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[Learning Notes] Learning to Learn: The Principles

Following yesterday's overview of the ZeroToMastery course Learning to Learn is this first part of the course: The Principles.

  • Learning vs Winning the System When going into any learning endeavor, be it formal education or self-learning, enter it with a mind towards what you are learning. Focus on the learning and not on the grades, certificates, etc. that you will receive at the end. The value of your education will not come from those things, but from the actual knowledge you gain from the endeavor.
  • What is Success? Drive and persistence are necessary. There are no tricks and the road is not easy. The ones who succeed are those who take the unconventional path.
  • The Obstacle When starting on a new learning endeavor, you might find that you suck at it. The reality is you don't. Not exactly. You're simply learning something new and something worthwhile. You will not be great at things right from the start.
  • The Dip Learning is hard. Everyone can learn anything, but our limited resources, e.g. time, dictate that we cannot learn everything. While it can be true that anyone can learn anything, it is also true that we cannot all be everything. It is important to be smart about this. Sometimes, you can find yourself in a learning path that is simply not for you. Accept the possibility that it can happen and turn towards an endeavor that is the better path for you.
  • Compound Learning Learning a small amount everyday trumps learning, or trying to learn, so much every once in a while. Cramming never works.
  • Failures Don't Count That is, failures don't count against you. Not being able to succeed at one endeavor should not haunt you. Every time you do something, even if it ultimately does not result in the outcome you wanted, you add to yourself. These things only bring you closer to where you want to go.
  • Choice vs Chore When it comes to doing something, anything that feels like a chore won't stick. Let's face it, no one enjoys doing the dishes, the laundry, or anything else along those lines. So, when it comes to your learning endeavors, instead of saying, "I have to...," approach them saying, "I will..." or "I choose to..." This may sound like a very small change, but these small things always matter.
  • It's All in the Frame In the spirit of the previous principle, embrace a beginner mindset. When you encounter difficulties, do not think of them as reasons to quit. Actually, they are chances to grow. Focus your perspective on things you can control.
  • Pareto Principle You might have heard of the 80/20 rule or the "Law of the Vital Few." When it comes to learning, ask, "Is this the best use of my time?" In many cases, 20% of stuff will get you to 80% mastery. Nevertheless, it's not about finding the 20%, but about eliminating the fluff.
  • Skill Stacking Curiosity + Learning Above All Else + Combining Skills It is better to have a good combination of multiple skills, each of which you are good at, than being great at just one thing.
  • Happiness Factors "What are the things that make you happy?" Know them because they are important. Learning while you are in a good state of mind is much better than learning while at the opposite.
  • Your Productivity Time Find the time of day when you feel the best and schedule your learning during that time.
  • Self-Learning Paradigm You have to choose for yourself that you want to learn. No one can do that for you and no amount of persuading will do it for you.

The most important thing is to take control.

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