No two methods of learning are the same.
The same learning style doesn’t work for everyone.
You can learn to master the many methods of learning, but in the end, you have to find and use what works best for you — your unique style of learning that makes it easy to retain more of what you learn.
It’s like learning how to paint. You can learn the fundamentals of the painting process, but you have to hone your personal creative style to improve your craft or do more great work.
“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child,” Pablo Picasso said.
Once Picasso found his style, every style of painting became secondary; he started painting with passion with little or no regard for the rules.
Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, Claude Monet and many other famous artists have different painting styles. Their work is unique to them.
And they are famous for their unique painting styles.
Once you find a personal learning style, knowledge accumulation and retention begins to accelerate. You pick up knowledge faster because you’ve found a way to work with your mind instead of forcing it to learn.
Real learning doesn’t happen by blindly applying dozens of styles — it happens through individual trial and error. You have to know what’s working. Try them if you must, measure your results and repeat what’s working.
Socrates once said, “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think”. When you learn the tools for effecting learning, make it your responsibility to try them out actively- by practicing what you learn.
Better learning occurs when you practice what you learn, reflect on the process, think about which techniques are working for you and then double down on the methods leading to effortless learning.
Rekindle the beginner’s mindset
“Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.” ― Richard Feynmann
The trial-and-error method is one of the best ways to train your brain to quickly and comfortably assimilate new knowledge.
This method is often used in the early stages of learning to figure out the learning style that fits your unique personality.
Many people use it to learn new skills quickly.
If you enjoy figuring out how something works by trying it out yourself, then the trial-and-error method may be perfect for you!
The trial-and-error method is useful because it allows people to find their own way of doing things rather than following conventional paths.
And it’s often more fun!
There are many ways to learn new things: books (audio and text), podcasts, online courses, newsletters, learning apps, lectures, conferences.
Your learning style (visual, auditory, reading, writing, and physical) should determine the type of content you select. If you prefer auditory learning, you should focus more on audiobooks and podcasts.
If you absorb knowledge easily through reading, find the best books on your topics of interest, double down reading and make notes throughout the process.
The active trial-and-error method is the only way to discover a personal learning style for life. It allows you to find out what works for you and what doesn’t work for you.
It’s the solid foundation for embracing lifelong learning.
Isaac Asimov was right, “Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.”
Here are some steps to help you learn better by trial-and-error:
- Experiment with different strategies. Rather than try the same approach over and over, try one thing at a time and see what works best for you. This is especially important if the task or skill is challenging — there’s no way of knowing which strategy will work without trying them all!
- Evaluate your performance after each trial. After each try, ask yourself how it went and where it could be improved. Then make changes accordingly until you find something that works!
- Note down the methods you enjoy most and keep refining them to create a personal learning process just for you.
Learning from trial-and-error is an excellent method for developing skills. Whatever your learning goals this year, you can accelerate the process and save time and brain energy if you improved your learning style.
This post was previously published on MEDIUM.COM.
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