The ability to learn faster than others gives you a competitive advantage in the 21st century economy.
I write a lot about how I learn on this blog. That's because acquiring this metaphor is one of the best ways to take advantage of your life. I take MOOC in the best way to learn; I read books about the most effective ways to study and acquire skills; and I read blogs by experts on the subject. And of course I apply what I learn.
Here are five skills that I learned quickly and effectively by learning how to learn:
- Encoding (in Python)
How did I learn these skills? I took all the knowledge I gathered while researching how to learn skills faster and more effectively, and I created a learning system. I then tested the learning system by learning weightlifting. The next step was to fine-tune and make the system perfect by learning to code. Finally, I fine-tuned the system by learning French, piano and drawing. Now I am ready to share my system with you in a course titled: "Learn all the skills faster and better: How to learn how to code, play the piano, lift weights, speak French, draw or anything else". I now enroll students for the course.
Meanwhile, these 10 ways to learn how to radically change your life.
1. Learning to learn will keep you updated in your field.
You've probably heard it a thousand times before: the only constant is change. This proverb applies to the modern world more than ever before. As business rules change, economic conditions change and new technology makes old ones obsolete, jobs are transformed faster than ever before.
Because success, and even survival, in today's world requires constant growth and learningLifelong learning must become a way of life for most of us. We must be able to learn as quickly as society develops. By learning how to learn you will be able to follow up on changes in your field and ensure that your knowledge does not become obsolete.
2. You have the flexibility to change careers.
Most will change careers at least a few times throughout their lifetime. This can be for a variety of reasons, such as the following:
- Most people choose the profession they will follow when they go to college at age 17 or 18, which is very young. Many graduate from college and later find out that they chose the wrong career.
- Automation displaces many workers.
- For some people, a career is not enough for a lifetime. This is especially true now that people – because of medical advances – are living longer.
- People who feel they are not making enough money may want to switch to a more lucrative career.
Changing careers means that you have to acquire new skills. If you know how to learn, you will be much more likely to succeed in your attempts to enter a new profession.
By being able to show that you know how to learn, you will also make you more employed. Here is a quote from an article published in business review from Harvard, which was written off Tomas Chamorro Premuzic:
“It is not surprising that there is now great demand for employees who can show high levels "Learnability," the desire and ability to quickly grow and adapt one's knowledge set to remain employable throughout their working life. "
Add the ability to "know how to learn" to your resume and include a link to your online portfolio showing proof of your teachability. It guarantees you to shine at your next job interview.
3. Learning to learn will give you the smarts necessary to achieve your goals.
We all know the abbreviation for goal achievement:
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- ONE – Available
- R – Relevant
- T – In good time
I suggest a new abbreviation: SMARTS. And what's the last "S"for? You guessed it: Skills!
One of the most important steps in planning how to achieve a goal is to identify the skills you need to achieve that goal. As an illustration, if you want to start a blog that gives you a side income, here are some of the skills you need to learn:
- Learn how to write for the web.
- Learn how to optimize your blog posts to be found by the search engines.
- Learn how to use social media.
- Learn how to make money from your blog.
It will be easier for you to learn these skills and start a successful blog if you know how to learn. (Think about the blog you are reading right now – I learned all the skills I needed to create this blog.)
Here's a phrase you can use to remember this new acronym:
“To succeed, you need to develop the SMARTS that is required to achieve your goals. You do this by learning to learn. ”- Marelisa Fábrega
4. Learning to learn can help you slow down cognitive decline.
A while back I read a study comparing education levels obtained early in life with cognitive decline in old age. Researchers concluded that those who had received a lot of education had built up a brain reserve that helped curb the deleterious effects of cognitive decline that could occur later in life. This was good news for me because I have a lot of schooling.
Though, new research shows that this may not be the case. Higher education can help build more robust networks of cells, which seems to provide some protection against dementia.
But when the cognitive decline begins, it disappears. This is probably because education occurs early in life and its effects may have worn off when a person hits old age.
The good news is to keep the brain active by learning new skills—Such as learning to speak a new language, learning to play a musical instrument, or learning new computer skills — can slow the rates of cognitive problems in a person's later years.
I, for one, have chosen to learn to play the piano, and I will share with you a quote to acquire the skill of playing an adult musical instrument:
“Music training seems to have a favorable impact on what age you start. It contains all the components of a cognitive training program that is sometimes overlooked, and just as we work on our bodies, we should work out our thoughts. "
Learn new skills to keep dementia at bay. Of course, you will be more likely to take on the challenge of learning new skills if you know how to learn.
5. Promote the growth of new brain cells.
Although it was once believed that humans are born with all the brain cells they will ever have, scientists have discovered that humans can grow new brain cells throughout their lives. The process is called neurogenesis. I wrote all about it in my post on how to grow new brain cells.
