Basic principles of good learning

Anyone can use these basic principles to make learning more effective.

  1. Learn from your mistakes. Instead of repeating information over and over, think about what you did right and what you did wrong.
  2. Practice should be varied. Change how you learn something. It forces the brain's learned patterns to become more flexible.
  3. Teach others the same skill. Consider sharing the skill you're learning with someone you know.
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Problem Solving


Learning new information as an adult

Children are very good at picking up patterns implicitly. But after age 12, we lose some of that capacity to absorb new information.

This does not mean that adults can't learn. We still have "neuroplasticity" - the ability for the brain to rewire itself in response to new challenges.

There are many general benefits of embracing new skills.

  • Long-term brain changes can slow the mental decline that comes with ageing. A study of adults - aged 58 to 86 - who pursued a handful of courses showed a marked improvement on more general cognitive tests - matching the performance of adults 30 years younger. The benefits came from pursuing multiple skills, not just one skill.
  • The ongoing pursuit of different interests may increase your creativity.
  • Intellectual humility - the capacity to recognise the limits of your knowledge - can open your minds to new ways of thinking.

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.



Keep Learning: Adult Beginners

It is a myth that experts commit fewer errors than beginners. The Dunning-Kruger Effect states that people who are bad at something are often unaware of the fact, and are overestimating their performance.

There is an advantage in having a beginner’s mindset even as our skills and knowledge develop, something that is not available even to the experts.

Learning a new language

Learning a language is often presented as a task with a one-size-fits-all solution. But learning a new language is working out the goals and strategies specific to you.

Every language is different and presents its own challenges. When you learn a new language, forget about fluency. Set achievable, short-term and measurable goals that will give you a sense of achievement.

Tony Robbins

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” 

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