How to learn like children

Ever wondered how kids learn so fast? Give them a problem and they will most likely solve it. Handover a puzzle and in a few minutes or probably a few hours they will assemble it.

Amazing how kids learn and I think I figured out how they do it.

Last night my five year old son Jae figured out some stuff on the iPad2 without the help of any adult and he was very very happy about it. He found out on his own that swiping four or five fingers up the screen of the iPad (running iOS 5) will display the recent applications list. This morning he figured out how to play music on it on his own too.

I know it sounds mundane but the thing is that nobody taught him how to do it. So, how did he learn on his own?


Jae already used my iPad the first time I bought it but he only has limited access because I was using it for work. In other words, he was not allowed to do so many things with it except play games which I even had to open for him. I recently gave my iPad to Evelyn and as a result Jae now has more access to it than ever. He now has freedom to do what ever he pleases to do with it except breaking it.


With freedom comes exploration. Jae tapped, swiped, pinched, and did whatever he wanted to do with the iPad. He learned its applications and its features.

He tried out the different icons that he wasn’t allowed to run before. He moved from one icon to another. He opened the different applications and tried them out. He explored.


One thing that we used to do when we were young was to enjoy. As we grew up, everything started to become tasks and obligations. We stopped enjoying and focused more on accomplishing things. We were drowned in a world where accomplishment trumps enjoyment.

Looking at Jae learning the ins and outs of the iPad, one thing became obvious – he was enjoying it, really enjoying it.

I believe that if you enjoy the things you do then you will be a lot better at it. You will learn new ways, you will figure out things, you would adapt, you will excel. And all this while enjoying what you’re doing.

In conclusion, I think that the secret to learning like kids and to learn better is to simply enjoy your freedom to explore the things that are in front of you. Stop thinking of them as tasks and instead start thinking of them as fun. Needless to say you must try to avoid doing things that you don’t enjoy.

I hope this short blog post helps you become a better person. I hope you begin to learn like a child once more.

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2 thoughts on “How to learn like children

  1. Will says:

    Great post. I think fear holds many of us back as well especially in the computer area, people are afraid to click a button or see what happens. And musically there is fear of sounding bad, looking bad, not being able to be a professional musician, etc versus just transcribing and enjoying the music,

    I noticed your comments close after a while, is that on purpose? I wanted to comment on other posts.

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