“Self-education is, I firmly believe the only kind of education there is.” – Isaac Asimov
Isaac is on point with this quote!
Internal motivation is a primary factor in learning anything. We have to have that internal “why?”. I learn to do things that I believe are important to achieving my goals. I like reading, I like to write, I like technology. These are the things I tend to learn about because they contribute knowledge in areas that I am interested in. My “why” is because it is interesting and I enjoy these things.
Ask a doctoral student there “why” and you will get a whole host of responses. Some are interested in saving the planet, others want to become practitioners in the fields of sociology or psychology. Others want to teach and continue researching.
Don’t get me wrong, extrinsic motivation is also a good one. I mean we have all experienced our K-12 education, right? Perhaps we even experienced a little extrinsic motivation from our parents. Personally, when I went back to school in the late ‘90s, my motivation was due to my looming retirement. I knew I needed a degree to get a job doing the kinds of things I wanted to do and to make the money and get the benefits I would need when I retired.
We really learn better when we have that internal need to learn. The learning we experience while we are in this state is deeper and more satisfying. It’s like exploring a cave and finding treasure. Each time we learn something new, it adds to us. It provides us a little more skill, a little more ability, a little more than we were before learning that new thing, be it a task, a piece of information, or a new skill or ability.
Readers, I wish all of you a terrific Thursday!
See you tomorrow!