How to Learn

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Scenario: "Dude, we gotta read books. Oh-yeah!" But what happens when most of us read books? Instead of learning really anything, we're confirming our preexisting beliefs.

  • If we agree with: __________, then it's-all-goood.
  • If we disagree with: __________, then we ignore it as drivel.

If you really want to be one-smart-sucka, start challenging your views.

Why Political Debates Go Nowhere

It goes a little something like this:

  1. Wally Wa: "Big companies exploit the average American!"
  2. Sally Su: "No hippie! Big companies provide people jobs."
  3. Wally Wa: "No greedy @^^%! Corporate executives are money-grubbing hawks."
  4. Sally Su: "Look @^^%. Corporate executive compensation provide motivation."
  5. Wally Wa: "You suck!"
  6. Sally Su: "No, you suck!"

Somehow we all grew up adopting: "I'm always right, everyday, all day, all-the-time. Yay!" Instead of listening intently to contrary opinions, we shut it off as "Blah!" Instead of learning, we lounge back and think we're kings of the mutha-@^^%^&-jungle. Our learning capacity levels flat-line. Take it from Wharton professors:

"I know everything!"

People tend to confuse their familiarity with a topic with true expertise about it.

"I'm a Greek God."

They frequently overestimate their skills and knowledge compared with those of their peers.

"Oh, I just know it."

In the calibration studies, people got in trouble when they moved out of their domain of expertise: the accuracy of their decisions fell while their confidence stayed high.

"Yes, I remember."

People also have a strong bias to think that anything they remember is true even when they've forgotten the source of their information. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

If you want to be a learning badass, challenge everything you know.

How to Learn

Exercise time! Yay! Hooray! Say you strongly believe: __________________.

  1. Write that sucka down.
  2. What's the opposing view? __________________.
  3. List 10 things that strongly support the opposing view.
  4. Congratulations. You just boosted your learning juice, drastically.

That exercise scares most people because they think: "Hey, if I take the opposing view, then my entire mindset will change for the worse. Ahh!" On the contrary: doing that exercise opens your fabulous brain up by inserting new information to form your decisions. That makes your decisions more objective, and as a result: much more effective.

How Can I Challenge My Beliefs in Other Ways?

In addition to challenging your assumptions about your super-biases, you can also challenge it if you're becoming too pessimistic for your own taste. For instance, these inner phrases might destruct your buisness:

  • "I'm not a good seller."
  • "I'm a lousy manager."
  • "My customers don't like me."
  • "I can't possibly help my employees."
  • "I can't negotiate at all."

Start challenging your badass with 10 opposing reasons for each belief. Do a list. Write the suckas down. You'll start learning about yo-kickbooty-self-like-krazy. Word.

Challenge yo-self.

 

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Posted on January 12

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