There are two big drivers in our personal learning journeys: 1) Process, and 2) Outcomes.
The Learning Processes entail things like:
- The content we consume -- the knowledge, skills, ways of thinking, and ways of behaving
- The pace at which we learn it -- the speed, which can be slow and steady, or it can be on steroids
- The products we generate -- the papers, artifacts, exams, demonstrations, change of practice, sharpening of skills
- The environment(s) of learning -- reading or writing alone at our desk, making observations while walking in the park, dialoguing with other learners, experimenting in the "lab," sitting in a lecture hall with hundreds of others, sense-making in our dreams, ...
- The collaborators of learning -- the gurus, Yodas, partners, and teammates that learn alongside us
The Learning Outcomes are the fruit of the Process:
- Changing the way we think or behave
- Doing things we couldn't do before
- Sharpening our ability to do things better than we could do them before
- Failures which serve to accelerate more learning
- Seeing farther, thinking more deeply, questioning more astutely
Just like the fruit we find in nature, they serve as both evidence of success and regenerative seed for the future. Think of it as recursive.
The smartest and most capable people I know deliberately up their Learning game, day in and day out. They don't view Learning as something they "have to do," but rather, it's something they "get to do."
Maybe that's why they're so smart and capable.