The best way to learn anything effectively
Conscious learning is a technique where you are aware of why you are learning something. You are aware of the applications of your learnings. Have great clarity of purpose and intent.
Many say you should learn to teach. But some of our experts have come up with the idea of learning for the application. When you try to apply your learnings you will find gaps in your understanding. Only then, you can be a master at something.
If you want to learn something quickly, you need to immerse yourself in that thing and immediately implement what you’re learning.
Napoleon Hill has said, “Knowledge is only potential power. It becomes power only when, and if, it is organized into definite plans of action.”
The role of teacher in your learning
“When the student is ready the teacher will appear. When the student is truly ready, the teacher will disappear.” — Lao Tzu
A teacher can be in the form of a book or an online course. Or, it can be an actual person. The benefit of a real person is getting immediate and relevant feedback and direct answers to your questions.
In addition to explaining and feedback, one most important thing a teacher must do is to show the many real word applications of the concept or topic being taught.
If a teacher is failing at this its students’ responsibility to push the teacher to show various applications and practical utilities of the topics.
Revise until your learning becomes unconscious
The first time applying what you learn takes a lot of time and effort. So do it again, and again, and again. Over time, you become competent and also confident.
Learning something new is all about memory and how you use it. At first, your prefrontal cortex — which stores your working (or short-term) memory — is really busy figuring out how the task is done.
Essentially, you want your understanding of something to be fluid and flexible. You want to be able to apply your learning in different contexts and for different purposes. Thus, you learn your skill in-and-out.
Set specific goals with a hard timeline
There is a reason your syllabus is broken down into subjects, topics, and sub-topics. So while learning you must keep that division in mind and assign a time frame within which you learn the sub-topics.
Apply your learnings by solving numerical or doing experiments. It should be as that saying goes “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.
Tracking and accountability
“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.” — Thomas S. Monson
Clarity is what creates motivation.
Tracking is what creates awareness.
Reporting is what creates accountability.
Having these three will help you progress quickly.
If you’re not tracking your daily behaviors, you are undoubtedly doing worse than you think you are.
According to research, self-regulation is the psychological process that detects inconsistency between your goals and your behaviors. It is the ignition of your motivational forces helping you get from where you are to where you want to be.
Specifically, self-regulation works in three ways:
- Self-monitoring determines how well you are currently performing.
- Self-evaluation determines how well you are performing comparative to your goals.
- Self-reaction determines how you think and feel comparative to your goals. When you feel dissatisfied with your performance, self-reaction pushes you to reallocate your motivation resources.
Beyond tracking, research has found that accountability improves performance. When you report your performance to someone, particularly someone you respect, it adds external and relational motivation to succeed.
During your accountability sessions, you can get coaching and feedback on where you can improve.
Striving to accomplish big goals is not easy. Most people will give up on their dreams in order to have a clear path to lesser goals.
If you want to move quickly toward your big goals, you’ll need to become proficient at acquiring clarity for the next few steps of your journey. The best way to do this is through context-based and immersion-style learning.
The deeper and wider your clarity, the bigger your goals can be. In order to ensure you achieve those goals, you’ll need to daily track your behaviors and have an intense accountability system in place.
It’s all in the set-up. When you set up the conditions effectively, you make the achievement of your goals inevitable.