Some time ago I stumpled upon a question on Quora 'What is your best study tip?'. I've written a lot about study tips and giving advises, but this question really got me thinking.
Of course everyone have their own best study tip; the one trump card they have up their sleeves that gives them the excellent results.
With that said, after thinking about it for a while, here's my best tip:
My best study tip is: Be passionate in your learning
In my whole life going from an underachieving kid to a high achieving student loving his life in uni and doing well now; the reason why I'm able to make such huge progress is because I started becoming passionate in learning.
So the best studying tip is be passionate about learning and studying for the love of learning; instead of studying for the sake of studying and chasing after the results and qualifications. In case you didn't notice, this is also why I named this tutoring company Nerd of Passion.
Passion is what gets us up in the morning and can't wait to get started for the day. Passion is the intense desire to learn more and become better.
Passion is what fires us up when we’re engaged.
Passion is that awesome feeling of satisfied when you figured out a challenging problem.
Passion is what opens the mind to new learning, and marvel at every new discovery.
Without passion learning and studying is dreadful. No matter how much study hacks, tips, strategies and advice you have; you’ll never fully learn as your mind is rejecting the very information you're trying to force it down its throat. You can't teach someone anything that is not interested in learning.
You might be able to force your way through school without passion, but in the end, will you feel accomplished? Is it all worth it? Would you rather have that awesome feeling of pushing something you love to completion and the beginning of a new adventure; rather than the feeling of being freed from your torturous education just to get sucked in to another?
How to find, or rather create your passion?
If passion is that important, how can we become passionate then? It’s important to realize that passion is not some magical thing that is discovered by people sitting around that changes their lives forever. Rather, passion is built, and it needs to be regulated, maintained and defended.
Passion comes from competence and success; in other words building up an achievement portfolio. Being competent and achieving success is some field is a great feeling, and that feeling leads to passion, which fuels one to learn more and reach higher.
Passion also needs to be maintained and defended. It's very common to have passion for a short while when beginning to learn something new; and immediately lose it when a plateau is hit. This is why passion needs support from other traits such as persisting in the face of difficulty, and being process-oriented to keep it strong. Ideally passion should be like a strong burning flame, rather than a short loud explosion.
The reason why some people never seem to find their passion is that often times they’re not trying out new things. If you ask such person to pick up a new skill or learn something new, their first reaction will be ‘Nah too difficult’, ‘Too much hassle’, ‘What’s the point of learning’ or something along the lines of avoidance.
Another reason why passion is so hard to cultivate is our tendency to dwell on our inadequacy. Even after learning something new, we have the tendency to beat ourselves up; thinking how far away are we from our goals, how inferior we are to our peers, how distance that A grade seems. Instead of feeling great about taking a step forward, we feel bad for not being able to take 10 steps forward. With this constant feeling of inadequacy, it's no wonder why it is difficult to really enjoy studying.
On the hand, those that have found their passion are usually open to learning, always keen to try something new and are not afraid to experiment around. Instead of saying ‘I can’t do it’, they say ‘Why not?’. After trying something and getting the hang of it, achieving a little success fires them up, and hence a new passion is discovered.
So the best study tip, or rather principle, I’d live by is that you got to be passionate, and stay passionate in whatever you're learning. Passion is created by experimenting around different things and celebrating every little success along the path.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and create your passion!