It can be easy to fall out of love with learning. We spend so much of our time keeping up with everyday tasks and chores that the idea of learning something new can feel more like a burden or extra work. It can be hard to figure out what we are truly interested in, but it is a rewarding journey to rekindle, or find, your love of learning.
We live in a time when it is easier than ever to take in new content and learn anything from basic to deep knowledge about almost any topic. We are connected to so many sources of information, use this to your advantage.
The best thing is that there is so much out there for free. Before spending money you can dip your toe into new waters. With an internet connection and some time there is a whole world you can explore.
Where to Start
Be Open and Honest with Yourself
Let go of the notion that there are specific topics you need to know or a certain way you should be taking in new information. To cultivate your love of learning start by being open and honest with yourself and what you are truly interested in.
It can be difficult to learn about a topic that holds no interest to you. In life there are many subjects that benefit us by at least knowing the basics. But before diving into those, give yourself the time to enjoy the journey of learning about things that actually interest you. As you continue to learn, you may find that even if a subject is not interesting to you, the process of learning something new is fulfilling and helps you learn some about yourself.
Work on rekindling your love of learning by starting broad. Find the topics that interest you before going too far into specifics, this can help you to find diverse subjects you want to pursue. Having multiple interests can keep you from getting bored with one area as well as encourage you to broaden your horizons.
Don’t limit potential topics of interest, let yourself discover new topics and delve into them and if they don’t work for you, you can always let them go.
Before jumping into a course or buying equipment for a hobby, work to get a better understanding of what genuinely interests you. Cultivate your curiosity by coming up with questions.
Start with what you know and what is easily accessible, your own environment. This can include where you live, any outdoor space you have, and even areas outside your home that you frequent.
Being more aware of the world around you can naturally lead to questions
What species of trees grow in my backyard?
How many cookbooks are sold every year?
When was my town established?
How can I start sewing my own clothes?
How do I figure out my interior design style?
How do I make an Old Fashioned?
Consider looking into your past to get ideas about your future. What you liked when you were younger does not need to be what you like now, but can be a starting point. Be careful not to discount something just because your younger self did not have a certain interest. You have grown and changed, be open to discovering what you like at the place in life you are now.
Think about what interested you had as a child
What hobbies did you have?
What did you spend your time doing?
What did you always want to know about?
Where did you like to go?
Look at your current job or jobs and think about what motivates you. Whether this job is a stepping stone to something else or a position you hope to hold for years to come, figure out what aspects of it you like.
Things to ask yourself
What parts of my job do I enjoy the most?
What aspect of my job do I want to know more about?
What skills would I like to build or learn?
What is missing from my job that would make it more fulfilling?
Let the questions above be a starting place. As you begin to be more aware of your environment and start to look inside at what motivates and drives you, you will likely come up with more questions.
Some questions won’t hold your attention, let those go. Other questions will lead you to wanting to know more, keep those around as possibilities to explore.
Nurture your curiosity, let it run wild and keep asking questions. The more you keep asking the more you will get at the heart of what it is that truly interests you and drives you to want to learn.
Find Your Interests
Once you have started on your journey of curiosity and potentially come up with some questions you want to pursue, now begin to narrow down what exactly it is you are interested in.
Have fun with this part and don’t take it too seriously, allow yourself to be curious and open. One way to discover new interests is to seek out random content to allow you to get out of your comfort zone. You never know what topic you were not even aware of may pique your interest.
Wikipedia Random Article
From the main page of Wikipedia you can find the “Random article” button. This can be both entertaining and informative. Use this as a way to learn about things you never knew existed.
As you read through articles, click through to new topics. Follow the rabbit hole wherever it may lead.
This website provides you with a list of topics and asks you to pick a few to get started. From broad categories such as “science” or “psychology” you can start to narrow down what within those fields interests you.
Based on the topics you choose it provides you with information it feels will interest you.
As you scroll down the page and come across items of interest you can give the system feedback on whether this page interests you or not.
There is an option to gives a thumbs up, indicating you want more content similar to that post, or a thumbs down, indicating you are not as interested in that content.
Keep scrolling down to view more pages and better curate the information you are seeing.
Simply click “Take me to a useful website!” to be brought to a random website. Unlike mix.com this does not allow you to curate the content you get, but providing you with a wide range of topics is another way to be exposed to subjects you wouldn’t have found otherwise.
This site allows you to start from a broad topic such as “Music” or “Games” to then find more specific interests within the category.
There is also the “Find a Random Hobby” button. Instead of just picking topics you already know you have an interest in, click the button to discover something new.
Each page has a general overview of the hobby and some pages will include sections such as Getting Started, Tips and Tricks, and Where to Learn.
Keep Track of What Interests You
As you wander the internet, your environment, and your own mind, keep track of the questions that stick with you and the topics that interest you. Initially keep track of everything you may want to know more about and whittle it down as you better understand what you are curious about.
Keep the tracking simple: a notebook on your desk, a document on your computer, or a note on your phone. Make it easy to jot something down as it comes to you.
Reasons to Keep Learning
There are a lot of reasons to expand your horizons. Maybe you’re looking for a new line of work or want to start a new hobby. It is also perfectly OK to want to know more about a subject simply because you find it interesting.
Don’t feel that you need a plan or specific reason to start learning. Your interests in time may develop into a hobby or profession or they may continue to be subjects you keep learning about because it piques your curiosity.
When you first start learning about a topic, don’t get too bogged down with where this new interest will go. Find something you want to know more about and take it wherever it leads you.
Where to Learn
One of the most accessible ways to learn more about a subject is taking an online course. The length of course and difficulty level can vary so you can find something that works for you.
If you are just beginning to learn about a subject, look for course titles that include “fundamentals”, “Introduction”, or “101” in the name. These types of courses can give you an overview of the topic which can help you decide if you want to go further or explore something else.
Free Online Courses
There are more and more courses being offered online for free. Once you know where to find them you will have a fountain of knowledge at your fingertips.
Below are a few sites to start with. Click any of the websites below to check them out and see if the content and courses are a good fit for you.
You are allowed to like what you like and be interested in whatever sparks curiosity in you. We spend our lives navigating outside pressures to be a certain way or like certain things and that’s not an easy habit to break. The most important thing is that you are true to yourself. Explore your passions to their fullest, learn because you find it interesting and fulfilling.
Once you get deeper into a subject you may find you do not have the skill set, nor do you want to learn the skill set, to move deeper into the subject, that’s OK as well. This is a chance for you to learn about yourself. Learning what you don’t like is just as important as learning what you do like.
Continue to be curious, ask questions, and take the time to look inward to make sure you are being true to yourself.