Keep Learning: The First and Only Skill Required

Dave Brey
5 min readSep 18, 2020
Photo by Chris Benson on Unsplash

Information, words, ideas, and all specific and generalized “content” are the raw materials that make up the world. However, the true building blocks of a meaningful and successful life are skills. The raw material of information and “stuff” is useless until utilized by someone to create something new or useful. It takes skill to turn stuff into substance. Skills, unlike talents, are learnable traits, which anyone is capable of acquiring. In “To Solve the Skills Gap, Create Expectations in the Classroom,” Charlotte Kent emphasizes the importance of building life skills during the formative college years. In “You Still Need Your Brain,” Daniel T. Willingham notes that the brain is superior to an internet search in two specific ways: context and speed. These two articles together illustrate that creating and utilizing skills serves people beyond the classroom, and throughout the course of life. Life skills include rapid access to material in the right context (Willingham), punctuality, a strong work ethic, self motivation, accountability and many more (Kent). Beyond all the skills discussed, the most important skill a person can have and hone is the ability to learn.

Accumulating knowledge is not as necessary as it once was, due to the presence of the internet. If a person is interested in learning how to do something, she merely needs to conduct a Google search to find a myriad of sources to reference. As Willingham writes, “Google is good at finding information, but the brain beats it in two essential ways.” The two ways the brain can beat Google is through understanding context and speed (Willingham). With all the information available to people, it can be difficult to decide what to learn. Willingham suggests people “should learn the information for which the internet is a poor substitute.” Conducting the search, locating, and even identifying the best information is an exercise in logistics, not in learning. The learning occurs after the information is found and identified.

Learning can occur in many different ways, but it is always limited to input from one of the five senses. Therefor, learning how each of the five senses enables one to learn, is paramount. The ability to learn, and the knowledge that many approaches to learning can be successful, will enable a person to gain the most from their education…

Dave Brey

Moving toward perfection with no hope of getting there and learning along the way. I like to help others by teaching them how to help themselves.