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Why Most Self-Education Efforts Fail



Why Most Self-Education Efforts Fail
We're taught a lot of things in school. But oddly, few of us are taught how to learn. This is unfortunate because knowing the effective way to teach yourself things is absolutely essential. Every improvement you ever make in your life will come from learning.


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The struggle to learn new things

The struggle to learn new things

We tend to learn only the things we were already good at. This creates little bubbles of confidence where we learn, and vast areas we avoid because we’re not sure we can get good at them.

You see this with people who claim they’re “bad at math” or don’t have the “language gene”.




Begin with the use in mind

Begin with the use in mind

The first step to learning well is always to ask yourself “why am I learning this?”, because the most effective way to learn is highly dependent on the eventual situation when you will use that information. 



Understand before memorizing

Understand before memorizing

Learning, is much faster when you work with precision over brute force. You’ll remember much more if, instead of trying to memorize, you first seek to understand. Once you “get” something, the act of memorizing it becomes much, much faster.



Everything can be learned

Everything can be learned

No matter how complicated it seems, everything breaks down into components which are simple enough everyone could learn them. Learning well involves spotting how those systems break down, so you can always start with pieces that are small enough to handle. 




Learn Less

Consume less, but better quality material with intense bursts of focus.

Learning less in a day also reinforces the power of spacing effect as your mind gets the chance to p...

Plan And Set Learning Goals

Planning and goal setting will give you a direction and will let you set intentions.

They let you achieve massive growth in a short time when you set a deadline.

Learn With Deep Focus

An hour of focused learning is more effective than 3 hours of shallow learning.

If you’re serious about learning, you can’t get distracted during that dedicated time. You can also enhance your focus by pre-conditioning your mind (having a nap before, a coffee, listening to music, etc.)

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Single & Double Loop Learning

The first time we aim for a goal, follow a rule or make a decision, we are engaging in single loop learning. 
If we question our approaches and make honest self-assessments, we shift...

How Success Becomes an Impediment

Many skilled people excel at single loop learning where they become accustomed only to success. 

They aren’t used to failing, so they struggle to learn from their mistakes and often respond by blaming someone else.

“their ability to learn shuts down precisely at the moment they need it the most.”

The Key to Double Loop Learning

Push the single loop to the point of failure, to strengthen how you act in the double loop.
  • Stop getting defensive. Instead, collect and analyze relevant data, draw conclusions and test  them.
  • Change your mental models. Problem-solving isn’t a linear process where you can make one decision and then sit back and await success.
  • Fail early. Fail fast. If you learn to deal with failure you can have a worthwhile career.

Deliberate Practice

Deliberate Practice

An active and thoughtful process of analyzing what went wrong, why it happened, and how you can produce different results the next time. 

It also ...

What Deliberate Practice Means

Deliberate practice involves:

  • Repetition of small and very specific sections of a skill instead of just playing through
  • Monitoring one's performance - in real-time and via recordings - continually looking for new ways to improve.