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.
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.
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.
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.
How I'm using learning techniques from a Coursera course to be a better developer I've been a Software Developer for more than 4 years now and if there's one thing that never changes about this job it's that it is always changing. There are always new things to learn.