Learning in college can sometimes be hard with difficult classes and it can feel like there are not enough hours in the day with all the homework. But there is a joy that comes from learning, it can fill us with satisfaction and happiness. That is what Shane Goodwin talked about in his devotional address titled “The Joy of Learning: Finding Connections and Making Deep Dives.”
In his talk, Goodwin taught the external motivations such as grades, scholarships, etc., are only the frosting of the cake, not the actual cake. Even though frosting is delicious, you need to have the “flavor and texture” of the cake in order to really appreciate the frosting. The internal motivation like learning is the cake. We need to learn to have joy in learning.
“You can get carried away with external motivations such as grades, scholarships, financial implications and stress and it can actually suck the joy right out of learning,” he said to BYU-Idaho Radio.
These external motivations can distract us from what is important, he said. If we know that we need to learn and gain experience in this life, we need to learn to gain wisdom.
“Ironically, if you could put that same amount of energy dedicated towards the understanding of the material then many, many, times good things will happen as a natural biproduct,” he said.
It is about what we decide to do with the information that is given to us, he taught.
“Allow me to suggest that there is joy to be found in our learning when we occasionally make our own personal deep dives into an area of interest,” Goodwin said in his address.
We need to have the ability to keep learning outside of class, find answers to our questions and put our energy and effort in order to be successful in finding more information, he said.
Goodwin shared in his address, how he wanted to understand the history of how The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints received its name. Even though this was outside his field of study, he took his hobby of Church History one step further and was able to write a scholarly article about the history of the name of the Church. You can read it here.
In his address, he suggests we will find joy both inside and outside our fields of study and will find beautiful connections between them as well if we put the work in to learn deeply.