Over the course of the next two or three podcasts, I want to share some tools and techniques I’ve been using to supercharge my learning. In my case, I’ve focused these tools on learning a spoken language (French), but these are powerful, raw techniques that you can use to learn anything–what to remember names? Grocery lists? Information for a degree or certification test? Personal information (birthdays, kids, etc.) for friends and/or clients?
In this episode I share some of the background concepts and the attitude that makes it all work. Next week, we’ll dig into specific techniques and tools, and you’ll see for yourself that these can, quite literally, change your life.
Here are the show notes:
How were we taught to learn in school, as children? Most likely:
- Disciplined schedule for a period of time each day. Same place. No distractions.
- Easy stuff first. Build a foundation.
- Rote learning. Keep doing it until it sticks.
Are there better ways? Yes, there are:
- We understand the brain better each decade. (Be careful of pop science, though!)
- Connections are important. The more things we can bring to reinforce a memory, the more we will remember.
- Forgetting is useful. You can put your forgetting to work to make something permanent in your memory.
- Our brains probably evolved to process spacial information… geographies, landscapes… so maybe it would be good to learn that way?
- Stories, drama, humor, sex <= those are memorable.
Keys to superlearning:
- Take care of yourself
- Diet & exercise
- You must be interested and motivated in the subject. Without passion, you aren’t going to do this very well.
- The right attitude: Focused & relaxed. Think of a child at play. Find some playfulness in your work.
- A lot of exposure. It takes time. There’s no way around that; the more exposure we have to something, the more it becomes a part of us. (And, apparently, the more the brain optimizes for this type of information.)
- A good plan
- What do you need to know first?
- What will keep your interest? Stretching a bit is not a bad thing.
We’ll continue next week with a look at the famous “memory palace” technique, and you’ll actually do it for yourself to prove that it works!
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Also, if you like the music for this podcast, then be sure to check out Brian Ashley Jones, my friend, and a fantastic singer-songwriter.
Enjoy the show: