Life long learning. That’s how it is called. But what does it mean? That learning will never stop?! Oh dear! But come on, it’s not that difficult! We can push through! We can master life anyways. No? Well, then we need to understand how to learn!
The big picture!
Looking at something from above? From the sky? Looking at things with a wider angle? A different perspective? Observing a topic from far away? Looking at this world like the birds from the sky? The bigger the picture, the more we can see. But if you have ever take a picture, you know already that it’s quite the opposite. The bigger the picture, the further you are away. And the further you are away, the smaller things become. Details disappear. Details do not even exist.
With learning, this approach is also something we have to consider. Why? Because we enjoy getting lost in the endless details of the details. We can literally sit there for hours, studying things up and down in an endless loop. The only problem? This approach is far away from being anything close to perfection. We learn, sure, but we do not really focus on how, where to stop and what the topic is really all about.
If you want to learn something, first you need to understand where the story begins. What is your goal? Why do you need to know it? What will you do with the knowledge? For how long do you want to know it?
It might sound silly, but some people never actually think about this. Can you believe it? They just learn for their next exam, test, or whatever. Sure, at school or university this is something you can in fact do. But later on in life, there is nobody telling you exactly what you have to know. There is no script. There is no exam from last year. There is just this topic you need know, or get familiar with.
Before you do anything, do what we can do best and do nothing. Do not just start learning. Do not just jump right into it. STOP! Wait a second! What do we need to know? Why do we need to know it? What do we intend to do with the knowledge? And the list goes on and on.
Always start with the big picture! Go back from the details! Look at the whole thing. And once you have done this, you will understand the connections. You will see where to start and where to end. You will know what is important and what isn’t. And then you can go! You can start! You can make a plan! You can use all those methods we have already talked about!
Next time you need to learn something, start with the big picture! Sure, it will cost you an hour or two. But it is worth the effort, I promise!
See you next time!