How to Learn: Pretty Much Anything

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A lot of us want to learn new things and acquire great new skills, but often we lack the motivation to do so.

Which brings up a lot of good questions, like:

So therefore: Chapter 1

It's important to address

Procrastination first because odds are you are going to learn something new right now

But you don't actually like the idea of learning something new and there's an actual reason for that.

When you learn something new it actually adds a bit of stress to your mind.

It's the same area in your brain that activates pain and that goes off.

So because of this the idea of taking some time to learn something can give you anxiety

Because why would you want to do the equivalent of hurting yourself? So the best solution to all of this is...

Just start doing it. And that almost sounds too simple, but it's really important that you learn how to take initiative.

It's important because you can fear doing something all day or for several days because you keep thinking "Well

I just need to find the right mood for it and

then I'll actually do it." but really you just

need to start doing it because no one else can do that for you.

And once you have started doing it all that pain and discomfort

actually goes away. You move past it and it's over. You're now in the

learning zone and it's a lot easier to get back into it

the more frequently you get over this threshold. But then there's another problem. Once you've started doing something you're going to run into some problems

And you're suddenly going to switch your attention to something else. Something frustrating or negative happens and it breaks your momentum.

So because you're not reaching the reward you had anticipated your brain goes for something short-term

But instead you just have to do it again

You have to find your initiative again, and you have to remember that while it's easy to get short-term

satisfaction from Instagram, Twitter and video games, it's all the stuff that's fun in the short-term

But what you're actually doing in terms of studying and work is going to lead to long-term satisfaction

So yeah

That was easy

If you want to get down to one learning actually is, it is a cell in your nervous system called a neuron and

information flows from one neuron to another neuron through a synapse and your brain has a billion of these synapses

So don't worry about it. You're not suddenly going to go. "Oh, I have zero point one gigabytes left in my brain

I- I guess I'm never learning anything again. Bye everybody." Whenever you are learning something new your brain creates more synapses

So there really is no limit to how much you can learn. But that said it is still important that you take rest

You can't cram every single thing into your head immediately, because you need to take some time to memorize and process these things

so you actually remember it. Learning is repetition and

relearning the things that are kind of fading away in your head is important, because you need to strengthen these

connections in your brain. Your brain is really good at remembering things but it remembers things based on how important they are.

So if you have forgotten something,

it's probably because you didn't really have a need for it. One way to approach this with something like drawing is not

by tackling everything like anatomy, perspective and color theory at the same time, because that's just too much.

Instead tackle your biggest flaws right now.

That is how you establish the need for learning.

And when you read a book for something like anatomy don't just read from page one to the last.

Use the pages that you actually have a need for right now,

and go back to those pages again when you need to relearn it.

But the number one priority that comes to remembering anything is actually sleep. Sleep is extremely

important because it plays a large part in processing your synapses.

It creates more synapses and also cleans your synapses from metabolic toxins

so we don't get dirty and muddled, and maybe you kinda remember or maybe that was about something else and now you only half remember.

Another great option for your mental rest is physical exercise and social contact.

Exercise and being socially active helps your brain produce new neurons.

Staying physically active and talking to people daily will actually help you study and learn better, and in contrast

staying shut in all day is a great way to develop severe depression.

While you could listen to music, watch TV or YouTube videos while studying and working on something that's not going to be 100%

efficient. But maybe you want to sacrifice some of that efficiency so you can enjoy some music some fun video stuff while also getting some

work done. And here is basically the way that I would approach it because there are two different modes of thinking:

The focused mode, also called the logical mode or the left brain mode, which has a lot more to do with

concentration and sort of relating new things to what is already familiar. This mode pretty much requires that there are no distractions

so your memory is not inefficient.

But this might not always be the most fun thing to work with.

So when you are a creative person you tend to prefer

the diffused mode, also known as we creative mode or the right brain mode.

