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Habits of Super Learners

Thomas Oppong

"We all have enough brainpower to master a new discipline — we use the right tools, approaches, or apply what we learn correctly. Almost anyone can learn anything — with the right technique. Better learning approaches can make the process enjoyable. "

Thomas Oppong

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Learn A New Skill
Learn A New Skill

Learning a new skill can be tough. Those of us trying to master a new language, learn a musical instrument, or take an online course, will find that when the initial enthusiasm dries up, things mov...

Make It A Challenge

Most learning techniques with lots of theory and colorful infographics do not assist in making the information stick in our minds.

There is a need for ‘desirable difficulties’ which exercise our minds and translate into long-term retention of knowledge.

A Pre-Test Quiz

.. or a Q&A session primes the brain to absorb the information afterward, and failing to answer it initially is part of the game.

The brain needs to know that it doesn’t know.

Learn a new talent, stay relevant, reinvent yourself, and adapt to whatever the workplace throws your way. Ultralearning offers nine principles to master hard skills quickly. This is the essential guide to future-proof your career and maximize your competitive advantage through self-education. In these tumultuous times of economic and technological change, staying ahead depends on continual self-education—a lifelong mastery of fresh ideas, subjects, and skills. If you want to accomplish more and stand apart from everyone else, you need to become an ultralearner. The challenge of learning new skills is that you think you already know how best to learn, as you did as a student, so you rerun old routines and old ways of solving problems. To counter that, Ultralearning offers powerful strategies to break you out of those mental ruts and introduces new training methods to help you push through to higher levels of retention. Scott H. Young incorporates the latest research about the most effective learning methods and the stories of other ultralearners like himself—among them Benjamin Franklin, chess grandmaster Judit Polgár, and Nobel laureate physicist Richard Feynman, as well as a host of others, such as little-known modern polymath Nigel Richards, who won the French World Scrabble Championship—without knowing French. Young documents the methods he and others have used to acquire knowledge and shows that, far from being an obscure skill limited to aggressive autodidacts, ultralearning is a powerful tool anyone can use to improve their career, studies, and life. Ultralearning explores this fascinating subculture, shares a proven framework for a successful ultralearning project, and offers insights into how you can organize and exe - cute a plan to learn anything deeply and quickly, without teachers or budget-busting tuition costs. Whether the goal is to be fluent in a language (or ten languages), earn the equivalent of a college degree in a fraction of the time, or master multiple tools to build a product or business from the ground up, the principles in Ultralearning will guide you to success.
Scott H. Young

"For those who know how to use technology wisely, it is the easiest time in history to teach yourself someth..."

Scott H. Young
Scott H. Young
Scott H. Young

“Over the last twenty years, the amount of knowledge easily accessible from a quick online search has exploded…Yet despite this incredible advance, it is not as if the average person is thousands as times as smart as people were was a generation ago. Being able to look things up is certainly an advantage, but without a certain amount of knowledge inside your head, it doesn’t help you solve hard problems.”

Ultralearning

It is a strategy for acquiring skills and knowledge. Ultralearning is a potent skill for dealing with a changing world. It has three main characteristics:

  • It is a strategy. A strategy is not the only solution to a given problem, but it may be a good one.
  • It's self-directed. It’s about how you make decisions about what to learn and why.
  • It's an intense process. Ultralearners always search for and take unusual steps to maximize their effectiveness in learning.
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.