to send us photos of cats …)
  • The Internet and mobile applications create a technological ecosystem fostering innovation in new sectors (open data of cities, business model customer to customer Airbnb that lets you rent your house or Uber, to rent its driver services. There is even Airpnp which helps you to rent your toilet for the temporary desires! So there are no more limits …)
  • 3D printing risk to upset the manufacturing sector in the years to come. This will allow everyone to eventually "print" in 3 dimensions the objects we need from plans that can be downloaded from the Internet. Everyone can also become a creator of objects, as the Internet allows everyone to be both an author AND his own publisher, or an entrepreneur. China is already sending hundreds of thousands of these 3D printers to schools across the country to secure a leading position in this emerging market.
  • All this echoes the third industrial revolution which is already underway and will allow everyone to become a green energy producer in a distributed network that will power electric vehicles.
  • The robotics and artificial intelligence are gaining ground every year. I already have my little vacuum cleaner iRobot Roomba… but it's nothing compared to what will be available soon … The IBM Watson program has already won the game Jeopardy!, which can be considered a success in the Turing test …
  • The autonomous vehicles (who behave on their own) are on our doorstep, which will profoundly change the automobile industry, the taxi industry and the highway (truck) industry, to name just a few.
  • The genomics is already providing low-cost tools to decode our personal genome (while the Human Genome Project, which began in 1990, has taken 13 years and billions of dollars in investment): ultimately, this will prevent diseases extremely efficiently and even to "correct" genetic defects.
  • We even work on the transplantation of the head to really change body … I do not know about you, but funny pictures come to mind …
    An idea from the invaders of the movie Mars Attacks!

    An idea from the invaders of the movie Mars Attacks!

  • And so on, and better, as they say.

I've always been a big fan of science fiction very interested in technological developments, but here I admit that I'm starting to lose my Latin …

Imagine what the world will look like in 2050! Will the famous technological singularity have taken place?

By the way, if you've never seen videos from the series Did you know?, here is one that will give you a little vertigo (excuse the English version, but there is unfortunately no French version fairly recent: let me know if you find one!):

The world is moving forward, with or without us, whether we like it or not.

The strategy of the ostrich is not an option. Before knowing what to expect, the best investment for your life (and perhaps your survival) is to learn on a regular basis, if not relearn how to learn.

Learning has never been such a great asset

In our society, which is changing by assimilating technology, it is the work associated with creating and using knowledge more than physical work that produces value.

Today, out of three employees, there are two knowledge workers.

This is twice as much as in the eighties, and this revolution is far from over.

The Office of the French Language of Quebec defines a knowledge worker as follows:

Person specialized in the research, analysis, management and dissemination of information relevant to decision-making or knowledge management […]. The knowledge worker belongs to the category of professional workers or, in management terms, to the category of workers in the quaternary sector.

[…] Internet, visualization and data analysis software, information mapping software, etc., are all tools that contributed to the emergence of this new worker profile and a reorganization of work within companies.

Often associated with the information worker, it differs in that it goes beyond the processing and production of information. It is, in fact, deemed to participate in the evolution of knowledge. According to current analyzes, the knowledge worker is supposed to dominate the labor market of the third millennium.

From this perspective, learning and innovation are the key to cultural and economic success (and survival) in the 21st century.

But bewareEven if you have not had the chance to go to university in a cutting-edge field of computer science or engineering, all is not lost.

Even though I had the chance to go to university, I went to university and I dropped out of a doctorate in psycholinguistics, I learned by myself, in books, on the Internet and people around me, the essential knowledge that I use today to work and realize all my projects.

In other words, other than helping me improve my writing skills, the knowledge I learned at the university is of little or no use for me.

However, I have always valued intellectual curiosity and learning and I have been very independent in this area.

This is again a question of vision and discipline, but no need to study full-time or receive a scholarship to achieve this.

Your curiosity and your ability to learn are qualities that will help you to move ENOUGH in all directions.

You can learn to start a web business and invest, develop skills such as learning other languages, learn the culinary arts, or improve your relationships and personal development.

