Here are some ways to increase your desire to learn:

  1. Make a list of the reasons for learning a certain skill.
  2. Close your eyes and imagine the benefits that will come into your life from learning this skill. Include as many benefits as you can. Do this often.
  3. Find stories about people who have succeeded in this area.
  4. Look for people whom you admire who have this characteristic. Ask them how they learned the skill or characteristic. Ask them what benefits have come into their lives from having this skill.
  5. Remind yourself everyday of the benefits of gaining this skill.
  6. Identify desires, habits, or actions that compete with or undermine your ability to learn this skill or gain this characteristic. Find ways to reconcile those competing desires. Or find ways to eliminate the behaviors that undermine your ability to learn.
  7. Look at times in your life when you successfully learned a new skill. Review what you did to complete that task successfully. Focus on those successes and build on them, rather than spending much time thinking about times when you fell short.


How do you learn something? How do you change behavior?

Think about something you are good at. How did you learn that subject or skill?

Perhaps you felt a strong curiosity. Or you saw a need in your life—you needed to learn a certain skill or study a certain subject to be able to do something you wanted or needed to do.

Out of that curiosity or the perception grew a desire. That desire increased until—when it was strong enough—you put it to work. You found books on the subject or someone who could teach you. You immersed yourself in it. You watched. You listened. You were perceptive. No one had to remind you that you needed to study or practice. No one had to remind you to keep at your task. No one gave you assignments or said you had to study. You just did it. And you learned a new skill or a new behavior. It wasn’t that hard. You just did it.

The first key to learning is desire.

That’s not to say that there isn’t a place for assignments or guided practice or for someone to nag you. Sometimes you discovered your curiosity or your need or interest after you slogged through a subject for awhile. A parent or a teacher or the job market pushed you along, motivated you until your curiosity caught fire. But until you felt a desire that was strong and consistent, you did not act with enough intensity or determination to accomplish your goal.

So how do you increase your desire?

Indus International Community SchoolDuring a recent trip to India, I gave workshops at seven schools in various parts of the country. Each of these schools offered great resources to their students, with facilities that rival those in many schools in the United States. For the most part, teachers are well trained and caring. And even though many teachers and administrators feel restricted by curricular requirements, they want what is best for their students. And they put forth a great effort to provide for these students.