Experiential Learning Creates Skill — The Power of Active Practice

At least 70% of your learning time should be spent practicing knowledge

Thomas Oppong
Personal Growth
Published in
4 min readJul 24, 2021


Photo: Freepik

Knowledge doesn’t automatically make us better. We get results, make progress and acquire skills through practice.

If your goal is to acquire a new skill or make real progress in any area of your life, don’t just aim to gain knowledge — no matter how valuable it is.

Aim to practice, apply what you learn or do something with that knowledge.

Learning something new does not necessarily transform or improve you if you don’t get past the knowledge acquisition phase. You lose what you don’t use, apply or practice. But you gain a lot by doing something with it.

Better learners are active learners. They practice what they learn. The application of knowledge creates skill. When you make learning an experience, you acquire skills for life.

Creating goals is a popular practice. Many people have all sorts of ambitions. They are good at learning good knowledge but fall short of taking actionable steps. They find comfort in passive learning — receiving knowledge.

Passive learners are good at acquiring the right knowledge to get what they want. But they can’t get to the next and even better stage of learning — active practice (learning by doing).

“An estimated 60 percent of people are passive learners” according to Lominger, a leadership development firm.

In fact, formal schooling involves a lot of passive learning. We get to understand a lot of theories, concepts and ideas.

And then we take tests to recall what we know. The aim is to pass on knowledge or get good grades in an upcoming exam.

I studied Law at the university, but I never had practical courtroom experience. And I never had the opportunity to learn business law actively. I studied to get a degree. Today, I’ve forgotten a lot of what I learned.

I have learned more about becoming a better entrepreneur or writer in the past five years through practice than I could ever learn from books.



Thomas Oppong
Personal Growth

Author | Habits, Philosophy & Psychology. As seen on Forbes, Inc. and Business Insider. For my popular essays, go here: https://thomasoppong.com