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William Liedner

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How come we get taught classes on what to learn, when we didn't get taught how to learn?

Put everything aside. And think about this for a second: How much of my time is being put on how I learn, and what I can do to improve my learning skills for the better?

Lately, I've been thinking about this a lot. I've read so many books. listened to podcasts and put countless hours into watching educational videos. But, for what, exactly?

I've forgotten 99% of what I've learned. And most of what I remember, I barely put to use.

This is, of course, a big issue. I know, not only for me but many entrepreneurs and self-learners out there. I've researched ways to enhance my learning and have already seen results. And it's completely insane how much I've missed. That's been right under my nose.

I've spent my time reading on a subject, thinking I am knowledgable in that area. But quite frankly, I cannot seem to explain the subject in my own words. As Mortimer Adler said, ''The person who says he knows what he thinks but cannot express it usually does not know what he thinks''. - And wow, that's been me in many cases. There is a difference between being informed and understanding the information. Is one book enough on a subject, then 10? Yes - If you handle its information correctly.

Look at your bookshelf, could you pick a book and explain the summary and its key points in your own words, for at least 5 or 10 minutes? Probably not, or?

We get thrown so much information today. We get hit with programmes, facts, videos, books, all kinds of content and we think ''I've become so smart!'' - The thing is, we become a playlist of others opinions that hasn't really gotten into us, for real. It's not about the quantity of information we consume, but the quality of the content we put to use.

___


Fastlaners, what have you done to increase the effectiveness of your learning? How do you learn better? Is there someone you follow that's been helpful? A book?

Please discuss and give ideas. We're all here to be someones helping hand. Hopefully, we can reach a new level of learning that benefits us all.
 

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You mentioned Mortimer Adler. Very, very few ppl know him.. but there was another guy who contributed a while back who also mentioned him. That other poster wrote like you.

I’m now suspicious. Js.
 

William Liedner

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You mentioned Mortimer Adler. Very, very few ppl know him.. but there was another guy who contributed a while back who also mentioned him. That other poster wrote like you.

I’m now suspicious. Js.

I saw the Adler qoute on a video from Youtube and found it interesting. Not sure what post you're referring to, perhaps you could send me a link?
 

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I'd say I've gotten pretty good at learning over the past few years (learned front-end and back-end programming, design, marketing, car mechanics, human anatomy & physiology, nutrition, drawing, electrical wiring, and more). I'm not the smartest in any of these areas, but I probably understand more about them than the majority of the population.

My process may not work for you but here's how I go about learning and becoming smarter than 86.43% of people on a given topic:

1. You don't know what you don't know. Find a source that covers many different angles on the topic you're trying to learn. I like Reddit for this. For example when I was learning human anatomy & physiology - I would go on Reddit, find a post that centered around the topic, and read all the replies. At this stage I'm not concerned about good or bad information, just things I've never heard of before.

2. Once I find things that I've never heard of before, I do a Google Search and read the top 10 posts on the subject. I'm still not concerned about good or bad information at this stage, I just need an idea of the possibilities.

I'll use nutrition as an example for this stage since there's so much good and bad information out there. By reading the top 10 posts at the time, I learned that nutrition controls weight, some diseases, mood, body development, blah blah blah. Some information I read was wrong but regardless, it illuminated more roads (some of them dead-ends) for me to go down that I didn't know existed.

3. Once I know the possibilities, I begin to look into the cause of this possibility. The way I do this will depend on the subject I'm covering.

For nutrition, I was able to easily look up nutritional studies that gave me an idea. Usually, these studies mentioned tons of things I didn't know existed which gave me a bunch of new things to learn in order to understand what I was reading.

When I was learning rocket science, there was tons of academic information surrounding physics and different materials that can be used for different results. (This is probably the hardest thing I've tried to learn due to so many mathematical equations and possibilities)

When I was learning to program, this stage was much easier because it was pretty straightforward. All I had to do was learn how to read the documentation and everything was explained for the most part.

4. By the time I'm able to understand the causes of a possibility, I usually know enough about the topic in order to identify good or bad content - which helps me learn faster when I go back to learn more about the topic.

