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Mistake 5: Creating the illusion of learning

Main concepts

Think about the process; be very aware of the process. Don’t get hung up on superficial outcomes that may not be representative of the true effect that you may be having later on.

It’s easy to think we are doing well because we’re going through the motions. But actually achieving something meaningful is different from doing a meaningful activity.

When we say process, we mean the internal process. Yes, you need the external process of going to classes, maybe attending extra tutoring, using a good study system, etc. to at least optimise your activities and give yourself a fighting chance, but we need to also be aware of how effective these are. If they aren’t, we need to think critically about why they aren’t.

💭 I’m doing what I think I should be doing. Why doesn’t it feel right? How can I make it better?

These are the thoughts we need to be having.

Not only are we calibrating our actions and behaviour with what we think those of a successful person would look like, but we’re also calibrating our thoughts and emotions to how we expected them to be while doing it.

This means we can have a cycle of action/behaviour > reflection > improvement.

Many students will do the right actions, but the lack of reflection or lack of actioned improvements mean they lose precious time and opportunities.

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