There are no limits, and I try with this blog to contribute (very modestly) to the free sharing and dissemination on the Internet of useful knowledge …

Strategies to learn more and more easily

Do you want to renew yourself and build your own way and your career while contributing to society?

Here are some strategies to help you learn.

Exceed lack of trust, pride and fear of the unknown

It is often the first wall that one strikes when one wants to learn: the doubt in our capacities, the fear of the unknown or the impression of (already) knowing everything.

To learn, you must first admit that you can improve.

Because it can be embarrassing to find you in the face of what you do not know. The proudest people are usually the ones who learn the least.

They can be very intelligent, certainly, but their pride closes them to everything they do not know.

Personally, I prefer 1000 times to be less intelligent but more humble and curious …

You can also let go of the fear of the unknown and work to develop your confidence.

And if you are learning in the company of others, do not be afraid to ask questions: in addition to increasing your understanding, you will be of service to anyone who has the same question but dares not ask it.

Nourish your motivation

To learn, you must have the determination to move forward, especially in difficult times.

If you know why you learn, if you valuate clearly your learning (because you develop your skills, you improve, etc.), it will be much easier to motivate you.

It's still about developing your vision for what you would like to achieve, what you would like to become.

This is how you will go through the most arduous or boring stages of your learning.

One step at a time

Although it is important to want to learn, do not wait for a miracle or a revolution.

Learning is like life: we can not know in advance all the steps we need to go through in order to truly progress.

If you allow yourself time, you will move slowly, perhaps, but surely.

In fact, it may not even be too rigid on a schedule. This will take you away from stress, which is very detrimental to the ability to learn …

Cultivate your critical thinking

Did you know that you were often right to be wrong?

Nothing hurts learning more than the fear of being wrong.

When you exercise your critical mind, you give yourself the opportunity to correct false beliefs and thus refine your learning.

Do not just trust others when you form an opinion.

Check out a variety of sources and keep track of your conclusions.

Some people think they are critical because they always disagree with everyone, regardless of their point of view, or they defend a systematically critical position towards a subject.

These people often do not realize that they feed their knowledge only in what confirms their point of view.

Unfortunately, this is not a critical spirit.

Stay open to innovation, girl of creativity

Sometimes it only takes a small spark to ignite the powder.

In other words, discovering a small thing can allow you to see your life or your knowledge in a new light.

It's the flash of genius, thebingo !

If you keep your mind open, you will not miss the opportunity to create through what you learn.

We must not remain obsessed with always clear and final answers. The fields of knowledge are changing and certain certainties survive only a short time.

Given the complexity and ambiguity, we must move forward and often suspend our judgment or force us to seek more information.

It's the inalienable right to error and think outside the box that promotes innovation and creativity.

Learn every day

My friend, the speaker Michel Piette has set up Principle PX30, about which he develops a program and about which he offers public and private conferences to the different organizations.

His idea is based on the mistake we often make of relying on our "System D", our resourcefulness, to solve the problems we face.

Instead, he advocates spending at least 30 minutes a day learning new knowledge about an important area of ​​our lives to continually improve and succeed in dealing with problems more effectively.

Do not just accumulate information but develop knowledge

Sources of information are (too) numerous today, and their quality varies greatly.

If it is good to inquire, do not do it superficially.

Newspapers inform, but if you really want to learn something, in economics for example, you are better off reading some books on the subject and not just the economic pages of your favorite newspapers …

To develop real knowledge (and skills), you have to go further, really deepen a subject instead of just touching it …

Share what you have learned

Share your passions and what you learn with others.

Not only will this help you to consolidate your learning by talking about it, but it will also help you to confront your points of view and to learn from others.

Whether it is to learn or to realize the projects that you will give to you, the collaboration is queen.

If you cultivate openness to others, humility and that you are able to trust, you will have the essential assets to move faster.

Be at your disposal, to learn better

What are your interests, your passions?

What is your personality?

When do you have the most energy?

Which learning mode is best for you?

These are all questions that will help you to know you better.

To survive in a constantly changing environment, it's good to start from a solid foundation: yourself.

If you know each other well, you will face the changes without losing your footing.

