Becoming A Self-Directed Learner – Part 1: Self-Motivation.

As parents, you need to help your children to become a self-directed learner.

All learning revolves around self-learning.

As educator B. J. Zimmerman wisely puts it, “Learning is not something that happens TO students, it is something that happens BY children.”

There is not a single person that can help your children to learn and determine their success than themselves.

As they journey in life, they will go through difficult learning environment and other challenges.

They will have to take full responsibility to make the right decisions, overcome challenges, and achieve their goals.

To do that, they have to become a self-directed learner. While teachers and other people can help them, ultimately they will have to plan for and take control of their own learning destiny.

Unfortunately, our school does not have a curriculum that focuses on teaching our children how to develop a passion for learning and to learn how to learn.

In fact, some teachers can unwittingly kill the student’s joy for learning and improving themselves.

Some schools can also do the same damage through unhealthy test and homework, streaming, competition, focus on grades, punishment, social comparison, relationships, and environment.

They can become gatekeepers rather than gateways to a brighter future.

To ring fence your children from these potential risks, you need to help them cultivate a passion and motivation to learn.

This desire for the pursuit of knowledge should not be dependent on any person or condition upon being in the right class, environment or situation.

You need to share the good news with your children that self-motivation can be learned and developed. It can be controlled even when they don’t feel like doing anything and even under adverse conditions.

To be motivated, firstly, it is important to have goals.

Goal setting gives your children a sense of direction. It will also help them harness their energy and work towards achieving the goal.

Secondly, you need to teach your children how to develop a healthy self-esteem and a sense of hope and optimism.

They must build up a positive belief system by replacing negative self talk with positive affirmation.

They need to learn how to have a healthy conversation with themselves.

For example, instead of saying, ” It can’t be done,” they can ask, “How can it be done?”

Instead of saying “It’s hard,” they can ask, “How can I tackle it one step at a time?”

What they say to themselves will influence their attitude, psyche, emotion, and behavior.

Thirdly, they must learn to reject the negatives and reinforce the positives. They can do that by creating healthy gains or pain to motivate themselves to stick to their plan and progress in life.

Top performers in almost every field adopt a positive attitude and affirm themselves all the time. They reinforce their mindset by telling themselves, for example, “I can do it,” “I’m going to beat it,” and “I’m grateful and happy for my achievement.”

Learning to pat themselves on the back and giving themselves a treat will help them to reinforce their positive behavior and turn it into a habit.

With goals, a healthy self esteem, empowering self-talk, and positive reinforcements, your children can lay the foundation to become a self-directed learner.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Visit my Inspiration blog at

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at

Please visit my website,

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


About Patrick Liew
About Patrick Liew Patrick Liew MBA, MSc, BSc is the Managing Partner of Global Enterprise Exchange Pte. Ltd.. He is also the founder and director of Success Resources, arguably the world’s largest personal development seminar organiser and a major shareholder of a company, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. He was previously the Executive Chairman and CEO of HSR Global Ltd., a publicly listed company on SGX-ST. Previously, he was the regional director of the Gartner Group, providing strategic advisory and planning services to governments, banks and MNCs. He was also the regional head of sales and marketing operation for Dow Jones Telerate. Patrick graduated with a BSc in Estate Management from Heriot Watt University, an MSc with emphasis in global business and marketing from The City University Of New York, and an MBA from Henley Business School / Brunel University. He has also earned more than nine other professional qualifications. Patrick is arguably the first person to develop a multimedia e-learning programme on entrepreneurship. He authored a Chinese book on business systems and was also the co-author of a Times Bookshop best-selling book. Patrick has conducted both ‘brick and mortar’ and online lessons for participants from more than 60 countries. He has also conducted keynote presentations in many international conferences, including being the first Singaporean to teach at the National Association of Realtors. Through his team at Success Resources, Patrick has organised educational conferences for prominent leaders such as President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Michael Porter, Richard Branson, Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, and many other prominent leaders. Patrick provides leadership and advisory services to many professional and charity organisations. He is actively involved in supporting humanitarian, philanthropic and charity causes. He has organised three fund-raising events and in the process, help to set three national records in the Singapore Books Of Records. Patrick won the Entrepreneur Of the Year Award For Social Contribution, the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award, and six other business awards. Patrick believes the best way to live your life is to live your life for others. The more you reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better your life will become. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Personal Note to my Friends The articles that I post online; or what I term as Love Notes, are written with the purpose of inspiring readers to live at a higher plane in life. They are also meant to motivate those who are struggling in life and help them find handlers to overcome their conflicts and challenges. It is my ardent hope that we will form networks and alliances of like-minded people who will put to right many of the wrongs in our midst. Together, we will leverage on each other's resources and create a synergistic impact in making our world a better home. These articles are written as part of regular reflection about the vicissitudes of life. They are at best work in progress and at worst, grumblings, grouses, and gripings of a finite old man. I have deliberately decided NOT to delete many of the articles and pointers that I may not agree with or are outrightly wrong. This is to keep a record of how my personal ideas, beliefs, and values have evolved over time. In addition, I hope to encourage readers by letting them know that I also make mistakes and am struggling with many of the complexity and complication in life. As long as we hang on to hope and work on finding a solution, there will be light at the end of whatever tunnel we are in. I do not pretend to know everything or for that matter, anything of substance. In fact, the more I study, learn, and think about the vast wisdom and knowledge out there, the more I realised how little I know about life and the ways of life. Hence, I have always ended my article by asking readers to continue to teach me. For I, too, am a sojourner in the exploration of truth and the adventure of finding meaning, purpose, and significance for my existence. I am proud of and make no apology for being a Christian, albeit not the most exemplary one. I believe our Creator can lead and guide us to be the best that we can ever be. I bear full responsibility for the shortcoming and error in my life, including my words. The fault is entirely mine and not due to anyone else. Readers have and can exercise the power of choice. They can discard what will not work for them and adopt those that can propel them further and faster in the pursuit of better performance, outcomes, and fulfillment. If I have disappointed or hurt you in any way, form, or manner, I would like to apologise to you. Please do not hold them against me or whoever or whatever is related to me. There are much to pray about, learn, and do. And I'll work on them with a sense of urgency. I hold on to the belief that 'Anything worth doing is worth doing with passion and excellence'. I'll endeavour to live by it. Life is short. There's no dress rehearsal and neither can we turn back the clock to change the drama of life. Therefore, by the grace and power of our Creator, let's live a full life and live it to the fullest. May God bless you abundantly on the journey of life. Your online servant, Patrick Liew I hope this message will find a place in your heart. By the way, I have also recorded other reflections. Please 'Like' me on Visit my Inspiration blog at For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at Please visit my website, Please read my reflection and continue to teach me. Life is FUNtastic!

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