TLDR: making and executing should have priority on learning, and you should do it in solitude.
#1. A world of inputs
Today, we have a lot of inputs in our lives: podcasts, books, videos, courses, television, etc.
In fact, in my opinion there are too many inputs. If you want to learn, you can do so using your preferred medium, whenever you want. You can listen to a podcast while driving, while at the gym or even whilst showering. The market is selling us on convenience, but is it really?
In our search, it’s easy to just keep going. The internet has tons of info on any subject and, theoretically, we could never stop digesting information on what we want to learn.
But, because learning is so convenient nowadays, are we really learning?
It’s easy to fool ourselves into thinking that we are studying or learning when in fact we are entertaining ourselves.
Learning is the new entertainment.
#2. Aim to solve
I think a very good way to unfool ourselves is to learn only when we are trying to solve a real, specific problem. That way, we can learn with a specific goal in mind. Why we are taking an online course or reading a book should be very clear in our mind.
Of course, it’s absolutely fine to read just for pleasure, or even listen to a podcast just to calm down, but we should be aware of why we are doing it.
#3. Introspection & feedback
I think what kind of inputs we digest, or even in what format we digest them is not as important as how we digest them.
I think introspection is key. Introspection and alone time can absolutely help us to maximize our learning time and improve our learning efficiency so that we can retain more information.
For this reason, I embrace what I call “the way of the monk“. This involves isolating myself from all inputs in order to find clarity.
Isolating myself includes isolating from people, because people are very strong inputs. This is why I tend to work with less people as possible.
I constantly try to balance inputs and outputs to choose what to bring with me in my journey from what I just learned, and what not. Moreover, I think this is very important so that I can filter reality through the lenses of what I just learned and in a way, make my own reality.
Alone time is very important so that we can audit what we are doing right now, implement ideas right away and begin a feedback loop.
So, to recap, the way of the monk is very simple:
*do* more stuff by yourself,
*do* more than you can *talk* or *listen* to stuff.
Thanks for reading,
Enjoyed this article?
Join our newsletter to learn when new products are launched, as well as other stories from the trenches. People from great companies like Facebook and Hubspot read our newsletter.