The speed at which we learn can determine the quality of our lives. Imagine if you could achieve a goal you’ve always wanted in a matter of months versus years. How would that affect your life? The most important step to achieve anything, is to first learn how to do it.
Countless learning experts and researchers have shown us that it is possible to learn anything in a fraction of the average expected time, it’s just a matter of following the right framework. Now, I’m not promising any miracles here. You are going to have to put in the work, sweat, and effort to get to where you want to be. But if you decide to take these 6 frameworks to heart and apply it into your learning process, you’ll get there a lot faster.
1. Prime your mind
The first step of learning faster always starts in the mind. Just like we have to warm up before an intense workout, we need to warm up the mind so we’re fully alert to take on any challenge.
There’s a couple of things you can do to prime your mind:
a. Working out – Physical exercise is not only great for the physical body, but studies have shown that it can improve memory and cognitive functions in our brain, even after a 15-minute session. As always, you should complement your exercise with lots of water because reaction time, responsiveness, and overall mental function is improved when you’re hydrated, and dehydration is known to be more widespread than most people think.
b. Meditation – When you’re getting you “om” on, your mind refreshens, rejuvenates, and clears in your thinking process. This allows you to become more creative, reduce anxiety, and sharpens your mind to learn.
c. Priming – Ever wondered how Tony Robbins can run a 54-hour seminar at the peak of his energy? He says it’s because of priming.
Priming is Tony’s secret weapon and it works like this:
- Stand up and breathe in from your nose and out from your mouth in rapid speed. You can even bounce up and down using your calves to get your entire body moving. Do 3 sets of 30 reps.
- Sit down and close your eyes. Then think of 3 things that you’re grateful for. This step is allows you to be grateful for what you have, and getting rid of fear in your life.
- Think of 3 major action steps that you will be accomplishing for the day, and visualize yourself as if it’s already done.
2. Model from the top
“Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” -Pablo Picasso
No matter what you want to learn or accomplish, there’s someone in the world that has already achieved what you want.
In other words, there’s no sense in reinventing the wheel. As Tony Robbins puts it:
Many great leaders have proven that the fastest way to master any skill, strategy or goal in life is to model those who have already forged the path ahead. If you can find someone who is already getting the results that you want and take the same actions they are taking, you can get the same results.
In today’s information age, your mentors and coaches can be in the form of biographies, books, videos, and the abundance of knowledge that’s available for those who seek it. There’s dozens of solutions, such as Clarity to help entrepreneurs, CreativeLIVE to help photographers, or Rype to help language learners.
3. Put in the work
No matter how determined we are or how much information we obtain from the people we are modeling, nothing happens until we put in the work. This means we all have to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty.
A study done on professional violinists back up the law of immersion and the 10,000 hour rule popularized by Macolm Gladwell. The difference between “good” and “professional” players was 2,000 hours (10,000 versus 8,000).
While the 10,000 hour rule is still being debated by several learning experts, it doesn’t defeat the fact that immersion through repetition of the task at hand is the only way to achieve mastery. There are no shortcuts.
4. Experiment and iterate
The more experiments we run in what we’re trying to accomplish, the faster we can figure out what’s working and not working. Sometimes this involves going against what you believe in, but rather embracing that there are things we don’t know, we don’t know. Most of us understand the deadliness of multitasking, but we still continue to do it. A study on multitasking showed that it takes an average 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back your full focus, once distracted from the task at hand.
Since multitasking is so deadly and our focus is limited, one way we can maximize our output is to drop what doesn’t work.
The easiest way to do this is to apply the Pareto’s law into your task. In almost anything we do, there’s a few vital tasks that give you the majority of your desired results.
- 80% of your happiness comes from 20% of the people in your life
- 80% of your income comes from 20% of your tasks
- 80% of your knowledge comes from 20% of the mentors, books, or solutions
Only a few things matter, and your job is to know which ones do and which ones you should drop.
In anything we do, we won’t see the results we originally expected. In fact, the bigger your vision, the longer it will take to achieve it. It takes a lot longer to lose 20 lbs than to gain 3 lbs. It takes significantly longer to build a $100M business than to build a $100,000 business. Whenever we’re learning anything new, we all go through the same learning curve — no matter how hard we work or how talented we are.
For people who don’t understand that “The Dip” is only a natural part of the learning process, it’s easy to lose motivation.
In fact, “The Dip” is when the majority of people quit — just moments before their biggest breakthrough results.
Don’t quit on your dreams just because you’re not getting the results you desire in this moment.
If you have a clear vision, someone to model, and embrace massive experimentation, there’s no reason not to give up.
Featured photo credit: Ameer Basheer via unsplash.com