The Art of Learning

The Art of Learning

by Jim Stovall

     Over the past few weeks, I’ve been enjoying the reoccurring process of having a new book released. The Art of Learning and Self Development is another of my collaborations with my coauthor Dr. Raymond Hull.

     Ray is among the most accomplished academicians anywhere. His professional accomplishments would take up several chapters of the book if we listed them all. Dr. Hull has done the majority of his learning and teaching in a formal classroom setting. On the other hand, while I am proud of my university degrees, most of the learning I have done and the teaching I now enjoy doing through my books, movies, speeches, and these weekly columns comes from the real world. I like to think of it as the school of hard knocks.

      Billy Joel may have phrased it best in his song The Entertainer. “I’ve had to pay my price. The things I did not know at first I learned by doing twice.”

     Learning is among the most important elements of our human existence. Our ancestors succeeded based on what they did, but we here in the 21st century succeed based on what we know. Too many people stopped learning when they graduated high school or college. This is the time when education really begins. A graduation ceremony is known as a commencement which denotes to me it is the point in life when the real learning should commence. Regardless of the extent of your education or how many graduate degrees you may have, unless you are constantly learning, you will be totally obsolete in a few years.

      Most nonfiction books focus on what the author thinks we should learn. In The Art of Learning and Self Development, we focus on how and why you should learn. All of us learn in different ways. As a blind person myself, if I had to learn by reading words on a page or computer screen as you are reading these words now, I would have remained ignorant, but thanks to audiobooks and high-speed digital technology, I read a book virtually every day.

      The Internet has changed what we should be learning and how we should be learning. A person with access to a smart phone or other handheld device would have been the most intelligent and well-informed person on the planet a few decades ago. Today, it’s more important that we understand how to process information and apply it in our lives than it is to get access to information.

     You should not only be focused on what you are learning, but you should also understand how you are learning.

     As you go through your day today, succeed through the art of learning.

Today’s the day!

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082; by email at; on Twitter at; or on Facebook at

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