Learning How to Learn
What could be considered the most important skill nowadays? Of course, it depends on the line of work one does. Yet we hear a lot about the importance of so-called soft skills. That math or algorithms or logic is important. It’s clear that there is no fixed standard concerning skills.
Let’s get to the origin of this stuff. Learning. Without learning would it be possible to acquire knowledge of soft skills? Would it be possible to learn math or programming? Probably impossible.
We now can see that learning is important. But how can learning be learned? And what does it mean to learn something?
The simple answer is practice and repetition. Until familiarity sets in, thus something becomes a skill.
For example juggling, at first, it’s hard, unrewarding, and doesn’t resemble anything at all. But as it gets familiar, incredible feats can be accomplished. And something clumsy can become a valuable skill.
So learning is the journey, the process of getting from an undesirable place to where one wants to be. And since it is also a skill, then repetition and practice also enhance learning.
Of course, there are many tips, tricks, and shortcuts one can employ to make the journey comfortable and productive. There are experts in the field of learning, who write books, create videos and whole courses on the subject.
I will share some of them:
- Learning How To Learn - A course which is taught by Dr. Barbara Oakley that dives deep into the process of learning, how our brains work, and what are the most efficient ways to learn. A bird’s eye view of the learning landscape.
- A Mind For Numbers - A companion book to the previously mentioned course. Reading this book along while doing the course really helps to solidify the learning skill. Remember repetition and practice?
- The Slight Edge - Teaches how small consistent chunks of any action, positive or negative, build up to an avalanche, in the end, that will either carry you where you want to get or to some undesirable place. Habits matter.
- The Power of Habit - Habits do govern our lives, whether we notice that or not. This book really helped me to see why I do certain things, and ignore others. Habit forming is detrimental to the learning skill.
- The Power of Now - Mindfulness. Understanding how thoughts can affect us. How and why it is important to “control” the thinking process, is the main idea of this book. In short, letting go is the answer.
And a reminder to myself: do reiterate the mentioned resources and continue learning how to learn with other books and courses.