Schools, universities, jobs, training programs, books, the internet and, yes, the school of hard-knocks provide us with the opportunity to learn and develop the valuable skills that lead to personal development and, hopefully, economic self-sufficiency; but before the process of acquiring knowledge can take place, a personal foundation for growth has to be in place. What makes a successful learner? What is learning? Using some common English idioms, here are some thoughts about what learning requires, is or means:
1. ...being an eager beaver
An eager beaver is ❛someone who works very hard and is eager to get things done❜.
Example: Juan is an eager beaver. He has a full-time job and is going to school to get his high school diploma.
2. ...being open-minded
If you are open-minded, you are ❛willing to consider new ideas and try new things❜.
Example: Because Ashar was open-minded, he was willing to think about starting an apprenticeship at a start-up company 1800 km from home.
3. ...taking the bull by the horns
If you take the bull by the horns, you ❛take control of a difficult or challenging situation in a brave and determined way❜.
Example: When Gero was rejected by his local college, he took the bull by he horns and applied to as many other academic institutions as he could.
4. ...being all ears
The expression to be all ears means ❛to listen❜.
Example: When her professor told her about his research in Tanzania, Gertrude wanted to hear everything. She was all ears.
5. ...giving it your all
If you give it your all, you ❛do your very best to achieve a goal❜.
Example: The test was not easy, but the students gave it their all and succeeded in the end.
6. ...if all else fails, try, try again
The proverb if all else fails, try, try again means that ❛one should not give up❜.
Example: I wanted to quit, but Chi reminded me that if all else fails, I should try, try again.
7. ...thinking outside of the box
If you are able ❛to break traditional barriers and think differently❜, then you are able to think outside of the box.
Example: Being a successful artist means learning to think outside of the box.
8. ...broadening your horizons
When you ❛experience new things❜, you broaden your horizons.
Example: Moving to South America really broadened my horizons.
9. ...a golden opportunity
A golden opportunity is ❛an excellent opportunity that, perhaps, won’t be repeated❜.
Example: Learning to play the piano from Mrs. Keys was a golden opportunity.
10. ...the wind beneath your wings
The wind beneath your wings is ❛someone or something that gives you strength and power❜.
Example: My education is the wind beneath my wings.
Education really is the wind beneath your wings. Despite the fact that education is a basic human right, not every one has access it. Here are a number of organizations that you can support to help further the golden opportunity of education:
United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative
Back On Track: Rebuilding Education
Book Aid International