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Teach Yourself Anything with the Sandbox Method

The Sandbox Method for Self-Education

The Sandbox Method for Self-Education

... is an ongoing process for self-education, that recognizes that we don’t need to memorize facts, formulas, instead, we need to develop an intuitive understanding of our skills, expose ourselves to a broad swath of information about the skill, and constantly push ourselves to improve.

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Teach Yourself Anything with the Sandbox Method

Teach Yourself Anything with the Sandbox Method

https://medium.com/the-mission/self-education-teach-yourself-anything-with-the-sandbox-method-a4edfc5e1f8e

medium.com

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Key Ideas

Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss

It is better to know how to learn than to know.” 

The Self-Education Challenge

Despite having easy access to information, few people take full advantage of the opportunity we have for self-directed learning. 

We still believe that to learn something you need to be formally educated on it, when in fact you’re perfectly able to educate yourself. 

Self-Education

... is the core skill for the 21st century.

Your ability to respond to changes in the landscape of work and technology will be dictated by how skilled of a self-educator you are, how well you can take full advantage of the information available to you to grow your skillset.

Learning In The Real World

For 12 years, you’re been trained to apply information that’s pre-packaged for you. But if you want to do anything remotely independent (entrepreneurship, creative work, etc.) then you have to be able to figure things out without being handed the knowledge beforehand.

The Sandbox Method for Self-Education

... is an ongoing process for self-education, that recognizes that we don’t need to memorize facts, formulas, instead, we need to develop an intuitive understanding of our skills, expose ourselves to a broad swath of information about the skill, and constantly push ourselves to improve.

The 4 Steps of the Sandbox Method

  1. Build an area where you can freely play around with the skill you’re trying to learn - Your Sandbox. It should be: low-cost or free, low stakes and public.
  2. Research: Resources exist, you just have to figure out what’s worth reading, watching, or listening to(books, blogs, MOOCs etc).
  3. Implement and practice purposefully.
  4. Get feedback.

Practicing the Sandbox Method means:

  • Honestly assessing your limits to figure out where you need to improve.
  • Setting a goal just beyond your current ability to motivate yourself to stretch beyond your comfort zone.
  • Practicing with intense focus.
  • Getting feedback, in whatever way you can, and incorporate that feedback into your practice.

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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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"One skill you want to master in this day and age we live in, if you want to have an extraordinary life, is the ab..."

Tony Robbins
Don't reinvent the wheel

Mimic and get help from someone who’s already learned it to get tips and save time.

In order to achieve mastery faster, our first step should be to consult the top players in the field and model the path they have already carved out for us.

Deconstruct the skill

...into its basic, fundamental components, to find the most important things to practice first. This shows that very few things actually make a difference in any aspect of our lives, including learning.

Use the Pareto Principle: which describes a goal of generating 80 percent of results by putting in 20 percent of the effort.

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MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses)

A recent study suggests that MOOCs do not disrupt world-class education as initially thought, nor are they accessible to the entire world.

  • Online learners are concentra...
Self-learners
  • Teaching yourself anything can be draining and quite a lonely process.
  • When you care about what you are learning, it can lift your spirits and makes you more confident.
  • Having a few peers can make it a whole lot easier.

If you have a long-term system that you regularly practice you can increase your odds for success.

Find a reason

Don't just learn something for the sake of it or because you're excited about the idea of loving X. You may find yourself unable to sustain your energy and stop midway, or you may be doing an endless series of courses without actually putting them to any use.

  • Consciously find reasons that learning X is the absolute best possible use of your time right now.
  • Ask what makes you excited about X.
  • Hang around an online community of people who love X and go down the rabbit hole.

If you make sure that you really desire to learn X, it will no longer remain a task, but become an adventure. You will hunger after knowledge and have the energy to find answers to your questions.

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