Bookish Strength: Learner

Photo by Heather Ford on Unsplash

We are on to the next strength in my 34 list of Clifton Strengths*: Learner! Strengths sometimes can feel like children, you aren’t supposed to have a favorite, but you kind of do anyway :). I would say Learner is another one of my favorites. It is quite apparent in the fact that I am STILL taking classes (for fun, yes, but also to be a lifelong learner!). Let’s take a closer look at what makes this strength unique as I connect it to reading, writing, and this blog.

Another critical thinking strength, Learner is all about the process of gaining knowledge:

You have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. The process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites you.

When I see that there will be events on learning how to do something I have yet to learn OR have little knowledge in, I am quick to say, Let’s do it! If you look at my Facebook feed, you’ll probably see that I am “Interested” in almost every event that is DIY, workshop, class, etc. Being in a space where others have that desire means the world to me. If I could get paid to take classes for the rest of my life, sign me up. The energy that is created in an environment for learning is exciting and fuels that craving to learn more of whatever it is that is being taught or shared.

You love to learn, and you intuitively know how you learn best. Your natural ability to pick up and absorb information quickly and to challenge yourself to continually learn more keeps you on the cutting edge.

It is true, it does not take me very long to pick up a new concept, skill, action, etc. I have recently played tabletop games with a group of friends in which there are multiple layers, but after a round or a few minutes, I am able to play without any help or hints from those who know it better. I love the challenge on taking on something new as I can come out the other side with understanding and being able to participate with those I care about who love whatever it is.

Driven by your talents, you might register for high level courses or honors classes. Why? Perhaps you are attracted to subjects that are not easy to comprehend. Occasionally you trust yourself enough to test your mental endurance and agility.

As a full-time professional, I took a SHAKESPEARE class…. if that isn’t challenging myself, I don’t know what is! Also, I learned how to code in Digital Publishing! The randomness sometimes of the topics I choose to learn more about is hilarious but also not surprising!

Because of your strengths, you may prefer to read, write, and ponder philosophies, theories, or concepts that interest you. You might prefer to be alone with your thoughts rather than engage people in small talk at a social event.

Introverts would not be surprised to get Learner as a top Strength! My brain is constantly thinking, especially when it comes to blog posts coming up. Learning from other bloggers and social media experts, I implement those strategies through trial and error, regardless having a new outlook on what else I can be doing. I go on runs a lot when I need to think through challenging topics or pieces of knowledge – that alone time is when I feel the most in my head with interesting concepts.

Again, there can also be challenges with a strength that I need to be aware of and know how to adjust accordingly:

You place a high value on learning and studying, and you may tend to impose this value on others. Be sure to respect others’ motivations, and resist pushing them toward learning for learning’s sake.

You love the process of learning so much that the outcome might not matter to you. Be careful not to let the process of knowledge acquisition get in the way of your results and productivity.

Combined with Input, I will talk your ear off about the classes I am taking, what I am learning, and how I (and sometimes they) can use that information to help! I have to be mindful of the fact that 1. I’m choosing to be in these courses, and 2. I have resources that are able to support this learning – which may not be the case for my friends and family. I offer to show them what I am learning and to bring them along but also being cognizant of their time and own motivations, as well as how they like to learn or not. I will be honest and say that sometimes I pick up these events where learning is involved because the process is more exciting than what is produced by taking it. I do what I can to apply what I have learned – like when I go to a conference, reading the session descriptions makes my heart race, but when I get back home, I’m ready to move on to the next thing I can learn. When it comes to books and blogging, starting a new work gives me great joy, but halfway through, I’m like – ok, when can I read/write something else! I feel that is why I have such varied content on my blog in addition to liking when authors change character perspectives in each chapter. It holds my attention!

Next time, we will tackle my #3 strength – Discipline.


What are your (bookish) strengths?

*To learn more and to take the assessment yourself, check out the Clifton Strengths site (This is not meant to be an advertisement! As you read about Input, you can see that I love to share resources and information 🙂 )


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