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In today’s fast-paced, information-saturated world, learning can be an overwhelming task and it is important to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses.  Furthering your education can help prop up your weak areas while enhancing your strengths.

Recognizing strengths and weaknesses

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Maybe you have solid writing skills, but struggle with math.  Maybe you are a whiz at scientific or engineering pursuits but have trouble stringing thoughts into insightful sentences.  When it comes to business, being “smart” doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to run every aspect of your business the way that it should be run; in many cases, being smart means recognizing your own strengths and weaknesses and using the correct tools to supplement your abilities.

For example, we are not all writers and so hiring a freelancer to create some of your web content may be a wise business choice. Similarly, using an umbrella company to handle payroll makes sense for a business owner who may be short on time, or who has little interest in handling the complicated accounting details of payroll and tax regulations.

Personal learning style

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Any new learning should be approached with a clear understanding of your personal learning style. Do you retain information more readily if you read it, or hear it spoken?  Do you need to do a task yourself before you can recall the steps accurately? Knowing whether you tend to be a visual, auditory, or hands-on learner is the first step in retaining new knowledge. Most people find that they learn in a variety of ways, but tend to have a stronger preference for one mode of learning over another.

Visual learners tend to retain information best by having it presented in a way they can see – in a pie chart, graph, or other visual aid, for example. If you are a visual learner, you may prefer to learn by reading or viewing the information. Books, DVDs, and other visually-oriented materials work best for visual learners.

Auditory learners retain information best when they hear it spoken. Auditory learners tend to be those who are attracted to music, as well as the spoken word. If you can remember lyrics to songs after hearing them only once or twice, you may be an auditory learner.

The third type of learning style is hands-on. Hands-on, or “kinetic”, learners need to actually perform a task themselves to accurately recall the steps.

Learning sources

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Not only are there different learning styles, in today’s information-rich world there are a myriad of sources to learn from. Books, DVDs, social media, and internet websites all offer learners different ways to access knowledge. There are books on nearly any subject you could wish to pursue, and DVDs not only convey information, many also offer video demonstrations of techniques.

The internet is a rich source of information and learning, and the interaction with people from all over the world available on the internet means that we have access to more information, ideas, and knowledge than ever before. For example, practice is crucial when learning a new language. Thanks to social media, we can interact with native speakers and enhance our skills from the comfort of our own homes. Interactive websites also support learning.

Expanding your base of knowledge is an exciting pursuit. By understanding your learning style and pursuing the subjects you are passionate about, you can improve your level of competence or expertise in virtually any subject you wish.

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Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos. Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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