The keys to unlock volumes of information are often found behind a screen. Whichever delivery method you prefer, video, audio, text, or any combination, is readily accessible to the average person. The world wide web and the internet allow us to virtually travel through the perpetual universe to almost any destination imaginable. It has enabled the world of communication and connection to enhance human experience and existence. It’s one of many tools just about anyone can use to enrich their life.
A mind that continues to learn new things, is a mind on the move in the right direction. In fact, obtaining fresh knowledge and skills creates a scientifically identifiably positive impact on brain health. This is the best weapon against cognitive challenges, especially as people age. Many have made the endless consumption of knowledge a personal habit. It comes naturally for some. Others have taught themselves how to learn. That’s right, the ability to learn throughout life is often a mastered skill in itself. Here’s a few tips (out of many) that can benefit your efforts.
Choose Your Curriculum
You decide the length of your journey. Doing something for fun is much different than enhancing job skills or inter-personal relationship work. If it’s something that is important to you, you will delve into information across various platforms and sources. There are several combinations to explore at a pace tailored to fit your needs and desires. Possibly the best feature of being self taught is designing the learning program. There can also be times for learning “one and done" topics. Mental flexibility is always a good idea.
Watching or listening to several people that are basically explaining the same concept provides advantages and angles that only variety can offer. Every person will contextualize and emphasize different details to concentrate on. Discrepancies in information and execution have an opportunity to present themselves here. There may be dozens of ways to achieve one result. Some ways are undoubtedly better than others, and you have the capacity to compare.
This can be quite an entertaining tool, especially in video format. Anticipating what could possibly go wrong before you finally try the new things you’ve learned is a must for the successfully self-taught. This can save you time, money, and pain. It also draws more realistic expectations for your endeavors. Clues to common mistakes to avoid and tips on what not to do are imperative. They are important to observe, even if you are still inclined to err. A lesson in recovering from certain failures may just prove to be the perfect key to progression.
Invest in Yourself
Spend your time. Spend your money. You don’t necessarily have to do both simultaneously. There are plenty of free sources to gather information from, and they will cost you a bit of your time to sort through. The knowledge is available. There are also several paid courses and classes at your fingertips. The vast amount of data available has been sorted through and compiled into a lesson plan ready for remote studies. This can be a time-saving option, but it’s not completely necessary to the self-taught.
Sharpen Your Critical Thinking Skills
We live in the infamous age of misinformation. Faux facts are embedded in strings of data that will never disappear. These untruths have no means of expiration. Distinguishing fact from fiction is a critical skill needed for an ambitious student under self-guidance. Graphic enhancements (altered photos) can make discernment difficult at times. Opinion may also be a strong influence on the subject matter you are consuming, but an objective position enables the best vantage point for learning.
Slow it Down
Life is a series of days, and each one is different. Allow yourself room to rise, or even sink, with the tides of time. Review your progress every now and then before moving forward. Some educational endeavors, especially the creative arts, will actually allow a method to physically move at a speed that is exactly half the rate of normal activity. Take advantage of being your own time accountant. Watch a video at half-speed. Repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 before moving to step 4.
Find a new group with similar interests or a new buddy to confer with on your new venture. Once you acquire a decent amount of knowledge, peers of the same nature help reinforce the ideas and concepts you have intentionally examined. You may have questions they can answer. They can also point you in the right direction or help keep you on the correct course. Becoming a master of a particular skillset may include a hint of competition and a slice of opposition every once in a while.
The quest for knowledge can be infinite. You can continue to build and expand on subjects that you are already familiar with. You can also explore completely unknown territory. It is your choice, your time, your mind, your accountability, your life. Whether you want to learn a new recipe, language, skill, or subject, the successfully self-taught have a great advantage over those that wait to be instructed.