The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination. ~ Albert Einstein
One of the hardest thing for a learner is to start being able to use his imagination in order to apply his knowledge.
When we learn something new, we learn a way of doing something, a syntax. This information will not stick long in our heads if we don’t practice, practice, practice the newly acquired skill a lot while it is still fresh in our heads. Once we do though something interesting starts to happen. Our brain starts recognising patterns and weaving new ideas and ways we could accomplish the same thing or improve over it.
A musician learns to play note by note a song. It sounds boring and lifeless, even if he hits every note perfectly well. But as he practices over and over he starts making that song his; a piece of his soul wanders into his instrument and the notes he is playing, art happens.
When you learn something novell, go over what you have learned, a million times and over again, but then, let your imagination and your playfulness have a go at it and create new pathways and patterns around the acquired knowledge.