When learning general topics (anything marketers can quickly make money from), there seems to be a lot of bad information out there. This can be extremely bad for someone just looking to achieve a result and not necessarily learn the details.

5. Doing something with that information.

I like to associate information I learn with an action or good experience so that I can store some of it my long-term memory. I don't always follow this step but try to as much as possible.

When I was learning electrical wiring, I fixed the wiring in a friend's car so that the windows would work. I can remember a lot about electrical wiring just by thinking about how happy they were to see the windows work.

When I was learning to draw, I might draw a pretty shitty photo overall but there was usually 1 part of the picture that was really good that I could associate with my knowledge of drawing.

Nutrition might have the most interesting experiences with it. Usually, anytime I felt confident in something I learned, I'd experiment on myself. Sometimes this went well and other times I was in the bathroom for longer than normal.


I'm a big believer in only learning enough to get smarter than 80% of people on a topic unless you're trying to be the smartest in it or it's something you really enjoy.

The time it takes to go from 0-80% might be less than a couple of months.

The time it takes to go from 80%-90% might be years.

And the time it takes to go from 90% to 99% might be decades.


Not sure if that's helpful for you or not since it's an overview of how I learn. If I had to pick one thing you could do to remember what you learn, it would be to start with 'why'. If the consequence of forgetting is higher than the reward of forgetting, you'll remember.

If your mother is dying and you're learning a topic in an attempt to save her life - you won't forget because you can't afford to forget.
 

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ExaltedLife

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Lowteks thread is great, I recommend it too.

Two books I highly recommend are "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology" by Ayn Rand and "Understanding Objectivism" by Leonard Peikoff.

The former is a revolutionary look at what *words* are, and how they are properly used as storehouses of information. The latter teaches a method of thinking so that you can properly integrate anything you read or learn, and also detect when something is bullshit at the same time. Very useful.
 

Walter Hay

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HOW TO LEARN. My practical answer - not philosophical.

Some people have excellent memories, but even they will forget a lot of what they see or hear on videos, podcasts, or in books.

Those who really want to learn will recognize that it is impossible to fully digest a comprehensive explanation of a subject.

A practical help, not necessarily a complete solution, is to make notes as you listen, watch, or read.

By making notes you will be identifying important or significant information, and you will have a reference to which you can return.

Returning to the information highlighted by your notes will help embed that information in your memory. The result is that you have learned something.

Another helpful suggestion is that if you consider the treatment of the subject was beneficial, you should read, watch, or listen to the same exposition several times, but I must add that you should also take notes the second or third time.

Walter
 
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ExaltedLife

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HOW TO LEARN. My practical answer - not philosophical.

Those who really want to learn will recognize that it is impossible to fully digest a comprehensive explanation of a subject.

A practical help, not necessarily a complete solution, is to make notes as you listen, watch, or read.

Another helpful suggestion is that if you consider the treatment of the subject was beneficial, you should read, watch, or listen to the same exposition several times, but I must add that you should also take notes the second or third time.

Hm, seems like you are implying that philosophy isn't practical. Why?

Taking notes might work for some people, but I think it is a flawed approach, and I will explain why.

When you're making notes, you are taking it for granted that you have already grasped what the concepts mean.

Take any simple word. Tree, for example. If you choose to visualize what that word means, how many examples can you vividly picture in your head? Probably a lot. "Tree" is a simple, 'first level' concept. You might see a pine tree, an oak tree, a palm tree, etc. So when you use the word 'tree', you know exactly what you are referring to.

The key to learning something permanently, to understanding it clearly in your mind, you have to be able to do this with every concept involved. You have to be able to *see* what the word is referring to.

Take "productocracy", the concept MJ invented in Unscripted. Its much more complex than "tree". What does that word mean in your head? Is it fuzzy, more of a feeling than anything substantial, or do you clearly see a series of examples and connections?

