In order to be successful in the 21st century you have to be a super learner, it is one of the most important skills you can possess. In an age that is led by technology, if you wish to stay ahead of the rest you have to continuously educate yourself - keep updating your skills and ideas.
It is without a doubt that the ability to learn a skill fast is a necessity. Many at this point may be worried, as this is not naturally in you, but that doesn’t matter, it is a skill that you can develop.
Believe it or not most of the best in the world, those who have won Nobel prizes such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Charles Darwin or the Nobel Laureate Richard Feyman have admitted that they were not people who possessed high intelligence.
If we have the right tool or technique there is nothing that can’t be learned. The trick is to have the right approach, the right tools and apply what we have learned in the correct fashion.
With the right approach, learning can be a very enjoyable experience. If you are someone who is trying to learn a new skill to improve yourself, then some of the following techniques might be very beneficial for you.
- Effective Learners Read a LOT!
What a good workout is to a body is exactly what reading does to your brain. Give it a good work out! Reading gives a magical realm, where you can experience freedom, you are not constricted to the limitations of space, time, you will be able to experience emotions as well at a heightened level.
As you read your brain starts working in a completely different manner, it starts making new associations, it grows and changes. Each new material you read offers something new to your brain. Which is precisely why successful people swear by reading.
Follow our 21-day reading plan on our Insta handle to help you get started
Once you start getting into the habit of reading you will no longer see it as a chore, you will start to love it. Bill Clinton reads 50 books a year, he was also one of the presidents who read the whole library at the white house during his tenure as the president of the United States of America. Warren Buffet spends 5-6 hours per day reading.
- Super Learners see learning as a process
Learning is not a destination, see it as a journey where you acquire knowledge.
It’s a self paced life-long process,if you wish to learn something you have fundamentally have sustained curiosity along with keen observation.
See learning as an investment to your future. It will pay itself in increased earnings. If you want to stay relevant in your field, and be indispensable at your work, then keep learning as your life long friend.
You have to value the process of learning. Don’t be eager to keep an end date, rather seek consistent improvement. Try to master new principles, processes, thinking models etc.
- Super learners will build a growth mindset
Growth mindset is a learning theory that was developed by Dr Carol Dweck. The theory states that it is possible to improve your intelligence, performance and ability.
Alvin Toffler states that ‘ In the 21st century the illiterate will not be those who cannot read or write; it will be those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn’.
Having an adaptable mindset will help you focus more on your most desirable goals in life. This will help you to see opportunities more quickly and to grow your abilities.
If you keep an open mind, then you can acquire better knowledge and apply it when necessary this will improve your career and your life.
- They teach others what they know
Research has shown that 90% of what you learn you will be able to retain it better if you immediately teach someone or explain the concept.
This method is called a retrieval concept by psychologists, it is proven to be the most efficient means of building stronger memory traces.
When you teach someone else then it becomes easier to find pinholes in your own concept. This theory was formulated by the famous physicist Richard Feynman.
The ultimate test of your knowledge is when you can effectively communicate or teach the idea to another person. An effective way to utilize this tip is to learn half the information then teach. That is you first learn the 50% then recall this, and write down the key ideas so that you know it better, then you can proceed to sharing it.
- They take good care of their brains
The brain is a very important asset to effective learners so they take super good care of it. What you do and don’t do for your brain can make a whole lot of a difference. Having robust brain health is key to making sure that you will live an active life.
What you eat has a huge impact on how your brain functions - vegetables; leafy greens - like spinach (yes, popeye was right!), whole grains, proteins, healthy unsaturated fats all help in slowing down cognitive decline.
It is proved that age-related oxidative stress can be reduced with the intake of fruits and vegetables. Our brain functions will decline if we do nothing to help it grow or protect.
- They take short breaks
If you want to retain information, having proper downtime is crucial. Research has backed the same data, it says that short breaks can help you to learn things better and they will also improve your retention rate.
When you take short breaks, it will help you to solidify what you have learned. A study done by Louisiana state university showed that the ideal time to study is 30 - 50 minutes. You will not be able to get any information in less than 30 minutes similarly you will tend to lose focus if it's beyond 50 minutes.
The neural networks in our brain need time to process information, so make sure that you have enough time to have a break.
Hope these tips will help you to be a better learner.