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Learn More Vocabulary Words and You’ll Be Amazed!

Learn More Vocabulary Words and You’ll Be Amazed!

Bueno. Konnichiwa. A good hello is one way to start up a relationship.

It’s interesting, I was in Phoenix, AZ all last week, and I noticed a Japanese man sitting outside smoking a cigarette. I smiled at him and said, “konnichiwa.” He was startled. He appeared lonely, and it looked as if no one had spoken to him. Isn’t it amazing what one friendly word, accompanied by a smile can do? I wonder what the rest of his day looked like…

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1. You will be puzzled when you learn more vocabulary words.

Being puzzled is a good thing because it gets you outside of your comfort zone. It takes you out of your intrepid state of homeostasis, and places you into a world unknown. In other words, you’re in the position to learn something new. Isn’t that exciting? You are going to learn something new today! You may already be sitting up a little bit straighter in your seat. You may already be a bit more focused. Learn more vocabulary words.

2. You will see fresh roses gently replace dated plaids.

In other words, new patterns will develop. Our minds were created to be utilized to their fullest potential. You might have failed miserably in the past at science or math or writing business plans or whatever it may be, but each new word you learn will build a bridge to a larger vision of your future. Rather than making a New Year’s resolution this year, check out this book and website My One Word: Change Your Life with Just One Word. Learn more vocabulary words.

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3. You will love it when it rains.

Welcome, you are now a pluviophile. You find joy and peace in hearing the melodic dripping of drops of rain on the window pane.  Do you love music? Then, you are an audiophile. Do you have any idea how important it is to realize who you are? It is so important to find your identity. Who would have thought you could find that through learning a word? It is important for you to learn more vocabulary words. You will become a seeker.

4. You will find yourself in a position to leapfrog.

One word might make the difference between getting a job and not getting a job. Competition is fierce in the job market today. No matter what kind of work you do, opposition is out there. Imagine if knowing the difference between a terabyte and a megabyte during a casual conversation over coffee with a stranger either opens or closes a door to your future.

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If you don’t know those words, look them up!

5. You will comfort others by speaking their language.

Do you have a friend with Cancer? What is chemotherapy? Learn more vocabulary words. Do you have a friend that has diabetes? What is insulin? How does it effect the body? Learn more vocabulary words. Can you learn a word a day? Do you have a friend from a different country? Are you up for the challenge? Join me in learning 30 new words for the next 30 days. Then, start over, duplicate it. Learn more vocabulary words.

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If you learn more vocabulary words, you may also be provided the opportunity to teach another person; to pay it forward as they say. You may find yourself in the position to mentor or coach someone. Yes, even you! You may find yourself experiencing success beyond what you had ever imagined.

One thing is certain though, you will have a larger reservoir of words from which to draw. No matter where you are in life, that is not a bad thing. We all need to keep ourselves hydrated, be it literally or metaphorically. Reach beyond the 6 inches in front of your face and establish a vision for tomorrow. It’s okay to take it step-by-step. The world will not stop moving because you stopped talking. You only live once. Enjoy the journey!

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

Most of the skills I use to make a living are skills I’ve learned on my own: Web design, desktop publishing, marketing, personal productivity skills, even teaching! And most of what I know about science, politics, computers, art, guitar-playing, world history, writing, and a dozen other topics, I’ve picked up outside of any formal education.

This is not to toot my own horn at all; if you stop to think about it, much of what you know how to do you’ve picked up on your own. But we rarely think about the process of becoming self-taught. This is too bad, because often, we shy away from things we don’t know how to do without stopping to think about how we might learn it — in many cases, fairly easily.

The way you approach the world around you dictates to a great degree whether you will find learning something new easy or hard.

The Keys to Learning Anything Easily

Learning comes easily to people who have developed:

Curiosity

Being curious means you look forward to learning new things and are troubled by gaps in your understanding of the world. New words and ideas are received as challenges and the work of understanding them is embraced.

People who lack curiosity see learning new things as a chore — or worse, as beyond their capacities.

Patience

Depending on the complexity of a topic, learning something new can take a long time. And it’s bound to be frustrating as you grapple with new terminologies, new models, and apparently irrelevant information.

When you are learning something by yourself, there is nobody to control the flow of information, to make sure you move from basic knowledge to intermediate and finally advanced concepts.

