We often complain that we don’t know much, that we don’t know anything, that we lack talents. But in fact, each of us is capable of becoming talented. Yes, that’s right: to become talented, not to be born talented. Each of us has many talents and abilities, only we often do not even guess about them. To see and understand these talents, we need to learn only one thing: how to learn to learn.
I consider this to be the main skill that opens doors to a world of fantastic results and extraordinary discoveries. Think for yourself: when you say that you can’t play a musical instrument beautifully, do you really say it? After all, you haven’t even tried to play it. And what if it turns out that you magically perform the most complex works so that you can listen, you just have not learned how to own the instrument.
How can you say that you’re afraid of heights, if you’ve never been to heights? How can you claim to be a bad driver if you haven’t been behind the wheel?
In order to understand your talents, you need to master basic skills in a particular case, practice it, and only then, from the top of your experience to draw conclusions, whether you like it or not, whether there is talent and ability to do it and there are no such things.
To reach a verdict in absentia is the same as to diagnose a person without even asking what he complains about. It is impossible to understand the essence of the case without having plunged into it at least partially. I have already described the mistakes that are made in modern training programs, and now it is time to tell how one should learn to learn.
And to dive, that is to learn some business on a good level can anyone. Be it drawing, driving, speed reading, active listening, calculating integral equations or any other skill or information. I want to talk about the key principles that make it possible to learn.
- 1. How to learn to learn: New skills and knowledge to learn naturally
The natural way is the way this knowledge and skills are obtained by researchers, scientists, pioneers. This path combines the simultaneous one-step learning of theory and practice. During the practical tasks, one learns the theory relevant to the task.
For example, you study the legal profession. It is pointless to learn all the laws and rules first, and then, after long and painful months or years of mowing, to try to apply the knowledge you have learned in practice. Especially since it does not work practically no one. How should we do it?
Take a separate small thematic block, say, civil marriage and division of property.
Find a brief descriptive theory about what belongs to this block (literally 1-2 pages of general description), but do not study what laws exist and how such cases are solved.
Find real descriptions of the cases that existed in practice
According to the original data of the case, to make an attempt to find a solution in the first approximation of the independent version.
Then go back to theory, laws, acts and rules and study the blocks that relate to a given task (this case only)
Try to solve the problem based on these elements of the theory
To take from this topic a few more practical tasks of different kinds and to study in a similar way
At the end of working on this topic, you will once again review the entire theory, from beginning to end. But now it will be clear, it will be learned many times easier. At this stage, it is important to fill in the gaps or find something that was not required in practice. And it often turns out that after such development, the theory does not need to be taught, it is mastered by the machine in the course of solving practical problems.
Then it is possible to train on other types of tasks (for example, land issues, administrative violations, etc.). And gradually, along with practical problems, one can study new sections of theory.
- How to learn to learn: Take natural examples
The problem of the unnaturalness of the examples on which learning takes place is widespread. It is important to remember that in trying to make learning easier for ourselves, we take the simplest isolated practical tasks. But this is where the root of our problems lies. The brain most often remembers algorithms and small patterns (samples) of actions which met it in the studied area for the first time.
This means that your first conditional examples will be the basis for the work of your brain. That is why learning to solve real problems later becomes difficult. For example, to train to use one single tool in Photoshop program, to master all cases of its application. When actually editing photos, you will need a set of tools and methods.
What should you do? To take in work always real examples and objects. You can take lighter examples and go to complex ones, but they should be real and practical, which you can meet with high probability.
If you are practicing law, then take examples of real cases; if you are learning Photoshop, then take lessons of real photocorrection; if you are learning to draw, then immediately draw small paintings, not individual elements (perspective, light shades, etc.); if you are learning mathematics, then immediately practice with examples similar to those in the exam objectives; if you are learning to print quickly, then use all your fingers and letters at once; if you are making pages, then make simple pages instead of training on elements.
Training individual parts that are not used anywhere by themselves, but not at the time of training (and we are talking about it), and need experienced people who have understood the essence and learned to do most of the skill, and now want to develop their abilities even deeper. That’s when it makes sense to dive into parts, but not before.
- How to learn to learn: Find a method or a good teacher who will show you the logic of learning.
If neither is available, create the conditions for you to understand this logic.
As I said before, internal logic or decision making model in any skill is the most valuable thing that brings together our individual knowledge and skills into a cohesive skill that gives us results. Without this internal logic, we can do nothing, even if we have received an excellent education.
To learn successfully, ideally you should find an experienced person: a teacher, a leader who will show you this inner logic. Consciously or intuitively, you must go this way in the skill you are learning.
What kind of internal logic is this? Let’s look at an example of solving equations in mathematics. You may know the whole theory, parse different types of solutions, algorithms, but you see this particular example on paper and do not know at all what to do with it. What does a good teacher or a good technique do? Shows the essence of solutions, reasoning and choice of methods.
What’s so special about it that it tells us how to solve it? There is an unknown in this equation in a square, so there are two options: to solve it as a square equation, or to use some abbreviated formulas to solve this equation. Let’s see which abbreviated formulas are appropriate. If they don’t fit, we’ll solve it as a square equation.
If you lose different versions of such equations, you will learn in practice both practical solution skills and theoretical principles of solving equations.
Usually ready-made solutions in textbooks are not accompanied by such reasoning, the method is given at once: let’s use such a formula. And why it is not told to her. And this inaccuracy will later turn into a stupor: how to solve this particular problem?
With mathematics, you say, it is more or less clear. But similar principles apply in other areas where you have to learn. Let’s take another example: learning how to start and run a business. What usually happens in courses and trainings on this topic? Business tools, business processes, steps, what to do, how to do accounting, how to manage employees. All these are separate parts of the same internal logic, which few people give.
