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Quick Learners Do These 8 Different Things to Pick Up Anything Easily

Quick Learners Do These 8 Different Things to Pick Up Anything Easily

In most parts of the world today, education is seen as a right, not a privilege. Even if sometimes costly, every individual has, at least in theory, the possibility of studying anything he or she desires. In response to this massification of the educational system, the quantity of information has grown exponentially. Moreover, it has spread and diversified into innumerable domains, sub-domains and specializations.

Regardless, education is nothing if it does not provide a certain degree of general knowledge and culture of other fields. In order to prevent schools and colleges from spawning specialists that are laser-focused on their field alone, the practice of quick learning has gained increasing popularity in the last years.

However, tackling and even partly understanding a subject in a brief time can be extremely demanding. Mixing it with other starkly different matters of interest only adds more difficulty. As such, a few techniques and practices have to be adopted and mastered in order to successfully engage in quick learning.

They are masters of prioritizing

In order to be able to tackle different topics and a large quantity of information in a short period of time, the ability to self-organization is key. Quick learners are excellent in setting priorities[1] and achievable objectives for themselves.

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To do this successfully and consistently, one needs to play around his or her own personality and study habits as there are nearly as many learning styles as there are people. A careful, studied approach to a subject can save a lot of time and help outline its important parts.

They know how to motivate themselves

Connected to the previous point, benchmarking is the practice of organizing any task into sub-goals. This breaking down of a titanic assignment works well as an incentive. Humans are wired to receive a degree of satisfaction upon completing a task. For that reason, large and time-consuming activities can seem like an eternity.

Quick learners, however, use benchmarking to keep themselves motivated and energized throughout the entire time of the project or task. This keeps productivity at elevated levels and brings about the peace of mind specific to a job well done.

They are good at asking for help and collaborating

Lots of organized, disciplined and intelligent individuals make the mistake of relying solely on their own ability to cope with an immense amount of information. As a result, their data absorption rate is modest and their comprehension of the studied subject is approximate.

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By comparison, quick learners know how to collaborate and ask the right questions. By doing so, they lower the information load on themselves, allowing for a better understanding of diverse subjects. Students, for example, can now access collaborative learning platforms such as Edmodo[2], where they can engage with teachers, take quizzes in order to test their knowledge on various topics, as well as manage their progress.

They spend time and effort to revise and practice

Human memory is not perfect. As such, what was once thoroughly understood and memorized may sooner or later fade away. Foreign languages are the best example of this occurrence. Left unpracticed for a longer period of time, words and expressions are easily forgotten. Quick learners constantly go over what they have studied, rewriting or outlining notes in order to keep the information at least partly fresh.

They learn from every failure

Success, as prized as it is by society, can result in a weakening of the ability to deal with new and challenging circumstances. In short, failure can foster adaptability, whereas success is more likely to lead to overconfidence. Quick learners do not become frustrated and most of all, they do not give up. Instead, they extract new techniques and methods of learning from each failure.

They do the right thing in the right place

The importance of the surroundings during learning is evident to anyone. Focusing requires calm, quiet and a lack of distractions. However, changing the environment can have a significant impact on one’s ability to learn in that moment.

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As such, regularly switching from the usual dark room to the park or a library is beneficial and recommended. One trick is to tie a certain subject of interest to a location. For example, a med student may study embryology in the library, biochemistry at home and read up on anatomy in the park.

They rely on hard copies to help them concentrate better

Technology is greatly influencing learning styles. One of the visible changes is that smartphones, tablets and laptops are gradually pushing print out of the usual work space or classroom.

Nowadays, students no longer confine themselves for hours on end in the library to study dusty manuals, nor do they fight for who gets to use the single copy of a certain work. Instead, information is made readily available to them online. Papers, studies, reports, syntheses of greater books are all a click away.

However, when it comes to learning, researchers have found[3]that about 90% of students prefer hard copy or print for school work. Similarly, 92% would choose a printed version when dealing with a longer text. The same percent report to be able to concentrate better when reading a hard copy. Significantly, the same study reveals that 85% of American students said that they find it easier to multi-task when reading on a laptop or tablet.

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They choose to believe in themselves when there is any self-doubt

The traditional view is that to be able to understand and practice something, you need intelligence, skill, and good learning habits such as the aforementioned ones. However, according a private internet access Netflix expert[4] he said “it is an underlying sense of self-efficacy, personal agency and the motivational and behavioral processes to put these self-beliefs into effect.”

Simply put, educational psychologists have discovered the complex role that self-doubts, false beliefs, unfortunate self-monitoring and strategy choice dilemmas play in the cognitive process of learning. To be able to learn something is thus connected to one’s balance and beliefs about the self-motivation and self-confidence being prime movers towards success, something which quick learners have mastered.

By following these 8 techniques to appropriating information, quick learners are able not only to go over a large quantity of data, but to also achieve higher levels of comprehension. Their example might be the model of the future, a time in which information only continues to expand and to become more and more diversified.

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Ryan Holman

Writer & Blogger

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

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