If not, start with the definition: a business which offers a product or service so valuable that every customer begets more customers through word of mouth advertising

Some examples could be: an enthusiastic woman showing a friend her new Swiffer mop. A painter looking enviously at his coworkers "brushsavers" (is that right?) and asking where he got them, and then buying them at the hardware store that night. A young entrepreneur raving to his friends about how Unscripted changed his life, and those friends clicking 'order' on amazon.

See what I mean? That's just with one word. So when you're making notes, do you understand the real facts that the words you are using refer to?

If one of your concepts is a sentence you read is blurry, then there will be a gap instead of a connection between the ideas.

For example, what happens in your mind when you read this:

Sarah was upset because her grafmabledo wasn't working properly.

Probably you just see a woman upset because...blank. Nothing. The word is just noise. See?

If you don't want to read the books I recommended, just try visualizing in detail what the words mean, and then what the sentence means, and then try to grasp the paragraph. If you cant see something clearly in your mind, it means you don't understand it well enough, and what little you know will soon be forgotten.
 

Primeperiwinkle

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I saw the Adler qoute on a video from Youtube and found it interesting. Not sure what post you're referring to, perhaps you could send me a link?

Ahhh I made a mistake! I apologize.

I got you confused with another poster from an entirely different forum. I’m a touch suspicious lately. Forgive me. (I know that sounds ridiculously odd but I’m in the middle of black hat stuff and there are liars everywhere..it’s weird. Sigh.)

I hated Adler’s book. It’s dry af but it def changed my life. I’m slightly famous in a small circle of ppl for cursing him out vehemently. The day I made a public proclamation praising him my friends all howled with laughter. To this day, “define your terms” is a great way to stop my brain and force me to rethink.

I learned how to learn by studying pedagogy. Most people never stop to consider the why behind a methodology or the principles of learning. It’s important to me to teach my children how to think for themselves.
 

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Primeperiwinkle

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Hm, seems like you are implying that philosophy isn't practical. Why?

Taking notes might work for some people, but I think it is a flawed approach, and I will explain why.

When you're making notes, you are taking it for granted that you have already grasped what the concepts mean.

Take any simple word. Tree, for example. If you choose to visualize what that word means, how many examples can you vividly picture in your head? Probably a lot. "Tree" is a simple, 'first level' concept. You might see a pine tree, an oak tree, a palm tree, etc. So when you use the word 'tree', you know exactly what you are referring to.

The key to learning something permanently, to understanding it clearly in your mind, you have to be able to do this with every concept involved. You have to be able to *see* what the word is referring to.

Take "productocracy", the concept MJ invented in Unscripted. Its much more complex than "tree". What does that word mean in your head? Is it fuzzy, more of a feeling than anything substantial, or do you clearly see a series of examples and connections?

If not, start with the definition: a business which offers a product or service so valuable that every customer begets more customers through word of mouth advertising

Some examples could be: an enthusiastic woman showing a friend her new Swiffer mop. A painter looking enviously at his coworkers "brushsavers" (is that right?) and asking where he got them, and then buying them at the hardware store that night. A young entrepreneur raving to his friends about how Unscripted changed his life, and those friends clicking 'order' on amazon.

See what I mean? That's just with one word. So when you're making notes, do you understand the real facts that the words you are using refer to?

If one of your concepts is a sentence you read is blurry, then there will be a gap instead of a connection between the ideas.

For example, what happens in your mind when you read this:

Sarah was upset because her grafmabledo wasn't working properly.

Probably you just see a woman upset because...blank. Nothing. The word is just noise. See?

If you don't want to read the books I recommended, just try visualizing in detail what the words mean, and then what the sentence means, and then try to grasp the paragraph. If you cant see something clearly in your mind, it means you don't understand it well enough, and what little you know will soon be forgotten.

This is spot on but I would add that narration is even more powerful. If you cannot explain what you understand, do you even understand it at all? If you can’t share the knowledge have you retained it?
 