As I explain in that post, it doesn't just mean that growing new brain cells doesn't necessarily mean that the new brain cells will survive. You can help ensure that brain cells stay alive by engaging in learning that requires effort.
One way to do this is by learning a complex ability, such as learning to play tennis, or learning to dance. And once again, if you know how to learn, you will be much more likely to try to learn these complex skills.
6. It helps you improve your health.
Everyone wants to be healthy, but many people fail in their attempts to live a healthy lifestyle. One of the main reasons for this happening is that most people do not have the skills necessary to maintain health. This includes skills such as the following:
- Every week, design menus that are healthy and balanced (as well as delicious).
- Cooking healthy meals.
- Use the exercise equipment at the gym.
- Performs flexibility and mobility.
Learning these skills will go a long way toward improving your health. One of the skills I chose to teach myself by following my learning system is weightlifting. I can already see and feel that I'm getting fantastic results.
7. Learning to learn means you can have more fun!
One of the skills I decided to learn is to draw. Why? Because I wanted to be able to create something beautiful with my hands, have a creativity and find a way to de-stress. Drawing has done all this for me.
What have you seen others do that made you think: "It looks like fun! I wish I could do it." Go there and learn how to do it. Start by learning how to learn.
8. You get the tools you need to become an expert.
A while ago I wrote a blog post about becoming an expert. An expert is someone who has extensive and authoritative knowledge in a certain area or with a certain competence. Being an expert comes with many benefits, such as the following:
- People are more likely to trust experts.
- The media is constantly looking for experts to interview.
- Experts can charge more money for their services.
- When someone is an expert, they can build a loyal customer base that will last for years and years.
- Experts use more effective problem-solving strategies in their areas of expertise – that is, they are better at solving problems that fall within their domain.
- Being an expert will give you access to other experts.
- In order to innovate in your area, you must have a lot of knowledge about your subject. The more expertise you have in one area, the more you know about that area.
To become an expert you have to be really good at learning what you want to be an expert at. That is, you need to know how to learn quickly and efficiently so that you can become an expert and so that you can stay at the top of your field while you are there.
The first step in becoming an expert is learning how to learn.
9. Learning to learn will make you happier.
We all want to be happier. And learning new skills will help you with that. After all, learning is a core need for psychological well-being.
When learning something new, do the following:
- Increase your sense of self-efficacy.
- Increase your confidence.
- Feel that you have control over your life.
- Your life will feel more meaningful as you learn skills that help create a sense of purpose in your life.
All of these, in turn, will make you happier.
10. By learning to learn, you will be able to reinvent yourself.
Every so often we should all reinvent ourselves. As Bob Dylan says in a song: "If you are not busy being born, you are busy dying."
One of the best ways to reinvent yourself is to learn a new skill. After all, every time you learn a new skill you become a different person. Look at the following:
- A person who knows how to code in Python and can immediately start working on implementing their ideas is not the same as someone who is not even sure what the print function is.
- Someone who knows proper circuit technology is not the same as someone who only uses Smith Machines because they are intimidated by barbell.
- A person who can sit at the piano at a party and play some songs is not the same as someone who has never played a chord in his life.
By learning new skills you can invent yourself in one of the following ways:
- Go from struggling to end to financial independence.
- Go from a job that pays the bills to a career you love.
- Go from having low self-esteem to having high self-confidence.
- Go from seeing only obstacles to marking opportunities.
- Go from being overweight and out of shape to being thin and fit.
- Go from being scared to having faith.
- Go from victim to empowerment.
The first step is to learn how to learn.
What skills do you want to learn?
In preparation for the pilot course on learning to learn which I will soon launch, I want you to start thinking about the skills you want to learn.
Download the two spreadsheets that you can find further below. Write down the skills you want to learn in the spaces that are in the following twelve areas:
- Technological skills (eg coding, MS Office, Photoshop)
- Musical skills (eg song, piano, composition)
- Language skills (eg Spanish, French, Arabic)
- Business skills (eg marketing, project management, networking)
- Sports skills (eg surfing, golf, tennis)
- Creative / artistic skills (eg drawing, creative writing, dance)
- Communication skills (eg public speaking, persuasion, conflict resolution)
- Human skills (eg charisma, teamwork, report development)
- Living abilities (eg cooking, running a household, image management)
- Personnel development skills (eg time management, decision making, problem solving)
- Financial skills (eg budgeting, financial planning, investment)
- Job-specific skills – Skills that are specific to your job or career, e.g. lawyer, nurse, office manager and so on.
Once you have written down all the skills you want to learn, choose the one you want to start working on first. When you finish my course, "Learn all the skills faster and better: How to learn to code, play the piano, lift weights, speak French, draw or anything else", you have learned that skill.
Use the two spreadsheets below:
Learning should not stop when you leave school. It should be a lifelong endeavor. I hope the ten reasons I have given you above to learn to learn will encourage you to gain this important metaphor.
Live your best life by learning how to learn.