Do It Yourself

One of the big words people use today is ‘sustainability’. Whether you’re a funder thinking about supporting a project or you’re buying a piece of fish for supper, we all want to know that what we use now will still be there tomorrow, and for our childrens’ tomorrow. The same applies to learning. When we set out on a learning program, we hope that it won’t just be like putting petrol in the tank of a car. We put in 50 litres, the car takes us a few hundred kilometers, then it runs out. Everything stops until we – do the same again. With learning the ‘fuel’ we a looking for is motivation. If we come to a learning program with low motivation (maybe we can’t see why we should even be doing it), we may go through the motions, but the end of the program, we’re rather like that car – empty and waiting to be refilled. But if the program itself builds our motivation, we will come to the end ready to tackle the next step, to apply what we’ve learned and to add value to those around us. That’s empowerment. So how do we find the golden keys to unlock the treasure of motivation? It’s not rocket science, but it is science! Careful, evidence-based research has revealed a few secrets. For now we will just focus on one: DIY. Do it yourself. If as a student you have encountered something you don’t understand or can’t remember, you have a few options: Ask someone to help you, or Figure it out or find the solution yourself. You wouldn’t think it would make much difference which of these you chose, but it does. If you spend a month doing the DIY route or a month asking for help, you come out a different person. Finding and fixing is way better than following what you have been told to do. Interesting. If we were asked what we prefer, we’d probably go for the ‘helpful teacher’ option, whereas the coach who points you in the right direction but steps back so you do it, is taking you down the road to sustainability. The SkillWise learning model aims to build your self-belief and motivation, so you will be able to go confidently into whatever is next in your life journey.

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