Walter Hay

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Hm, seems like you are implying that philosophy isn't practical. Why?
You have made an assumption. I in no way implied anything. I was answering the OP's request for help in which he wrote: "Fastlaners, what have you done to increase the effectiveness of your learning? How do you learn better?" My reply was clearly a response based upon experience, as requested.
When you're making notes, you are taking it for granted that you have already grasped what the concepts mean.
On the contrary, I see the taking of notes, followed up, as I suggested, by returning to the information highlighted by the learner's notes, as being opposite to what you have implied, namely that the act of taking notes is evidence of satisfaction that the desired knowledge has been obtained.

Walter
 

Andy Black

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Fastlaners, what have you done to increase the effectiveness of your learning? How do you learn better?
A Japanese Sensei took me and another enthusiastic beginner aside at the end of a kick-boxing class.

We sat cross legged before him as he studied us thoughtfully.

“You want to know the secret of how to learn faster and better?” he asked.

We both nodded.

He leant forward as he whispered:

“Teach.”
 

William Liedner

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Jan 11, 2019
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I'd say I've gotten pretty good at learning over the past few years (learned front-end and back-end programming, design, marketing, car mechanics, human anatomy & physiology, nutrition, drawing, electrical wiring, and more). I'm not the smartest in any of these areas, but I probably understand more about them than the majority of the population.

My process may not work for you but here's how I go about learning and becoming smarter than 86.43% of people on a given topic:

1. You don't know what you don't know. Find a source that covers many different angles on the topic you're trying to learn. I like Reddit for this. For example when I was learning human anatomy & physiology - I would go on Reddit, find a post that centered around the topic, and read all the replies. At this stage I'm not concerned about good or bad information, just things I've never heard of before.

2. Once I find things that I've never heard of before, I do a Google Search and read the top 10 posts on the subject. I'm still not concerned about good or bad information at this stage, I just need an idea of the possibilities.

I'll use nutrition as an example for this stage since there's so much good and bad information out there. By reading the top 10 posts at the time, I learned that nutrition controls weight, some diseases, mood, body development, blah blah blah. Some information I read was wrong but regardless, it illuminated more roads (some of them dead-ends) for me to go down that I didn't know existed.

3. Once I know the possibilities, I begin to look into the cause of this possibility. The way I do this will depend on the subject I'm covering.

For nutrition, I was able to easily look up nutritional studies that gave me an idea. Usually, these studies mentioned tons of things I didn't know existed which gave me a bunch of new things to learn in order to understand what I was reading.

When I was learning rocket science, there was tons of academic information surrounding physics and different materials that can be used for different results. (This is probably the hardest thing I've tried to learn due to so many mathematical equations and possibilities)

When I was learning to program, this stage was much easier because it was pretty straightforward. All I had to do was learn how to read the documentation and everything was explained for the most part.

4. By the time I'm able to understand the causes of a possibility, I usually know enough about the topic in order to identify good or bad content - which helps me learn faster when I go back to learn more about the topic.

When learning general topics (anything marketers can quickly make money from), there seems to be a lot of bad information out there. This can be extremely bad for someone just looking to achieve a result and not necessarily learn the details.

5. Doing something with that information.

I like to associate information I learn with an action or good experience so that I can store some of it my long-term memory. I don't always follow this step but try to as much as possible.

When I was learning electrical wiring, I fixed the wiring in a friend's car so that the windows would work. I can remember a lot about electrical wiring just by thinking about how happy they were to see the windows work.

When I was learning to draw, I might draw a pretty shitty photo overall but there was usually 1 part of the picture that was really good that I could associate with my knowledge of drawing.

Nutrition might have the most interesting experiences with it. Usually, anytime I felt confident in something I learned, I'd experiment on myself. Sometimes this went well and other times I was in the bathroom for longer than normal.


I'm a big believer in only learning enough to get smarter than 80% of people on a topic unless you're trying to be the smartest in it or it's something you really enjoy.

The time it takes to go from 0-80% might be less than a couple of months.

The time it takes to go from 80%-90% might be years.

And the time it takes to go from 90% to 99% might be decades.


Not sure if that's helpful for you or not since it's an overview of how I learn. If I had to pick one thing you could do to remember what you learn, it would be to start with 'why'. If the consequence of forgetting is higher than the reward of forgetting, you'll remember.

