The majority of people just don’t bother to think that deep, or like to listen, or like to spend that much time learning new things. Most just assume that learning something new is a natural response, or just too much of a burden.
For instance, when you listen to someone else speak, either by having a face to face conversation, or in a lecture setting, what you’re doing is absorbing as much information as you can by taking mental notes.
Once you begin to age, however, as the brain becomes more mature, this cognitive function of learning new information begins to take a lot more effort and concentration.
The more that you fill your brain with facts and data, and store them in your memory bank, such as life experiences and numbers, the less room that you have for cramming new ideas into it. So as a result, you begin to refute and then have different opinions and objections.
For those who consider themselves a lifelong learner, the more information that’s presented to them, the more work that’s required to learn something, while remaining as open minded as possible.
But their hunger for learning never ends. The motivation and thirst to do so usually out weights any desire not to. This quest for new information exists because the world that we live in is continuously evolving, and new ideas are popping up on a daily basis, and we don’t want to be left behind.
So the effort lies in incorporating them into your life, as best and quick as possible, to keep yourself engaged as well as remaining relevant. The following are methods which you can use to stay as open minded and impressionable as possible. They will work, regardless of how old you may be getting.
Quieting Down Your Inner Voice
You know that voice, that constant running commentary that you can’t keep quiet when someone else is talking to you. It’s that little voice which brings forth your opinion regarding any information that’s being presented.
It’s also easier just to pay more attention to that inner voice rather than listening to someone else. The “voice” can often keep you from actually absorbing new information, and will often make you shut down before you’ve heard or understand the entire premise.
So begin to focus less on what that voice in your head is saying, and listen more to what the speaker is saying. You then may be surprised at what you hear and learn.
Having Arguments With Yourself
But since it’s impossible to entirely shut out that inner voice, then use it to your advantage. Every time that you begin hearing yourself contradicting or mentally opposing someone speak, stop yourself and take that persons point of view.
Make suggestions to your brain the reasons why the speaker that you’re listening to may be right, and you may be wrong. What will happen is you’ll open yourself up to the information that’s being provided. If that fails, then you’ll at the very least strengthen your own argument.
Become Curious About Everything
There are those who remain completely curious about absolutely everything, while others just don’t care. Regardless where you’re at, there are benefits of becoming more curious and asking questions.
The next time you’re listening to any new information, think and then write down a few relevant questions. If you happen to be in a lecture, jot down questions and then use Google to find the answers later.
If you’re in a direct conversation with someone, then you can just ask the person for the answer. Either way, by being curious, you’ll learn a lot more, as just thinking up new questions will help encode the concepts which are being presented in your brain.
Finding Out The Truth
There are no concepts or theories which comes directly out of thin air, they’re all thought out and revealed already. Somewhere in the presentation of an elaborate concept, which may sound completely nonsensical, there’s always some aspect of it which is based on fact.
Even if you don’t completely buy into the idea, or theory, you can at the very least identify it as bits of truth. Then think like a detective would and begin extrapolating.
This way, you’ll enhance and develop your skills of deduction and may at times even improve on the concept, this beyond what the speaker and what their original idea was.
Focus Directly On The Message By Ignoring The Speaker
At times, people will just stop listening and shut them out and not learn something, just because of the person who’s delivering the message. They can’t relate to them, or they flat out dislike the person.
This could also be because the speaker is completely boring, or someone who’s physically unappealing. The actual speaker can have an impact on you, resulting in you not being able to grasp what they’re saying.
Even your friends, or a family member can disrupt the learning process since you’ll shut them out, this since you think they’re not an actual authority on the topic.
So what you need to do is completely separate the information from the speaker delivering it. Pretend that you don’t know the person, so you can actually hear the subject as objectively as possible.
As for listening to that boring person, focus more intently on what their saying, and then allow your inner voice to add to the discussion, thereby keeping yourself as entertained as possible.