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Patience with your topic, and more importantly with yourself is crucial — there’s no field of knowledge that someone in the world hasn’t managed to learn, starting from exactly where you are.

A Feeling for Connectedness

This is the hardest talent to cultivate, and is where most people flounder when approaching a new topic.

A new body of knowledge is always easiest to learn if you can figure out the way it connects to what you already know. For years, I struggled with calculus in college until one day, my chemistry professor demonstrated how to do half-life calculations using integrals. From then on, calculus came much easier, because I had made a connection between a concept I understood well (the chemistry of half-lifes) and a field I had always struggled in (higher maths).

The more you look for and pay attention to the connections between different fields, the more readily your mind will be able to latch onto new concepts.

How to Self-Taught Effectively

With a learning attitude in place, working your way into a new topic is simply a matter of research, practice, networking, and scheduling:

1. Research

Of course, the most important step in learning something new is actually finding out stuff about it. I tend to go through three distinct phases when I’m teaching myself a new topic:

Learning the Basics

Start as all things start today: Google it! Somehow people managed to learn before Google ( I learned HTML when Altavista was the best we got!) but nowadays a well-formed search on Google will get you a wealth of information on any topic in seconds.

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Surfing Wikipedia articles is a great way to get a basic grounding in a new field, too — and usually the Wikipedia entry for your search term will be on the first page of your Google search.

What I look for is basic information and then the work of experts — blogs by researchers in a field, forums about a topic, organizational websites, magazines. I subscribe to a bunch of RSS feeds to keep up with new material as it’s posted, I print out articles to read in-depth later, and I look for the names of top authors or top books in the field.

Hitting the Books

Once I have a good outline of a field of knowledge, I hit the library. I look up the key names and titles I came across online, and then scan the shelves around those titles for other books that look interesting.

Then, I go to the children’s section of the library and look up the same call numbers — a good overview for teens is probably going to be clearer, more concise, and more geared towards learning than many adult books.

Long-Term Reference

While I’m reading my stack of books from the library, I start keeping my eyes out for books I will want to give a permanent place on my shelves. I check online and brick-and-mortar bookstores, but also search thrift stores, used bookstores, library book sales, garage sales, wherever I happen to find myself in the presence of books.

My goal is a collection of reference manuals and top books that I will come back to either to answer thorny questions or to refresh my knowledge as I put new skills into practice. And to do this cheaply and quickly.

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2. Practice

Putting new knowledges into practice helps us develop better understandings now and remember more later. Although a lot of books offer exercises and self-tests, I prefer to jump right in and build something: a website, an essay, a desk, whatever.

A great way to put any new body of knowledge into action is to start a blog on it — put it out there for the world to see and comment on.

Just don’t lock your learning up in your head where nobody ever sees how much you know about something, and you never see how much you still don’t know.

Check out this guide for useful techniques to help you practice efficiently: The Beginner’s Guide to Deliberate Practice

3. Network

One of the most powerful sources of knowledge and understanding in my life have been the social networks I have become embedded in over the years — the websites I write on, the LISTSERV I belong to, the people I talk with and present alongside at conferences, my colleagues in the department where I studied and the department where I now teach, and so on.

These networks are crucial to extending my knowledge in areas I am already involved, and for referring me to contacts in areas where I have no prior experience. Joining an email list, emailing someone working in the field, asking colleagues for recommendations, all are useful ways of getting a foothold in a new field.

Networking also allows you to test your newly-acquired knowledge against others’ understandings, giving you a chance to grow and further develop.

Here find out How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life.

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4. Schedule

For anything more complex than a simple overview, it pays to schedule time to commit to learning. Having the books on the shelf, the top websites bookmarked, and a string of contacts does no good if you don’t give yourself time to focus on reading, digesting, and implementing your knowledge.

Give yourself a deadline, even if there is no externally imposed time limit, and work out a schedule to reach that deadline.

Final Thoughts

In a sense, even formal education is a form of self-guided learning — in the end, a teacher can only suggest and encourage a path to learning, at best cutting out some of the work of finding reliable sources to learn from.

If you’re already working, or have a range of interests beside the purely academic, formal instruction may be too inconvenient or too expensive to undertake. That doesn’t mean you have to set aside the possibility of learning, though; history is full of self-taught successes.

At its best, even a formal education is meant to prepare you for a life of self-guided learning; with the power of the Internet and the mass media at our disposal, there’s really no reason not to follow your muse wherever it may lead.

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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