Articles on Education

How to Cultivate the Burning Desire to Learn


How to Cultivate the Burning Desire to Learn
“Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.” ― Leonardo da Vinci


It is famously said that you can bring a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink! This adage truly exemplifies learning too. Unless there is a desire to learn, all efforts would turn out to be futile.

Even if one goes through the motion of studying and learning, it doesn’t stay in the memory. We can fool others but we cannot fool our own mind where learning takes place and memories are stored.

Therefore, the desire to learn has to be there. It is not that people do not have motivation to learn, but often this desire is not powerful enough to dominate other distractions and come to the fore.

Is it possible to create a desire to learn? Motivation is something that is intrinsic to a person. The need to excel gets dominated by other needs which occupy the more basic slot in the hierarchy of needs. Moreover, there are some contingencies and life situations that might have taken place which might prevent a desire to study.

Rekindling the Desire to Study

There are some proven ways that help in rekindling the desire and motivation to study. A few of these are given below:

1. Develop a Vision and Mission Statement for Yourself

Unless you know where you want to go, your journey will not be successful. This is the reason corporate have their vision and mission statements. An explicit, clearly spelt-out objective helps you focus and channelize your motivation in the right direction.

2. Make SMART Goals

You must make a list of your tasks and targets. Goals are like milestones and when you reach a goal, do make a point to celebrate it, as rewards help reinforce the value of performance.

The idea is not to have something vague or unclear about what you intend to do, but SMART which is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound goals.

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3. Maintain Your Motivation and Positive Mental Attitude

Feel confident about yourself and your ability to achieve your goals. Never feel discouraged and indulge in activities that boost up your morale at all times.

4. Always be Surrounded by Positive People

Positivity is infectious. When you are with positive people, it rubs off on you too. Friends, who support your endeavors, celebrate your success, have faith in your abilities and strengths, and will always take you forward in your journey.

Having such a support system to keep your motivation high, when you feel fatigued and down, is one of the greatest blessings you can have on this earth, after your parents and family.

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5. Benchmark Yourself and Compete

How do you know you are doing well unless you review your progress periodically?

Try to benchmark your accomplishment with your peers. See where you stand. You can also compete with yourself.

How do you rate your progress over the last week? You can see if there is a positive trend week-on-week.

6. Don’t Rest on Your Laurels

While celebrating success is alright and adds to your motivation, having a hang-over or dwelling on it for long is counter-productive.

Just as when you embark on a journey by road, you don’t stop for long at every prominent milestone, keep continuing your journey.

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7. Oil Your Lamp Every Night

It is said that learning or academic success comes through burning the midnight oil. But, it doesn’t help if one studies at a stretch and then gives it up for few days.

You have to remember to put oil in your lamp every night. By every night, it is meant that your efforts should be in a regular steady manner.

Putting the motivation back in your study will enable you to reap reach dividends all thorough your life.



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Raj Kumar Hansdah

Raj Kumar Hansdah, better known as RK, fell in love with books at his mother’s knees; and the fascination with the printed word kept growing over the years and still continues to be his passion. An alumnus of IIM-Indore and IISWBM-Kolkata, he had also attended IIM-Calcutta. He has more than two decades of corporate experience with companies in the public and private domain, namely SAIL, Jaypee Group, and Adani Group at the rank of General Manager in the Human Resources vertical. He loves to freelance as a literary consultant, a management consultant, and a writer. When he is not busy reading, ghostwriting or working on his debut thriller; not necessarily in that order; he loves to spend time with his wife and son.

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