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The Importance of Your Attitude on Learning December 5, 2007

Posted by earagonjr in Learning Attitudes.
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“Attitude?  You’re my study coach!  Teach me study tips, study skills and help me prepare for my exams.  Why do you need to talk to me about my attitude on learning?”

 

As a study coach, I hear this statement or a variation of it often enough.  A lot of students and even parents are just concerned about skills and techniques and downplay the importance of our attitude when it comes to learning.

People want to go directly to memory-improvement, increasing their comprehension, note-taking skills, writing skills, problem-solving skills, and the like without understanding that our attitudes play a vital role in each of the skills mentioned.

There are lots of excellent athletes who know the value of attitude and mind conditioning in their overall performance.  Given everything equal, it is the athlete who is better prepared mentally and emotionally who will prevail.

Andre Agassi, the famous tennis player, had a mental coach, the also famous Anthony Robbins, in addition to having a strength coach, and a tennis coach to prepare him during training and for competition.  This is probably one of the reasons why he dominated the court for quite some time.

The legendary Muhammad Ali probably set this precedent of having mental coaches in the sports field.  He actually hired a person as part of his personal staff.  This guy had only one job: to keep on telling Ali that he was the greatest. 

Early in the morning this guy was there, yelling, “Ali, you’re the greatest!”  As he ate lunch, this guy would assure him, “You are the greatest!”  Everywhere he went, when he was training and even when he was not, this guy would never leave his side enthusiastically and totally convinced he was right saying to Ali, “You are the greatest!”

Pride?  Probably.  Probably not.  But one thing was for sure: this helped Muhammad Ali become convinced in his mind and heart that he was actually the greatest.  And sure enough, his belief manifested itself in reality and he turned out to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time.

We see this principle in a lot of management and success books:  performance is a function of ability and attitude.  Those who have both attitude and ability are able to achieve a lot.

However, one can have great ability but poor attitude and he could only accomplish so much.  I have seen a lot of my classmates who were top in their class when we were in grade school fail miserably when we were in college, not because of lack of ability.  They had very high IQ’s but they became lazy and lacked motivation.

On the other hand, there are those who have great attitude who lack ability.  Initially they won’t accomplish much either.  However, these people because of their great attitude eventually find it in themselves to develop their abilities.

It cannot be ignored or taken for granted.  Attitude is everything and a good study coach will help you give it its proper emphasis.

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Comments»

1. Robert Audell - November 2, 2009

I’m writting my masters thesis on the effects of attitude to learning. I am a teacher and parent and this thesis will be used to aide both in this important facet of learning and belif system. I am generating a literature review to see what others have said about this topic. My undergrade degree is in Kinesiology with the emphisis in teaching. I value and accept the importantce of maintaining a “can do” attitude when facing a challenge of any kind. I’d like to hear any advice, links, etc to this topic. Thank you for any help you may provide. Robert Audell

2. rhea - October 3, 2010

very important……

3. prarthana - July 19, 2013

i personally see that the students who come to me tolearn music and their parents who bring them,lack this attitude.is it the teacher who must make them understand the importance of attitude or simply send the student so that they can learn from someone else.i need help here.

earagonjr - July 20, 2013

I see your dilemma. When I was a child, I was forced to take piano lessons and I didn’t excel because I didn’t see any use for it. However, later in life, I regretted not taking it seriously.
I am a memory coach as well and oftentimes I get clients who are forced by their parents to take my classes because they are having problems in school. What I have is a chapter on attitudes in learning. But before I talk about attitudes, I actually share about vision. Instead of telling the kids to get their attitude in order, I give them a picture of what could be in the future if they had their memory improved. Then later I talk about attitudes in learning. The results are tremendous. Parents tell me that, more than the techniques for memory, it was their child’s attitude that really changed. They grew to love learning even more and developed a vision for the future. I get the same feedback from the kids themselves and also from adults that we’ve coached. Maybe you could focus on telling them the advantages of learning music and you can relate this to what they consider the “in thing” or what is cool. Hope this helps.

prarthana - July 20, 2013

wow,real eye opening.i do this actually,and u have really helped me to know that i am on the right path.. thank you so much


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