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A Strategy For Professionals & Parents

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Welcome to Learn317. I don’t know how you came to visit this site. but something about the site must have struck a chord because here you are reading these first few lines. I’m guessing that somewhere beneath your basic curiosity there’s a question (or series of questions) that drives your search for answers. Maybe you can easily list these questions—maybe not. But you know that if you could fine-tune the questions you’d be more successful in finding the answers you need to move forward. Let’s not waste any more of your time, here’s some of the questions answered here at Learn317.


  • How do you deliver results that make you invaluable to your employer or clients?
  • Is there a way of doing things in the workplace that allows you to more easily navigate your career and reach your goals?
  • Why do some people seem to succeed no matter what’s going on in the workplace or world at large?


  • What can I do to give my child the foundation they need to succeed at school and in life?
  • Are there things I can do with my child to ensure he/she becomes a strong student?
  • Is there a way I can train my child to learn MORE? BETTER? FASTER?

If any of these questions are driving your search for answers, Learn317 is a great place to find what you need. I’ve been providing answers for parents for a while now. But, I’m expanding these services to professionals. The information provided here focuses on showing you step-by-step how you will need to think in order to improve classroom performance and/or increase your value in the workplace. 

At the core of my message is a cognitive strategy designed specifically to help people build a certain type of thinking skills. It’s a simple model that delivers powerful results no matter your age. If you think this way you will find that learning and the solutions needed to address complex situations and solve problems will come more easily—no joke.

I know that’s a major claim. But, I also know that if you learn this model and apply it you will see a change in how you approach classroom learning and life. This is why I use the image of the woman with the world in the palm of her hand in the header of this site. What’s being shared here is the key to empowering yourself and/or your child to achieve success (however you define success). This simple model is so powerful that it can literally change your life. Just like it changed my life and the lives of my loved ones as well as other people I’ve shared it with over the years.

My Story

I don’t know if you feel the same way, but I think people should have experienced what they write about. I don’t want to read books written by people who simply know a topic theoretically. I want hardcore examples that motivate me and allow me to make progress quickly. I want to hear the details of their personal stories because if they can make it happen, then maybe I can do the same once they share their insight. So embedded in my posts I will practice what I preach and share my story as it relates to thinking and learning. Here’s some backstory on how this strategy came to exist.

Over a decade ago, I was working on my doctorate while working full-time at a university. Many would consider this an ideal situation. But, when the New Year rolled around and I had finished my Ph.D. I was still in the same job and there was nowhere for me to go if I wanted to achieve more. It was a very comfortable situation and many people would have been content. But, I really wanted more. This realization was all I needed to begin looking for better options. I didn’t know exactly what better would look like, but I wanted better.

Within a year I had accepted a position with a privately owned company. I didn’t just change jobs. I accepted a completely new path and achieved a 70% increase in pay in the process…doing the exact same work I had been doing already. The only difference, I was now doing that work in an environment in which the stakes were higher and I would be paid based on my performance and the value of my contribution—not just my title/position.

Over three years, while in this position, I achieved a series of increases that raised my salary by another 60% allowing me to enter the realm of six-figure earnings. Of course, I thought this was a wonderful accomplishment but more important than the salary was what I was learning by engaging in this process.

Being an educational researcher at heart, one of my first thoughts after achieving this for myself was to consider whether, or not, I could teach it to others and help them achieve the same results. I’m tickled to report that others were indeed able to replicate my results when they applied this very same approach. Over the years I have applied, tweaked, and perfected this model and can say without a doubt that it is truly a life changing approach to thinking and learning. I will also share that ANYONE who can read these posts and watch videos can apply this to his or her situation and see results; no matter what level of education you have or have not achieved, and whatever your background. The only thing required to make this work is an open mind; an open heart; and a commitment to put the strategy into practice in your daily life.


  1. This strategy will work for anyone independent of personal beliefs. While I will try with all of my might to write in a neutral manner, I can’t completely strip my beliefs out of my story as they play a significant role in my story. If you don’t share my beliefs, please don’t miss the entire message presented here. Simply replace any passages, teachings, and sayings shared from my perspective with those that align from your personal perspective.
  1. You will see the terms strategy and model used interchangeably. Don’t be put off or confused by this as you read/watch.
  1. Not only does this strategy have the potential to change your life; it has the potential to change your life time and time again. That’s the joy and value of this approach to thinking—it can be applied to any setting and any situation. So, as you evolve the model evolves along with you—as long as you keep applying it.
  1. I welcome your questions and comments. You can post them here or message me directly if you prefer to interact one-on-one.
  1. If you want to be notified when new information is posted on Learn317.com be sure to subscribe/follow this blog.
  1. There is a series of videos on the Downing Interactive YouTube Channel titled 10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Thinking & Learning. Whether you are a parent or an adult who wants to improve your thinking/learning performance, these videos contain great information. The introduction and first lesson are in the previous post here on this site, but you can access all of the videos using the link embedded here. Downing Interactive YouTube Channel

Stay tuned for an overview of the strategy discussed here and subsequent posts that provide the details of the model and stories regarding how it plays out professionally and personally. -cd


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