Miguel Panao | Professor and Author

Finding ways to improve scientific writing and academic productivity.

Willpower

We experience learning as hard, but much of how we use the physical and cognitive energy in learning depends whether we believe we can learn something or not. While we may think it takes willpower to learn new things, regardless of our age, our beliefs may have a more significant effect than our wit.

I remember an article by several authors, including the know psychologist Carol Dweck, demonstrating this idea of willpower more associated with our beliefs than mere sugar consumption.

Thus this means that energizing our willpower depends on how we embrace learning beliefs? How can we believe we can learn something new without the experience? I guess this depends on motivations. When we set out to learn something new, we usually ask ourselves, why do I need to learn this. It’s a matter of usefulness. However, in learning, usefulness is secondary.

The main point is to keep alive the ability to learn, no matter what, because learning is part of our nature. When we stop learning, our full potential as human beings remains unexplored and dormant.

He willpower to learn should come from a deep desire to learn. Philosophers like Bernard Lonergan speak about our deepest desire to known as being at the core of our being, but wonder, what if we began stimulating the desire to learn instead? Knowledge would be the natural consequence of this shift, but also the acquisition of skills, or any other human ability to create, which goes beyond knowledge.

About Miguel Panao

I am a Professor at the University of Coimbra in Mechanical Engineering. I am also author of books in the fields of environmental ethics and Science and Religion. From the several research projects, this site is personal and dedicated to the search for the best approaches, tools, techniques to improve scientific productivity.

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