How To Learn Anything - A Harmonious Clear-Cut Way
Here’s my learning process and how it can help you.
Learning can be subdivided into 3 different skills, and there are then people who are good at one, two, or three of them.
First Skill: Perception
This skill means “perceiving things, and identifying what you don’t know with exactness and precision”.
That means you look at a confusing problem and are able to point out where in that problem lies your lack of understanding and knowledge.
Second Skill: Searching for The Right Information
Your search for the right information to fill in your knowledge gap to solve your problem.
That encompasses both “knowing where to look”, and “knowing where NOT to look”. There is a distinction.
Third Skill: Understanding – known as – Execution, Trial, and Error
Some people are able to translate information into understanding very easily, those are the “quick” learners. They talk with someone before a test and understand what the person says, what she/he doesn’t understand, and they can easily deduce from what they mapped from the problem.
Some people though need more trial and error in order to transform information into an understanding of the subject. So it’s a balance, some people learn faster and need less trial and error, while others learn more slowly and need more of it.
How Fast do You Learn?
The “how fast” you learn then becomes a matter of maximizing those 3 skills.
No matter who you are, you can still maximize your learning skills by focusing on the right Mind Habits.
And the best way to do it is by picking a hard thing to do, that you must learn how to do it well, and you’ll get feedback quickly.
Model for Learning
Here’s my model:
Basically, you need to get constant and preferably quick and personalized feedback on your actions towards your result.
Strategies for each Skill
For perception, my recommendation is to practice with a simple activity that has very quick feedback. And here's the important part, find someone you know is good at perceiving and dissecting problems into fundamental units.
Ask them to share their feedback on your problems, pick their brains whenever you can, and find out how they approach a novel problem.
One book that I highly recommend at this stage is How To Solve It by G. Polya. He goes in-depth on how to solve mathematical problems you have no idea how to even begin solving. He is very thorough and very didactic, even if you never were a fan of mathematics at school, this is a fundamental book on my general problem-solving strategies that I find myself constantly looking back to.
Searching, aka "Googling it"
Searching for the right information is the second skill. I would recommend picking something to learn where there's plenty of online information on it. Like coding, marketing, or anything you can easily do with a computer. If you are going to train to search, you might as well learn to google things.
Again, depending on the area you are looking at, join a few online communities around your desired activity you want to learn, talk to them and be shameless into sharing your problems.
You'll find that a lot of people are more than willing to help someone out if the person is willing to look like a fool for a while.
As you stumble and fall and get up again, you'll start learning where your efforts to search for things don't pan out and where they do.
You'll then start building the muscle (or heuristic) to better search for useful information around it.
This is the deeper level of knowledge, here is where all those muscles we've trained in the previous stages start working like magic.
This is where you get the problems behind your problems. Where you learned to map out what exactly it is you don't know about something, you know how to search for the missing pieces of the puzzle, and practice it until it becomes closer to your goal.
There isn't a straightforward way of building understanding, but I can tell you that it requires careful thought towards a topic of interest.
Think "reading 1 book very slowly to digest it over a whole year " instead of "plowing through 52 books a year very quickly".
This is where you take notes from things using your own way of writing. Maybe using a method like The Zettelkasten Method, maybe a different method.
Understanding happens when you've practiced and thought about something deeply enough, reached roadblocks, and still kept at it.
It is almost a byproduct of trying to solve a problem using those two other skills before:
- Identifying what you don't know;
- Searching for the missing pieces.
So how is this whole method different than your own? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section!
That's all I got for today, I am very excited about the next post of my Intelligent Investments series, but it's going to take longer than I initially assumed it would. I probably will only be able to publish it by the end of November.
In the meanwhile, do check out the previous posts if you haven't already:
That is it and I will see you at the next one 😜☕
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