3 Mistakes you are making when learning new things

John: “I spend so much time on browsing and knowledge sharing websites.”

Mary: “That’s great. You get to learn so many new things daily.”
John: “Yes. But what I learn does not stick for long. Also, it is all random.”
Mary: “ Then, is it just a hobby?”

Growth is highly correlated to happiness. Learning provides the growth. You look at all the directions and try to consume whatever knowledge you can. But when you look back, you realise that there is no significant improvement in your life.

Did the law of ‘Just do your work and don’t think about results’ go wrong?

My friend spends a lot of time on facebook and tells me that he learns a lot of new things. Another friend spends time on Quora and tells the same. But their lives have not improved at all.
What do you think they are doing wrong?

They are reading what comes their way. They are being reactive. They don’t have an idea on what they want to learn about. They read history now. Economics in the evening. Geography tomorrow. If you are really focussed on learning, don’t be like them. Instead, spend a few days figuring out what interests you. Once you know that, select the sub topic which might interest you better. Look for the best books on the topic. And read them. When you want to understand some concept mentioned in the book, you can search for it online to understand different views.

2. Deeper learning:
When you learn things on surface, the neurons also just float in your brain and die a quick death. When you read something, question it.

3. Implementation:
What is the use of you reading this article if you don’t implement it? Same is the case for any knowledge you gain. You need to apply it. If it is not something you can apply today, keep looking for opportunities where you can apply.
Tips on how to remember what you learn:

1.Discuss with friends:
When I say discuss, it should not be a serious group discussion. Make it fun. Make funny comments on the topic to be memorized. Or enter into a debate on why it should be that way. You will not forget the details of it if you enjoy the company of your friends.
2. Create a context:
Don’t try to memorize in silos. Connect the dots. Create a story. Make the story interesting. Better chances of remembering it.

3. Revision:
Nothing can beat this. Revision does not mean re-reading the same thing. It is about recollecting it in your head at regular intervals so that it gets etched forever.

4. Tests:
Don’t think that this does not come under this list. Tests are the ones which will help you retrieve what you learnt and help you remember for a longer time. So if it is something academics, go for quizzes to test yourself. If it is self-development, experiment the same.

Happy learning the right way!

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