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How to Learn Anything: A real-world guide to mastering any new skill

Telling Others About Your Pursuit

It can keep you accountable, but it can also lead to a false sense of completeness. One way to avoid sabotaging yourself is to state your goal as a commitment rather than progress towards the finished product.

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How to Learn Anything: A real-world guide to mastering any new skill

How to Learn Anything: A real-world guide to mastering any new skill

https://doist.com/blog/how-to-learn-new-skills/

doist.com

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Key Ideas

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

"Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking."

"Our brains evolved to learn by doing things, not by hearing about them. This is one of the reasons that, for a lot of skills, it’s much better to spend about two thirds of your time testing yourself on it rather than absorbing it."

"Our brains evolved to learn by doing things, not by hearing about them. This is one of the reasons that, for a lot of skills, it’s much better to spend about two thirds of your time testing yourself on it rather than absorbing it."

Telling Others About Your Pursuit

It can keep you accountable, but it can also lead to a false sense of completeness. One way to avoid sabotaging yourself is to state your goal as a commitment rather than progress towards the finished product.

Planning Your Learning By Yourself

Deconstruct a skill, then select and focus on the fundaments, the most meaningful parts. 

Find a mentor so he can point out what are the most important parts for a beginner to learn. To save you both time, have specific questions in mind, like what is most frustrating to learn, how do they identify an expert and what is most and least useful.

Make Sure You Love The Process

Learning is a frustrating process. To increase your chances of sticking to it:

  • Pick a skill where the road to mastery is as exciting to you as the finish line.
  • Reward yourself for the successes you have along the way to take pride in your progress and help to maintaining long-term motivation. 

Be Specific In Your Goals

Specific goals are easier to visualize and lend themselves to a clearer path to success than their vague counterparts. To set yourself up for success, narrow your skill down as much as possible.

Ask yourself what specific problem you want to solve with this skill, what aspects of the skill are more applicable to it and what you admire most about the performance of the skill.

Choose What To Learn Wisely

To be successful at mastering a skill ensures it is applicable. Being able to use a skill to objectively better your life is a great motivator.

The perfect skill either solves a problem you’re facing or scratches an itch you have. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself lacking the motivation and perseverance necessary to be successful.

Other Tips To Better Your Learning

  1. Use what you learn more and study it less, do it early and often to progress faster than just studying. 
  2. Practice deliberately and focus on specific elements of the skill until you improve. Identify the fundamental components of the skill you’re learning that you struggle with the most and focus on them.
  3. Get feedback fast to better evaluate yourself and fix mistakes. 
  4. Spread out your training to avoid burnout and increase performance.
  5. Make a learning plan, or even a schedule, and stick to it.
  6. Join a group to get benefits like extra motivation, access to a collective knowledge-base and a place to vent your frustrations. Find groups online o

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Improvement with learning

From the moment we are born, we are always learning new skills. We see it in formal capacities in school or on the job, and informally, like learning from you buddy how to grill a steak.

Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins

“One skill you want to master in this day and age we live in, if you want to have an extraordinary life, is the ability to learn rapidly.”

Select your skill carefully

Be very selective in the skill you're trying to masker to avoid sabotaging your success:

  • Make sure it's applicable: The perfect skill either solves a problem you have or scratches an itch you have.
  • Be very specific: Specific goals are easier to pursue than vague counterparts. To set yourself up, narrow your skill down as much as possible. Ask what specific problem are you trying to solve, and find out what aspects you find most fascinating.
  • Make sure you love the process, not just the outcome: Pick a skill where the road is as exciting as the outcome. Then plan out celebration points along the way.

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Have a reason to study

Have an end goal in mind when you're learning.

  • What do you want to do with this information?
  • How is it going to improve your life?

Even if ...

Find the right instructor

Set some time aside to see what courses are available.
Take advantage of any free lessons, watch the introductions to their classes and see if the instructor will be a good fit for your skill level and speed.

Don’t binge

Watching online tutorial videos can become addictive. Keep in mind that you are trying to learn something, not get distracted.

How long you would be able to study depends on the density of the subject and the level of your knowledge about the subject.

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Learning how to learn

Learning how to learn is a meta-skill. It is a critical skill for everyone who needs to pick up and master new concepts frequently.

Understanding what is learning and how our memory works wil...

Learning skills

Learning how to learn is critical for everyone. Most of us have to deal with a changing world and to learn how to manage tons of new information.

However, most of our learning methods are outdated and far from optimal. It may even be giving us an illusion of learning, like re-reading and highlighting that don't provide proper feedback to show what you haven't learned.

Focused and Diffuse Mode

Focused and diffuse modes provide two models for how we develop, elaborate, deepen and broaden connections. Both methods are important.

  • The focused mode of learning is about bringing related concepts together into a unit, called a chunk. 
  • The diffuse mode operates through a wider net of connecting general ideas across different fields. We use this diffuse mode while we sleep, exercise or daydream.

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