To Become a More Effective Lifelong Learner, Build a Learning Engine

Intellectual curiosity is your most valuable skill in a rapidly changing world

 
By Thomas Oppong | Personal Growth | Jun, 2021 | Medium
 
I’m a massive advocate for lifelong learning. I’ve written a lot about it. I think it’s the best way to take charge of your own intellectual growth.
 
“The “learning engine” is at the core of every lifelong learner,” says Sahil Bloom. I rely on dozens of newsletters, blogs, Twitter accounts, podcasts and a growing collection of books to keep learning. I value learning from smart people. So I deliberately make time for learning.
 
A learning engine is a set of tools designed to improve how you think, make decisions, work and build a great life. It’s a firm foundation for growth. “Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” Isaac Asimov said.
 
“It is comprised of all the learning “inputs” regularly consumed — books, newsletters, podcasts, videos, etc,” Sahil said.
 
Without a learning engine, your creative output could suffer. Everything I write about is something I’ve learned from smart people or through experience.
 
No true genius thinks alone. Aristotle was a student of Plato. Plato learned from Socrates. Einstein learned a lot fromHeinrich Friedrich Weber and Alfred Kleiner.
 
Dennis W. Sciama was the PhD supervisor to Stephen Hawking. “All I have learned, I learned from books.” Abraham Lincoln said. Super learners are always looking for opportunities to learn from intelligent minds.
 
Today, there is an abundance of knowledge to feed our minds. There are more sources of specific knowledge than ever before. You can learn from experts in the comfort of your home.
 

A learning engine prepares you for the future

“The “why” of self-directed learning is survival — your own survival as an individual, and also the survival of the human race. Clearly, we are not talking here about something that would be nice or desirable….We are talking about a basic human competence — the ability to learn on one’s own — that has suddenly become a prerequisite for living in this new world.” — Malcolm Knowles
 
A learning engine can boost your career, especially in times of uncertainty. It can also put you in control of the trajectory of your life.
 
Opportunities to learn complementary skills are so abundant that we literary have no excuse to improve our minds and become better versions of ourselves.
 
You can put your digital screen to good use in your free time or downtime by learning something new. You can learn new knowledge on-demand, at any time of the day and anywhere.
 
Make no mistake, there are also tools that can waste all your downtime. Beware of your digital distractions. Your free or gap time might be the perfect time to learn valuable things, skills, or timeless knowledge.
 
Whatever your goal, there are tools that can help you build the smartest engine to achieve it without formal education.
 
A learning engine gives you the freedom to pursue your intellectual curiosities from anywhere. You can use a collection of tools, blogs, podcasts, videos, courses and newsletters to expand your skills, learn a new topic, improve your hard skills or learn a permanent skill.
 
There are opportunities to improve your knowledge, habits and routines all around us. Personal learning is a huge investment in yourself that pays for as long as you live.
 
“There’s no financial investment that’ll ever match it because if you develop more skill, more ability, more insight, more capacity, that’s what’s going to really provide economic freedom,” writes Tim Ferriss, in his book, Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers.
 
Your best future relies on your ability to reinvent and upgrade yourself, no matter your status in life. We can all benefit from lifelong learning.
 
Knowledge compounds and makes you better person over time. Don’t stop pursuing knowledge you care about because you may be busy. Find your best sources and learn something new every day.
 
These are a few mental tools/blogs/newsletters/Twitter accounts that are helping me learn something new every day; these books (the list is keeps growing), Brain Pickings, Farnam Street, The Atlantic (How to Build a Life Column), More to That, Collaborative Fund Blog, Derek Sivers Book Notes, Commonplace, Psyche, Behavioral Scientist (What We’re Reading), Robinhood Snacks, James Clear’s The 3–2–1 Newsletter, Naval, Seth Godin, etc. These tools and dozens of others have become my learning engine for growth. They dip deeper and explain things and topics better.
 
I keep adding and subtracting sources. It’s the only way to I reduce redundancy and maximise learning or better still improve the engine.You don’t to spend time on the same things from different sources. To build an efficient learning engine, keep iterating and make it better over time.
 
You can’t overestimate the importance of self-learning. It’s the key to growth in almost all areas of life. And it’s also the secret to building wealth. That’s why Warren Buffet spends 80% of his time reading.
 
“Self-education will make you a fortune.” Jim Rohn said. Knowledge and wisdom should not end after formal education.
 
What tools are helping you build a more intelligent brain?

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July 23, 2021 at 01:34PM

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