Tag: Teaching


education“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever” -Gandhi

Let’s start with how we learn
Education theory says that to learn anything new we must hear it at least 200 times. In learning anything, first you imitate, then you identify, and then you internalize. Exposure is more important than knowledge

Don’t just learn… apply

There’s a great quote from Napoleon Hill, “knowledge is only potential power. It becomes power only when and if it is organized into definitive plans of action and directed to a definitive end.” “If we aren’t careful, ‘learning’, becomes endless avoidance of the work in front of us.” Ramit Sethi, “learning and changing are two different things… it is better to apply one book than read 20”

Some better ways to go about it

Read as little as feasible about the last 20 years… time can act as a cleanser of noise of overhyped work.

Before choosing something that requires you to dedicate years of your life to school for training (like a doctor), volunteer (at a hospital if a doctor) and see if you like the atmosphere/people first. I personally know many people who got their law degree only to hate being a practicing lawyer and give it up after spending years toiling away.

Combining disciplines can make you more unique/creative.: Software + biotech, EE + MBA, etc. there is also less competition when you combine disciplines… you can be an expert with only 500 hours of work instead of 10,000.

If you want to learn French, you will learn 10-20X faster if you move to France and get a French girlfriend…motivate yourself to learn.

Use the 5 Why’s to continually ask questions and learn more deeply.

To avoid just having a 40 year gap between college and retirement with nothing to show, work on: skills, relationships, character, hustle… these will always translate to something new.

Instead of teaching kids to suppress natural urges (aggression, sex, etc.) teach them how to better deal with them. If you suppress them they usually come out later even uglier.

Think about your 20s as you being in charge of your own education system

A few stats

At one point, 80% of Americans were farmers… now that number is 2%. Always keep learning as jobs of today will be replaced by jobs of tomorrow.

By about 8th grade kids start saying they aren’t good at this or that (I can’t draw, I can’t do math, etc.)…always be learning!

Other ideas

The Future Project” is a program that puts a “Dream Director” in schools… kids dream it and then they help them try to achieve it. I’ve never worked with these folks, but heard about it through someone else and really like the idea…helping kids make their dreams come true.

Looking for some inspiration for something greater? Hear are some good YouTube videos to learn from with Richard Feynman and Elon Musk…fun stuff (I guess that depends on your idea of fun, but to each his own.)

Keep after it, kids!


The Learning Process: from Novice to Master


The Learning Process: from Novice to Master

If you want to get great at anything there are a few hacks (see my ultimate hack at the bottom), but there is no way around putting some time in. If you follow the below path, you may be able to shave off some time and achieve a higher level of mastery when all done. So you have to put in your time, but doing it in the right way makes all the difference.

Step1: Find your life’s task: What are you good at and what do you enjoy:

This can be the hardest part of the process, but it needn’t be. Two good ways to start this: 1) Make an x-y grid of all the things you’re good at and all the things you enjoy… where do they intersect  2) Ask others… they will tell you what you are uniquely talented at

Step 2: Find a mentor/apprenticeship:

This is the single greatest hack… finding a mentor who has already been down your chosen road can save you years of needless toil and frustration (unlearning the wrong thing can take more time and be more frustrating than trying to learn it the right way to begin with), but it does depend on finding the right mentor

Step 3: Clean slate: Allow yourself to be molded

Step 4: Lay the foundation/learn the fundamentals

Step 5: Practice:

Here comes the famous 10,000 hour rule…10,000 hours is only a guesstimate, but it does take time and practice if you really want

Step 6: Internalize: Unconscious processing

Somewhere during this 10,000 hours things will become natural and no longer forced… breakthrough!

Step 7: Growth

Step 8: Plateaus and dealing with pressure:

It’s not all roses and isn’t easy, otherwise everybody would do it

Step 9: Experiment:

Push the boundaries. This step is critical… just rehashing the same things everyone else has done is not the goal… we are looking for the blue ocean and to breaking new ground. Don’t even let your mentor hold you back here

Step 10: Form opinion:

Start to find your own path

If you do this, you will be one of the few… it is too much work for most people and they will give up early on. Still too much for you? Don’t have 10,000 hours? A shortcut possibility is to learn say 1000 hours at two separate disciplines and marry them together (first heard this idea from Peter Thiel) where nobody has done so previously. Now no one knows more than you at this intersection. This works amazingly well if you can find demand at this intersection, but predicting demand is your challenge… maybe the world just doesn’t know it needs this yet!

Some great books that I borrowed liberally from for this:

Mastery by Robert Greene

The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin