Self-directed Learning by Marvell Lawson

Students look to instructors to show them the way to success; however, self-directed learning is the best way to identify talents and opportunities. The instructor’s job is to present abstract ideas to the students. The student’s job then is to take the ideas, pull them into their cubes and determine what the meanings are. The thought process students go through is what makes learning all the more worthwhile. It is their views that create new directions in thought. Unfortunately, the education system and society work to destroy the initiative and creativity of students. Students learn to conform. That is left over from the industrial revolution, and the need to fit in. Students are turned out on a conveyer belt to do what they are told and to fit in so there is no disturbance. The problem with that is, if students only do what they’re are told, and don’t think for themselves, the chances of them inventing something new, or discovering something new dwindles with time. What we should be encouraging students to do is to look at alternative ways of doing almost everything. That doesn’t mean we have to change what we do, but we should realize that there are many different ways of doing everything. There are as many ways as there are people to think them up. If we think of many different ways to do things and discuss them with each other we can refine our thinking and perhaps come up with some new and interesting workable ideas. No more thinking outside of the box, but taking other people’s ideas into our boxes and seeing them from our unique personal perception. That, after all, is the only way we can see anything; through our own perception.

We need to understand and operate from the position that just because something has always been done a certain way, doesn’t mean that it should always be done that way. We need to Think and be Creative. Thinking is built into humans. We think. That’s what we do. We can’t stop thinking. I’m always amazed at the people who say, “I just don’t want to think for a while.” How do you do that? There is always something going on in our brains; or at least I hope there is. Even if it is something mundane, we are always thinking about something. When we are resting, is probably a very good time to come up with new ideas. Let our minds wonder by themselves and it’s amazing what they come up with. Our mind thinks so many thoughts that we can’t consciously keep up. Just because we are unaware doesn’t mean our minds aren’t thinking hundreds of thousands of thoughts every minute. Our minds are processing everything they pick up from the five senses and processing the data through the sixth sense…our perception. The other senses are of no use to us if we don’t have that sixth sense. That is what decodes and stores all the information that bombards us twenty-four hours a day every day.

When we see something, we only consciously see a limited number of things; however, our eyes see everything. What we are aware of depends on the focus of our minds. We, however, see so much more than we realize. The same is true of the other senses. Hearing… … we hear everything, but we notice a limited number of sounds, and the same is true for taste, touch, and smell. Our perception is what bundles the information together so we can understand and use it. ### ? Author of forthcoming book “Small Business Superstar Speaking Secrets”, professional speaker, and communication coach who works with individuals and organizations wanting to improve their speech preparation and presentation skills; and communicate more effectively to grow their business, make more money, and build personal and professional credibility. Prof. M is an Affiliate Professor lecturing on Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, and Organizational Communication and Development. Visit my website at Contact me at: or give a call to 303.947.0962, ask for Allen

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