If your mother is dying and you're learning a topic in an attempt to save her life - you won't forget because you can't afford to forget.

Extremely grateful for your response, thank you!

So basically:
  1. Focus on finding a source that covers many possible views on this topic. And read through all the replies and ideas. (Reddit for example)
  2. Google Search and read top 10 post on the subject - understanding the idea of the subject.
  3. Once being aware of the possibilities, begin looking into the cause of these possibilites. As an example, you looked up nutritional studies that gave you additional ideas.
  4. When understanding the causes of a possibility, you usually know enough in order to identify good or bad content. Which you'll use to sort out bad information to learn faster.
  5. Execute what you've learned. This to associatie information with an action or good experience to remember it longer.
---

I really loved the last part too:

''If the consequence of forgetting is higher than the reward of forgetting, you'll remember.''

It's very beneficial to attach an emotion to whatever you're trying to achieve. I've done many types of visualizations related to my goals and targets. It's been helpful, too.

Once, this speaker gave us this assignment of writing our death note to the two most important people in our life. The assignment had one requirement. In your death note, you must explain and tell them why you didn't achieve what you desired and that you're sorry for letting them down.

First, everyone in class was so confused and thought the assignment seemed quite silly.

Then, I really understood it. We attached the feeling of letting our closest down because we didn't take action and achieve our dreams.

Ouch.

And believe me, I almost do remember every single word I wrote on those letters. The consequence of forgetting those letters were absolutely higher than the reward of forgetting.
 

William Liedner

Contributor
Jan 11, 2019
25
29
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HOW TO LEARN. My practical answer - not philosophical.

Some people have excellent memories, but even they will forget a lot of what they see or hear on videos, podcasts, or in books.

Those who really want to learn will recognize that it is impossible to fully digest a comprehensive explanation of a subject.

A practical help, not necessarily a complete solution, is to make notes as you listen, watch, or read.

By making notes you will be identifying important or significant information, and you will have a reference to which you can return.

Returning to the information highlighted by your notes will help embed that information in your memory. The result is that you have learned something.

Another helpful suggestion is that if you consider the treatment of the subject was beneficial, you should read, watch, or listen to the same exposition several times, but I must add that you should also take notes the second or third time.

Walter

Absolutely agree. Phil Chambers has a book on Memory, by the end of it he said reviewing information is by far the most valueble action to transfer information from short to long term memory. Which is true, he also stated that reviewing after 10 Minutes, 24 hours, one week, one month, and 3-6 months helps your memory the most.


Another add, is recalling. There was a study between two groups.

Group 1:
- Read
- Recalled
- Repeated

Group 2:
1. Read
2. Moved on / Re-Read

Group 1 got 80% correct on a test while group 2 got 34% correct.


Simply by recalling what you learn helps. I've tried this, and it's been working good for me. After reading a chapter, instead of only re-reading it or putting it away. Look away and try to remember as much as you can. Especially the key points.
 

William Liedner

Contributor
Jan 11, 2019
25
29
19
Hm, seems like you are implying that philosophy isn't practical. Why?

Taking notes might work for some people, but I think it is a flawed approach, and I will explain why.

When you're making notes, you are taking it for granted that you have already grasped what the concepts mean.

Take any simple word. Tree, for example. If you choose to visualize what that word means, how many examples can you vividly picture in your head? Probably a lot. "Tree" is a simple, 'first level' concept. You might see a pine tree, an oak tree, a palm tree, etc. So when you use the word 'tree', you know exactly what you are referring to.

The key to learning something permanently, to understanding it clearly in your mind, you have to be able to do this with every concept involved. You have to be able to *see* what the word is referring to.

Take "productocracy", the concept MJ invented in Unscripted. Its much more complex than "tree". What does that word mean in your head? Is it fuzzy, more of a feeling than anything substantial, or do you clearly see a series of examples and connections?

If not, start with the definition: a business which offers a product or service so valuable that every customer begets more customers through word of mouth advertising

Some examples could be: an enthusiastic woman showing a friend her new Swiffer mop. A painter looking enviously at his coworkers "brushsavers" (is that right?) and asking where he got them, and then buying them at the hardware store that night. A young entrepreneur raving to his friends about how Unscripted changed his life, and those friends clicking 'order' on amazon.