Learn at any age

Did you know that it is also very beneficial to learn all your life to maintain mental health?

Research in psychopedagogy and andragogy tends to show that few new learning leads to losses in the use of basic skills such as language or numeracy.

The brain needs to be constantly active to stay young and establish new connections.

The good news ?

It is not only learning in the traditional sense that gives results.

Social activities, fun, travel, reading and even several hobbies help to maintain our intellectual abilities.

If you want to keep your mind agile all your life, be sure to put several of these activities on the program each week.

Here are some basic dimensions associated with learning to cultivate:
Everyone's experiences and beliefs;
Processes and strategies used to learn;
The capacities of the memory;
The degree of concentration;
Motivation and desire to learn;
The appropriation of new knowledge through creativity.

A general emancipatory culture

But continuous learning is not just about making us better technicians who can do more professionally, just to make more money …

I am one of those who believe that general knowledge, accumulating a variety of knowledge in different fields that do not necessarily relate to each other, is a great source of autonomy and happiness.

General knowledge makes us generally more fit, wiser.

They nurture trust and help us deal with different situations.

A caricature of what I mean is personified by Anthony Hopkins in the movie The Edge (1997).

The character he plays, Charles Morse, thanks to his knowledge, manages to survive in a remote region of Alaska after the crash of the plane in which he took place …

Another caricature of the genre?

MacGyver …

The general culture brings great benefits, and I would like to summarize here a few:

  • humilityWhen one has vast knowledge, one is also able to glimpse the vast horizon of all that we do not know. Rather than making people proud, knowledge helps to make them humble. Of course, you will always find people to take pride in what they know. In this case, the maxim that says that culture is like jam, the less we have and the more we extend it may be appropriate …
  • Intellectual autonomy: It's about being curious, knowing how to learn and valuing learning in and of itself. A person who has a good general culture, when confronted with a new field that he does not know, will nevertheless be able to approach it and introduce it himself. She will be able to think for herself rather than just ready-to-think whose media of opinion we eat …
  • Critical mind: The general culture offers rich and varied references to understand the world. This not only allows us to have a richer perspective on different topics, but also to be more critical of the different points of view that are offered to us by a crowd of people who are not always well-intentioned, such as media or advertising. As the great intellectual Noam Chomsky said, our brain is an occupied territory. Why, then, do not pick up the weapons to defend it. The goal here is also to be better citizens, more empowered, less easily influenced, more able to bring something intelligent and constructive to the democratic debate than to stupidly repeat what we heard on TV or on television. Internet (the famous ready-to-think) …

Thus, it is the whole society that gets rich and works better when the people who compose it are curious and feed their personal knowledge.

The philosopher and teacher of education Normand Baillargeon, a man of great intellectual stature but who also has rare human qualities such as humility and curiosity (he is a true inspiration for me), recently published a little book entitled Lilliane is in high schooland which deals precisely with the "benefits" of the general culture.

If you are interested in this subject, here is an interview he gave on this subject and in which he develops the notion of general culture and presents the advantages of it:

Finally, to show you that learning is popular, a project called Learning to Learn is even supported by the European Union.

Its goal ?

Foster learning ability through the following dimensions:

  • Develop your learning abilities: solve problems, take notes, summarize, report, share with others, etc.
  • Promote exploration, innovation, discovery, etc.
  • Become aware of how to learn proper to everyone.

Some thoughts in closing

  • Did you know that, contrary to popular belief, research has shown that the brain of the human being can regenerate and learn at any age.
  • You do not have to know everything right away. Go ahead first, and if you know how to look, the discoveries will be yours.
  • The direction of your life stems from your ability to find what creates in you the most positive state, and then seek it.
  • Listen to your ideas, inspirations and passions as they will help you get where you want to go faster!

If you liked this article, know that it is from my book Ask yourself the right questions. You can get it in ebook version to read it in full.

Interesting resources to go further:

If you have gone to the end of this long article, it is because you have a real interest in the subject!

In this case, I would very much like to know your point of view on all that.

A little comment, what would you say?

I look forward to hearing from you !

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What do you think?

Why leave her and how to get out?

How to be admired by those around him?