The importance of gratitude in learning

They say that every day is a school day. I don’t know about you but I would agree with this statement. I am definitely always learning. In fact, my running partner and I were discussing how we can learn things in one area of our life and apply them to another. Specifically in this case we were talking about how running has changed our mindset and how it has helped with believing in ourselves more generally.

How do you learn?

Sometimes we choose to learn a skill or research a piece of knowledge deliberately and consciously. Think of it like learning to drive a car. I remember only too well having to completely focus on what I was doing when changing gear…now though, it is second nature. Other times we absorb what’s going on around us or through our experiences. Other times still we use our intuition. Although I can and do learn deliberately, I learn best from observing and listening to others; if I am learning by myself I am always drawn to video and audio learning.

It’s worth paying attention to what you have learned so that you can choose to use it (or lose it!)  Also, understanding how you learn; I really enjoy talking with people and often it inspires a thought or a memory from something I have learnt before.

Gratitude and learning

The act of thinking about how and what you have learnt there will be something things you are grateful for, even if at the time the learning was difficult. For me, a bit like driving a car. I failed my test first time, passing on the second. Between the tests I wondered if I was ever going to get it. I spent ages practicing, worrying, learning. The truth is, I really learnt to drive once I had passed my test. In the actual driving came learning, experience and understanding that I couldn’t get behind the wheel once or twice a week. I was, and still a, grateful for that learning experience as it’s provided me with so much freedom.

I found that learning best through action to be true for me at work, in being self employed, through mentoring and coaching. You might learn best through taking action too, or maybe through research or reflection or perhaps practically – a hands on approach.

How learning can help in the future

As I said right at the beginning, once we have learned something we can apply in new ways. So even if you think something you have learnt before might not be applicable, sometimes it is. In my Tuesday Tip this week I talked briefly about finding my voice and the courage to stand up when I became a mum. I found a purpose and a strength I didn’t know I had. It doesn’t always come from parenthood – any major life change can trigger some valuable learning.  All of this experience can be used again e.g. having the courage to say no to someone who is taking advantage of you or to ask for a promotion.

The same is true for the more traditional learning – I have applied so many theoretical coaching tools to non-coaching situations and so far, they have all been very insightful. Occasionally I have used them intuitively, not even realising until afterwards – never underestimate the power of your intuition.

I have a question for you:

Is there anything going on for you right now where applying some previous learning might be helpful?

If not now, bear in mind that what you are/have been learning so far may be of use to a future problem. Whilst in some situations it might feel really hard, the experience you are gaining will serve you well as you navigate through your journey of life.


If you are looking to understand and appreciate your life lessons so far, get in touch. I can support you in discovering how to create a life you love.

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