Learning new skills is a life-long practice and something we’ll never fully complete.
But, it can also be hard, there are so many new skills to learn, and so much content available to help teach us them.
We talk to Scott H Young, author of the book Ultralearning about how we can master the skills that help us to outsmart the competition and have better careers.
We talk about:
– The MIT challenge and how Scott completed 33 MIT classes in 12 months, instead of the usual four years.
– What are the principles of Ultralearning and an example of how they helped someone become world-class at speaking in six months?
– How we can make Ultralearning part of our daily lives.
Time Stamped Notes:
[2:25] – Scott explains what Ultralearning is and how he developed it by studying people who were great at teaching themselves new skills.
[7:00] – Scott takes us through the MIT challenge, a project where he completed 33 classes in 12 months. If attending MIT, it would have taken him four years.
[9:25] – One of the big reasons Scott was able to complete those classes in a far shorter amount of time was flexibility. He could create a more efficient schedule that better suited how he wanted to complete that work.
[12:50] – We get into an example of Tristian who applied Ultralearning principles to make the finals of the world championship of speaking. A couple of things that helped him achieve that:
a. He practiced a lot and sought out feedback from a variety of places. For example, he videotaped himself; he got feedback from the audience; he talked to people who worked in Hollywood, who worked in comedy improv and theatre.
b. He focused his efforts on one talk so he could concentrate on the delivery vs. having to learn new presentations continually.
c. He gave himself a clear timeline to make improvements within – 6 months.
[16:45] – There are core things you can put into practice if you want to improve how you learn. Scott talks about many of these principles in his book. We cover the retrieval principle. People are much more likely to learn things if they attempt to read something and then recall it e.g., reading a passage from a book, closing the book, and then trying to remember it.
[20:30] – We talk about ‘free recall,’ the concept of reading, watching, or listening to something, and then attempting to remember what you had just consumed. Free recall helps you to learn things faster.
[25:15] – Something that could improve all of our content consumption habits are being more specific about the skills we want to learn and have a timeline in which to do it.
[28:23] – We should choose one skill we want to get better at, choose a time in which to do it and then only focus on that skill. A lot of us attempt to learn too many new skills at once.
[30:35] – Scott gives us some tips to better integrate Ultralearning into our daily lives.