See what I mean? That's just with one word. So when you're making notes, do you understand the real facts that the words you are using refer to?

If one of your concepts is a sentence you read is blurry, then there will be a gap instead of a connection between the ideas.

For example, what happens in your mind when you read this:

Sarah was upset because her grafmabledo wasn't working properly.

Probably you just see a woman upset because...blank. Nothing. The word is just noise. See?

If you don't want to read the books I recommended, just try visualizing in detail what the words mean, and then what the sentence means, and then try to grasp the paragraph. If you cant see something clearly in your mind, it means you don't understand it well enough, and what little you know will soon be forgotten.

Yes, You've got to make sure the information is understood. Not only touched.

Feynman Technique and every idea on simplifying concepts works wonderfully. We think in pictures, and by adding simplified ideas into pictures makes the information stick. The way you said it: ''You have to be able to *see* what the word is referring to.'' is important and should not be forgotten. Not only be able to understand, but to see it too.

Thank you for the examples. And the book recommendations earlier!
 

banjoa

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HOW TO LEARN. My practical answer - not philosophical.

Some people have excellent memories, but even they will forget a lot of what they see or hear on videos, podcasts, or in books.

Those who really want to learn will recognize that it is impossible to fully digest a comprehensive explanation of a subject.

A practical help, not necessarily a complete solution, is to make notes as you listen, watch, or read.

By making notes you will be identifying important or significant information, and you will have a reference to which you can return.

Walter

This works.

The problem is I end up taking so much notes.
 

William Liedner

Contributor
Jan 11, 2019
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Ahhh I made a mistake! I apologize.

I got you confused with another poster from an entirely different forum. I’m a touch suspicious lately. Forgive me. (I know that sounds ridiculously odd but I’m in the middle of black hat stuff and there are liars everywhere..it’s weird. Sigh.)

I hated Adler’s book. It’s dry af but it def changed my life. I’m slightly famous in a small circle of ppl for cursing him out vehemently. The day I made a public proclamation praising him my friends all howled with laughter. To this day, “define your terms” is a great way to stop my brain and force me to rethink.

I learned how to learn by studying pedagogy. Most people never stop to consider the why behind a methodology or the principles of learning. It’s important to me to teach my children how to think for themselves.

It's fine, seems like you're surrounded by the wrong people?

Anyways, I understand what it's like reading a boring but life-changing book. I just finished an amazing book but it took me super long to finish it.

I like that way of thinking. In order to master a skill, you must deconstruct that skill and understand every aspect of it. Just like you did with pedagogy. Understanding the purpose behind it before starting. Nicely done!
 

William Liedner

Contributor
Jan 11, 2019
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29
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A Japanese Sensei took me and another enthusiastic beginner aside at the end of a kick-boxing class.

We sat cross legged before him as he studied us thoughtfully.

“You want to know the secret of how to learn faster and better?” he asked.

We both nodded.

He leant forward as he whispered:

“Teach.”

Powerful.

Just as Edgar Dale showed us in the Cone of Experience. By doing what you've learned, you've reached your active learning stage and remembers approximately 90% of it after two weeks. It's the strongest and truly most effective way of learning. That is, also, why this forum is very beneficial. It's a community with like-minded people who share the same values and ideas, and can easily teach eachother what they know.

Thank you, Andy.
 

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William Liedner

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The problem is I end up taking so much notes.

We're on the same boat. I use a system called ''The NoteCard System'' where you're categorizing every note you have and placing it inside a box. It's good for me to keep track of the most important notes and it shows me that some ideas are very close to one another. I'm sometimes merging those ideas into one, and that way I doesn't have to keep track of too many notes.
 

Walter Hay

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Absolutely agree. Phil Chambers has a book on Memory, by the end of it he said reviewing information is by far the most valueble action to transfer information from short to long term memory. Which is true, he also stated that reviewing after 10 Minutes, 24 hours, one week, one month, and 3-6 months helps your memory the most.

