Monday, June 2, 2014

3 Steps to Master Anything Fast

I've learned something about myself in the past two years since I graduated from graduate school:

I'm obsessed with learning. 

It's like a fire that I can't quench; every book I read just makes me want to read more. 

I miss formal schooling every day, but I'm thankful that my education taught me how to learn so I can continue the journey on my own.

As I've been learning on my own for years now, today I thought I should share with you my strategy for mastering new topics as fast as possible.

The steps below have become almost like breathing to me, and when I consider how far I've come, I know I owe a lot to these strategies and my insatiable curiosity.

What interests me most is equity, education, communication, and social issues. 

What about you?

What is something you really want to learn more about right now?

Your learning desire could be about ANYTHING. Maybe you're like me and there's a social problem that just burns you up and you want to do something about it. Or maybe there's an idea you're curious about, an academic subject you want to get better at, a career you want to explore, a relationship you want to improve, or a new adventure you want to prepare for.

The only rule is that it has to be something you want to learn because it genuinely interests you. 

What is coming to your mind right now? 

Below are three things you can do to ensure that your learning journey is not only worthwhile, but also an amazing adventure that pushes your life closer to where you want it to go:

1) Read
I can't underestimate the power of reading. Today there are books on almost every nuanced subject imaginable. It's kind of amazing.

You'll be blown away by how your life can change and what you can learn by checking out a bunch of books on the subject at the library and/or buying some books yourself. 

Buying books on something you want to learn is always a good investment.

Action step 1: search for a book right now on your local library's website or on what you want to learn. Pick one for this week and then start reading. 

2) Find someone who knows
My book is all about mentorship; one of the quickest and best ways to learn something is to find a mentor who is already an expert in what you want to know or has done what it is you want to do.

Look for these people. Use your social networks. Be bold. And ask to meet in person or talk on the phone for fifteen minutes to ask your burning questions.

Just show your authentic desire to learn and express why you're interested in them and what they know/do, and trust me, they'll be more than happy to share.

Action step 2: Email someone who knows or does what it is you want to learn more about and ask to chat for fifteen minutes (if you don't know anyone, tell your mentors, family, friends, professors and anyone else you can about what you're trying to learn and ask if they know anyone who might be able to help). 

3) Get up close and personal
Getting more exposure to whatever you want to learn will teach you so much; there is nothing like personal, immersive experience. It's why most people say the best way to learn a new language is to spend time in a country where that language is spoken. 

Take that bold step and volunteer at, intern at, or visit a place that will give you a deeper understanding of what you're trying to learn. 

The internet is great, but it's not the best teacher. Experiencing what you want to learn more about in person will teach you so much more.

Be brave and invest yourself in some kind of new experience that will give you first-hand understanding of whatever it is you're trying to learn more about. 

Action step 3: Look online right now for some kind of opportunity that would help you get closer to what you are trying to learn about. This can also be a good question to ask a mentor who knows a lot about what you're trying to learn. 

I hope this helps; happy learning! :)

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