83 STASHED IDEAS
When distraction is just a click away, it is hard to learn something. Time is a huge barrier to progress, but it is our choices of where we put our attention and effort that really impacts our learning.
The way out of this is to suspend all activities we normally spend our time on, like the TV, smartphones, games, and social media. Then slowly reintroduce the ones we cannot live without. This way we will have plenty of time to accommodate learning.
The hidden reason our learning projects don’t see the light of the day is that we don’t align them with our existing work, social pursuits, family time or other sources of meaning in our lives.
Example: Learning a new language becomes easy if we are teaching it to our kid daily.
Most of us believe we are killing time when we play video games or watch Netflix, or simply scroll through the endless doom feeds of Facebook.
It is imperative to know that we cannot really kill time, which is eternal and which eventually kills us. We could make use of our limited time and do something productive, but it is hard as we are spoilt for choice.
Finding time is ultimately the question of motivation, and if something excites us enough, we will find time for it.
We need to make learning as easy as possible by setting the right environment.
We can do this by:
Delayed gratification at its core isn’t about self-control, but about managing our emotions.
If we look at credit card debt, consumer loans, the drug addiction epidemic, obesity levels, and problems with mental health, it is evident that delaying gratification is hard for most of us.
.. is when you trade your present happiness with a greater amount of happiness in the future.
It means looking at the world differently. Any successful person you see didn’t get there by doing the same old thing. They innovated. They adapted. They changed. Rather than thinking “Well, that’s just how it is,” you instead think “what can I do to make it better?”
Opening your mind to the possibility that there could be more answers than just yes or no means you are able to see past the obvious right or wrong answers that have been used in the past—and see a third, fourth, fifth option.
You don’t know yet if it will work. But in this way, obstacles become chances to experiment and try to find new solutions.
“Knowledge expands, but so does ignorance, as with a greater understanding of a subject also comes a greater appreciation for all the questions that remain unanswered.”
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:
At some level there’s a craving that drives us to do something else, there’s an aversion to doing the task itself or both.
Much procrastination is unconscious. We’re procrastinating, but we don’t internalize it that way.
"For those who know how to use technology wisely, it is the easiest time in history to teach yourself something new."
“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.”
Ideas come to us when we have a specific problem but we do not focus on solving the problem directly.
It’s not at all obvious how to go about thinking up some new twist on these things. A new idea can feel like a remarkable discovery
The first phase of solving can be described as “worrying” about a problem or idea. It evokes anxiety and gives the impression of productivity.
But, overthinking can lead to a dead end. The key to solving the problem is to take a break from worrying. Focus your attention on some other activity. Take a long hike or a long drive, to give your mind the space to have a good idea.
Henri Poincaré, the father of chaos theory and the co-discoverer of special relativity, relates his own discovery. "the idea came to me, without anything in my former thoughts seeming to have paved the way for it.”
The Irish mathematician, Sir William Rowan Hamilton, had a similar epiphany while strolling by the Brougham Bridge. He was so delighted that he stopped and carved the defining algebraic equation into the bridge.
Big ideas do not come only from leisure. The arduous, mundane work is a vital part of the process. You can't skip the worrying phase. You work, and work, and work some more to get some understanding.
The eureka moments will emerge once you have prepared your mind.