Another add, is recalling. There was a study between two groups.

Group 1:
- Read
- Recalled
- Repeated

Group 2:
1. Read
2. Moved on / Re-Read

Group 1 got 80% correct on a test while group 2 got 34% correct.

Simply by recalling what you learn helps. I've tried this, and it's been working good for me. After reading a chapter, instead of only re-reading it or putting it away. Look away and try to remember as much as you can. Especially the key points.
This is what I was alluding to when I wrote:
"Returning to the information highlighted by your notes will help embed that information in your memory. The result is that you have learned something.

Another helpful suggestion is that if you consider the treatment of the subject was beneficial, you should read, watch, or listen to the same exposition several times, but I must add that you should also take notes the second or third time."

This works.
The problem is I end up taking so much notes.
Yes it works, and even if you make a lot of notes, you will usually be distilling the information into what for you will be more memorable, simply because you have written it down.

Walter
 

Tobore

Bronze Contributor
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Nov 30, 2013
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Above and Beyond
How come we get taught classes on what to learn, when we didn't get taught how to learn?

Put everything aside. And think about this for a second: How much of my time is being put on how I learn, and what I can do to improve my learning skills for the better?

Lately, I've been thinking about this a lot. I've read so many books. listened to podcasts and put countless hours into watching educational videos. But, for what, exactly?

I've forgotten 99% of what I've learned. And most of what I remember, I barely put to use.

This is, of course, a big issue. I know, not only for me but many entrepreneurs and self-learners out there. I've researched ways to enhance my learning and have already seen results. And it's completely insane how much I've missed. That's been right under my nose.

I've spent my time reading on a subject, thinking I am knowledgable in that area. But quite frankly, I cannot seem to explain the subject in my own words. As Mortimer Adler said, ''The person who says he knows what he thinks but cannot express it usually does not know what he thinks''. - And wow, that's been me in many cases. There is a difference between being informed and understanding the information. Is one book enough on a subject, then 10? Yes - If you handle its information correctly.

Look at your bookshelf, could you pick a book and explain the summary and its key points in your own words, for at least 5 or 10 minutes? Probably not, or?

We get thrown so much information today. We get hit with programmes, facts, videos, books, all kinds of content and we think ''I've become so smart!'' - The thing is, we become a playlist of others opinions that hasn't really gotten into us, for real. It's not about the quantity of information we consume, but the quality of the content we put to use.

___


Fastlaners, what have you done to increase the effectiveness of your learning? How do you learn better? Is there someone you follow that's been helpful? A book?

Please discuss and give ideas. We're all here to be someones helping hand. Hopefully, we can reach a new level of learning that benefits us all.

I think there are levels to this:

Information > Understanding > Experience

Organized education teaches one to stop at phase 2. This system of learning has proven to be deeply flawed times without number. Ever heard of "dumb graduates"? The majority stop learning immediately they get out of the institution because it beats them down with too much information.

I see the same happening to us to this day. Why? We have moved the same pattern to the Internet...thinking more information will solve a learning (or retention problem.)

The solution? It's relative to everyone but for me...the best way to learn is:

Experience > Information > Understanding > More Experience

This goes against the societal pattern of "knowing everything." I don't try to learn everything and so don't know everything. I only learn what is important at the moment and make sure I know it.

Hope that helps.:smile2:
 

William Liedner

Contributor
Jan 11, 2019
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The majority stop learning immediately they get out of the institution because it beats them down with too much information.

I see the same happening to us to this day. Why? We have moved the same pattern to the Internet...thinking more information will solve a learning (or retention problem.)

Yes, yes, yes! In school, they throw students tests, books, content, in all shapes and forms, to students who attend multiple classes. What happens, really? The students gets information thrown at them. Have no system in place to attain the information. They study fast and some students pass the tests. The information fades away very fast and the students believe they still got it.

It's true, us internet-learners does the same. We complain about the way the school taught us yet we do the same to ourselves. Hasn't really thought about it like that before. Interesting view.
 

rogue synthetic

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Fastlaners, what have you done to increase the effectiveness of your learning? How do you learn better?

