YOU CAN’T TEACH OLD DOGS NEW TRICKS, so they say. But if that is true, we all need to become new dogs fast, before we are replaced by quick-to-learn dogs. What makes us old dogs? Poor self-concept as a learner, fixed ideas about aptitudes and abilities, underestimating potential, too much emphasis on what we like and dislike—all that baggage we carry around from our previous experiences with learning. Attitudes about ourselves as learners are shaped over time—they are learned. In some cases they are positive and healthy, but in other instances they are dysfunctional and outmoded. If they are learned, they can be relearned.

The way you look at yourself as a learner can have an important impact ...

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