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Emotions Relationship & Learning

Necessity and Success

It's been said that "necessity is the mother of inventions", but necessity is the mother of learning as well. We learn what we truly need, we struggle with things that we don't need. Everybody may have some benefit from knowing the old language of the Babylonian people, yet few really choose to learn it. Why is that? The obvious answer is that we don't need this language, no one using it so why bother... However the problem begins when we really need to learn things that seems to be useless. When a process of forced learning is imposed on our brain we feel miserable as we struggle to learn materials while believing that it won't have any use to us. Eventually we either learn to hate the topic and increase our chance of failure or we learn to love it and increase our chance of success. This is often referred as attitude, nevertheless attitude is a general description. We cannot detach learning from emotions and hide behind general description such as attitude.
Changing attitude toward a subject requires profound emotional changes. The learner has to build "positive relationship" with the subject. This enable the learner to develop the sense of necessity toward the learning material.

Emotional Study

Studying is not a mechanical or ambivalent activity. Emotions play important role in study, normally when we study a topic we tend to love it, hate it or develop other type of "relationship". Just like any other emotional relationship, we sometime love the topic and sometime hate it. Our mood or emotional status has a profound impact on our learning efforts. It is almost impossible for anyone to learn something while feeling angry. Normally students tend to feel related or unrelated to their study topic. Without noticing, they build "relationship" with their study material. This emotional part of study have a profound impact on the study process and just like any other relationship "learning relationship" needs care. Necessity is a vital part of "learning relationship". It is rare to see relationship that are not based on some kind of need or necessity. Further relationship without necessity won't last long. Necessity alone cannot establish positive long term relationship we also need positive interaction. Successful interaction with the topic is vital, it helps us building confidence and have fun.

The idea that we have "relationship" with abstract thing such as learning topic seems at first preposterous. When we think of relationship we often imagine interaction between people. But relationship in itself is an abstract notion and emotional relationship may appear between a person and abstract idea, even if the abstract idea has no emotion at all. People get emotionally attached to physical things such as home, car, computers, etc. They even get emotionally attached to abstract things such as ideology and religion. In fact people have some form of emotional relationship with anything they interact with. The idea in emotional learning is to manipulate our own emotions to establish positive learning relationship thus improving our ability to study more effectively.