Each person owns strength in one, two, three or all of the senses. Individuals may have an acute sense of hearing and others may have a discriminating sense of taste. Some are very aware of the energies around them while others attend to the visual world. Many own several areas of strength. Differences in perceptual abilities help to account for different styles of learning.
When we learn, we first perceive. We “take in” material, whether that takes the form of text or of the world around us. Secondarily, we conceptualize. We work that material through our mind, first relating it to what we already know, and then figuring out some sort of meaning. Finally, we apply or express the material in some way. It is a building process, and all three steps need to be completed. We accomplish this process in differing ways because we have unique styles learning even if the basic process is similar.
We do not learn the same. We take in material in different ways, think it through differently, and then express that material uniquely in our own style. Although this is a simplified and rough division of styles, imagine that we tend towards perceiving material literally/verbally, kinesthetically, auditorily or visually.
An accountant would tend towards a literal style, as would a journalist. A gymnast, who has a strong awareness of body and energy, would be more of a kinesthetic processor, while a photographer takes in images or the visual world. Deaf individuals process communication visually and kinesthetically. Those individuals demonstrating empathy, often employ auditory and kinesthetic abilities.
How individuals express their learning depends on their predominant processing abilities and their comfortable expressing styles. These are not always the same. For example, Tim Howard, the exemplary keeper for the U.S. National Soccer Team, appears to own an acute kinesthetic perception of the motions and movements of the field and a formidably fast processing speed. He expresses his understanding in physically amazing saves and in verbally directing the team in very succinct verbal directives. There are many writers who own a literal awareness and process verbally, but when they express their thoughts, they imbue their words with visual, kinesthetic and empathic awareness.
There is no one right way. Even in school, where verbal perception and verbal expression is rewarded over other styles, one can still gain a college scholarship through learning skills displayed on playing fields. What is important is the understanding of how one learns, then processes, and finally expresses.
Why? Because when one understands and knows the unique processes of the self, and appreciates these qualities, then one can really work towards strength. Tim Howard might not make a good accountant, but he makes an amazing goalie.
Take what you do best and figure out how to make it really work. Utilize and rely on your unique abilities and then you will have much of the answers that you need to go forward.
Know how you understand the world and what your unique perception is, and then you can own the key to unlock your learning and to opening the next door.