Three main things.

1. Take your ego out of the process. This is the hardest thing for most people to figure out and even the best of us still trip over it. The ideal is to separate the evaluation of thoughts and arguments from your (dis)like of them.

With practice, you can start to see the negatives in your own side and the positive in the other point of view. You can and will have ideas that you are partial to, but you can learn with practice to step back from your attachment to the idea and look at the pros and cons independently. This isn't just about fairness or balance; it helps you see the weak spots in your own thinking and tighten them up.

The obstacle for most people is separating their beliefs from their identities. Any attack on the position is received as an attack on myself. Or in the other direction it goes "I don't like what this says so it's stupid and the author is a moron."

This can be one of the hardest mindset shifts (See Exhibit A, "The Internet"). It comes fairly natural to me now when I'm in evaluation-mode, though it took years of practicing to get decent at it.

2. Prepare to teach it. @Andy Black mentions this a lot and he is completely right. I found a paper a few years ago (here, if you can get access to it) that found a difference in learning styles when people were asked to teach versus learning for their own test. Apparently you attend to and organize information differently when you approach it preparing to teach others about it.

Whatever the reason, ever since I found a "level up" teaching university students several years ago, I've made sure that I approach reading and note-taking as if I'm preparing to give a talk about the topic. (Bonus points: part of this strategy involves learning how to skim material for the key highlights, so you can zip through material without slogging through every word.)

3. Do something with it. Real knowledge requires application, and application requires practice in both meanings of the term. Practice is both routine repetition and doing something besides idly thinking.

Getting good at mathematics means solving math problems. Same for logic, same for programming, and these are as abstract as it gets. Point being, even the "contemplative" and purely theoretical domains have an active skill-based dimension which formal/rational emphasis neglects.

All knowledge domains have their own sets of rules, norms, expectations, standards, practices, processes and procedures. Learning an unfamiliar activity is as much about getting familiar and comfortable with the active and skillful component as with the reservoir of accumulated knowledge. Often these go hand in hand.

Getting that kind of familiarity requires immersion and participation. @Darius put this well in his post -- you need to get familiar by jumping in the deep end and getting wet with the "doing" side, rather than thinking of learning as sucking "dead" facts into your mind. That means diving in and wandering around until things start to make sense. You can't sort the good from the bad until you've gotten some acquaintance with the area.
 

William Liedner

Contributor
Jan 11, 2019
25
29
19
The majority stop learning immediately they get out of the institution because it beats them down with too much information.

I see the same happening to us to this day. Why? We have moved the same pattern to the Internet...thinking more information will solve a learning (or retention problem.)

Yes, yes, yes! In school, they throw students tests, books, content, in all shapes and forms, to students who attend multiple classes. What happens, really? The students gets information thrown at them. Have no system in place to attain the information. They study fast and some students pass the tests. The information fades away very fast and the students believe they still got it.

It's true, us internet-learners does the same. We complain about the way the school taught us yet we do the same to ourselves. Hasn't really thought about it like that before. Interesting view.
 

socaldude

Platinum Contributor
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Read Millionaire Fastlane
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They study fast and some students pass the tests. The information fades away very fast and the students believe they still got it.

A paradox about "learning" is that you only really understand something if you have an independent grasp of the concepts. And yet do you really learn something if it is "taught to you"? Probably not.

Our whole education system denies that people can learn on their own and come up with their own ideas. Even though all of those ideas that are taught have been discovered by independent thinkers. People who were able to set their social conditioning aside.
 

William Liedner

Contributor
Jan 11, 2019
25
29
19
1. Take your ego out of the process. This is the hardest thing for most people to figure out and even the best of us still trip over it. The ideal is to separate the evaluation of thoughts and arguments from your (dis)like of them.

Yes, this is super important. Thank you! People are very often missing out of opportunites because of their ego and their picture of themselves. When you think of it, it's mostly people who're unsuccessful that adapts such mindset, which is unfortunate. How do chance that mindset for those people?
 

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