All the individual elements can be extremely difficult to combine together and go through the whole process of building a business, you need a whole picture. And it starts with the definition of what the business is for (most often for money), what ideological principles you invest in it (someone wants a business only to help people, someone is environmentally friendly, someone is the most profitable, only unique, etc.), followed by a sequence of actions, how to choose a niche, how to analyze the market, assess risks and many other actions, where to start and in what volumes.
It is important to understand what to do, especially where one has to choose, and one has to choose often. This logic can only be learned from an experienced businessman who understands it himself and applies it in building his business.
The fastest way to learn how to learn well is to find a real teacher.
Inexperienced people often start a business where there are a lot of competitors, or, taking too much volume (and lose out without coping with them), choose a niche that is not relevant and not needed. This happens precisely because they do not feel the logic to follow.
As I have already said, if there is no mentor nearby who can show the inner logic, you can use methods and manuals based on this principle. But it often happens that there is nothing appropriate. What to do in this case?
How do you learn to learn if you don’t have a good teacher?
In a number of areas, you can create conditions that are close to ideal. It is not always possible to do this, but it is still possible.
It is important to try to find examples, the answers to which are written and explained. Where the author involuntarily prescribed a step-by-step algorithm, what and how he did it. For example, there are many lessons on how to draw and make collages in Photoshop. Lessons are built on the principle of “take the tool brush, choose a color #456783, draw a straight line from the top left corner, go to the settings” levels “, set the value of 54″, etc.
In such a lesson, the real practical example is always explained, not individual, but integral skills are practiced and the logic of work is partially observed, what is done and in what sequence. Yes, in such lessons there is no explanation why this or that method is chosen. But with regular training on real lessons, you gain this experience yourself, simply repeating step by step what others have done.
If there are examples of solutions (specific lessons of Photoshop, examples of solving equations, chemical problems, cases of building a business, examples of pages, cases of excellent advertising campaigns, cases of psychological situations and their solutions), then you should repeat them, pass and feel this internal logic. Sometimes it seems useless: just to pass step by step what has already been done. But this is how you can understand this inner logic. The more complicated and complex the skill, the harder it will be to understand, but it is possible.
- How to learn to learn: Make mistakes only where you can.
There are different opinions about mistakes. Some believe that they can and should be made, others believe that we should try to do everything correctly. If we are talking about how to learn to learn, we must also stipulate how to make mistakes.
I will tell you my position based not only on my opinion, but also on the knowledge received from serious researchers. So, there are diametrically opposite relations with mistakes for two types of actions: skillful actions and actions related to reasoning and decision-making.
Skillful actions are all that we need to make life easier, all that we try to learn and do on the machine (quickly read, quickly print, drive a car, dance, sing, draw, make plans, work in programs, put bricks, dig beds, actively and empathically listen, beautifully perform in public). The essence of such skills – to learn to do something, physically, mentally, emotionally.
The second type of action is the action of reflection and decision making. Here we do not do, but analyze and decide what we need to do (what business to start, what employee to hire, where to go in the summer, whether to judge your garden, whether to buy a car, relax or still work, what tool to choose to work, what method is needed to solve the problem).
In the first category of actions, making mistakes at the training stage can be fatal for skill formation. It is in skill training that our brain writes patterns to its neural networks. If we fix the wrong patterns, it will be very difficult for us to change them.
Singers say that when you change schools or vocal teachers, it can be very difficult to change, because they have learned to sing in one way, and another vocal school involves different singing.
It is hard to learn the wrong hand when writing, drawing. It’s hard to learn from the unsustainable ways of speed reading to the right ways, it’s hard to regroup on literate ways of remembering, if you used to just rote. Strongly established patterns of skills are difficult to rewrite. So it’s easier to learn how to learn and then explore other areas.
When it comes to making decisions, it’s the other way around. It is possible and even useful to make mistakes. Mistakes in these actions gain experience in making the right decision, reduces the fear of mistakes and, in fact, allow you to learn to learn. They help to understand the wrong logic of their decisions, to find areas of development. We learn from mistakes in such actions and such cases.
Remember this when you learn new things. With trial and error-free methods, you will accelerate the learning of skills and experience a different model of how to learn to act. Choose skill training methods that set the right patterns for your brain. We will talk more about this in the next articles. And in making decisions, you can safely make mistakes, it will only benefit.
- How to learn to learn: Improve your general level of intellectual skills.
If you have fast, systematic thinking, if you know how to memorize material, if you know how to process information, if you know how to set goals and allocate your time, it is much easier for you to learn something quickly. A general level of intellectual skills can speed up any of our learning, including helping you learn to learn well.
And if you have a good understanding of one area, it will be much easier for you to learn new skills or to learn in a nearby, related area. A programmer who knows one programming language is easier to learn another than a person who is not experienced in these areas.
The hardest thing to do is to start learning skills, to get knowledge. The further you move, the easier the road itself becomes.
What kind of intellectual skills are these?
Ability to work with information
Ability to work with memory correctly
Ability to rest
Study yourselves, your characteristics. Explore what type of perception you have of information and what type of perception you are: audio, visual, kinestite, digital. Use this knowledge to perceive information more easily and thus learn more easily.
Advancing at least partially in each of the skills produces remarkable results in your overall abilities. So develop and you will see amazing results in your life.
Of course, if you look into the topic of how to learn to learn, you can highlight other components, but we will talk about this later in other articles. I hope that this information will be useful and you will learn to learn quickly and qualitatively.