And with this mode your brain is free to wander. You can put on some music, some videos because you're not really learning anything new

instead you're

reinforcing what you have already learned

So knowing this and knowing that we are not completely left brained or completely right brained and that these are just modes that we can

shift back and forth between,

we can utilize the modes to be the most efficient for us.

If you're going to learn something you even probably don't have distractions.

But in expressing something let your mind wander.

But no matter what you are learning or how you are doing it, you have to do it by yourself.

You can't really watch a video of someone

painting and pick up all the painting skills without painting along. When you see someone else do something

it's not understanding it. Because a large part of learning is

problem-solving and you have to solve the problem yourself.

Sometimes it can be so hard to learn something new because it's so different that you have no way of relating to it.

If something feels so abstract that you can't even relate to it,

then you have to not just learn the name for it or what category it belongs to,

but you have to learn about it until it feels real, until it's a part of reality.

When it comes to drawing, I might think of an eye and the eye actually sticks out a lot.

but it's kind of hard to imagine that on your own. So I can say eyes

are like marbles and eyelids are like fabric over them.

And now we have a way of relating to

just how the eye looks as it sticks out. Or when it comes to figure drawing

I can say draw from the head down to the dominant leg, so that you can feel the

gravity and the force and the weight as you draw it. And when it comes to which leg is the dominant leg, then allow me to go over

and kick the model so they fall to the floor and start crying. Which leg did I kick?

That's the dominant leg. The important thing to learning

the things that feel tougher is to get across the major

idea and not get stuck in the details, because as you get to learn these things that are more abstract or harder to learn

your synapses will start to connect easier with more complicated things. Because now you have something that is actually

relatable. It's important to not get too stuck in the details because otherwise all you have is the details.

If you want to remember something, you have to test yourself.

You have to make it important to you and have a need for it.

So you can test yourself by trying to do different things from memory to see how much you actually know.

And then when you see what is wrong

You can study it again to correct it. And there's nothing wrong with

catching yourself not knowing something or having made a mistake.

All of this is part of the learning process.

There's always going to be mistakes,

because mistakes are a part of how we learn.

But a problem that can happen with creative people is that they become too trusting a fair right side

intuition, to the point where you now refuse to learn something new because your intuition is misleading.

Repeating something you already know well is pretty easy,

so it can feel like you have already mastered something when you actually have not.

Something that can happen with something like drawing is that you keep drawing heads from imagination until now

this is what heads look like to you.

So it really is important that you set aside time for deliberate practice and don't only rely on your intuition.

Because your intuition is important but in the right situations.

And then on the more left brain side of things: As much as we would like to cram all the studying in

so we can learn everything immediately,

it just doesn't work. Because your brain won't be able to keep up with making you neural structures

I think a good way to approach this is by mixing things up.

Don't just study one thing over and over again, but go back and forth between different things.

So that you give yourself the space to repeat and process the things you are learning.

Set aside time to fully study something and then time to freely explore it.

So by spacing things out over periods, we can actually use our practice and our intuition to reliably learn new things.

The final chapter.

It's perfectly normal to procrastinate because things feel unpleasant,

especially if they are really new to us. Maybe for a long time you wanted to make music

but you haven't made any steps towards making music. You don't know anything about music. You don't know where to start.

It's this big overpowering thing and in comparison, even the first steps feel so tiny.

But if you were to focus right now, not so much on everything unpleasant up ahead

but what you can learn right now; maybe you could open up a music software and just get acquainted with it.

What if you bought a smaller instrument just to play around with and have fun with? What if you did something

that works with where you are right now in the present moment?

Because the thing is when we expect the initial pain of learning something new, we expect everything after that to be just as painful.

Maybe you don't have any highly developed talents and skills,

but you have these artists you look up to and more than anything

you want to have those skills. You want to have what they have, but you can't have that right now.

But you can have the initiative. You can have the talent of

making effort, time investment, and getting something done

no matter how small it is. And anything that comes after that can just be a byproduct.

Maybe if we trace back to where talent comes from, then maybe this is where it starts. And it only relies on one thing

That you take the initiative.

Thank you for listening. And if you would like to support my work

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