Since 2014, Jonathan has been one of the top-performing instructors on the online learning platform, Udemy. He is the author of the bestselling “Become a SuperLearner®”. He also runs two online training portals: SuperHuman Academy® and Branding You™ Academy.
Today, he talks about different concepts including some learning strategies, speed reading tips, learning a new language, utilizing visualization to boost memory, and some survival guide we can learn from our ancestors.
The traditional education system. Schools teach us all these valuable skills, but they don’t teach us the most important skill which is how to learn.
The world’s most successful and effective learners don’t learn the way we’re taught in school. What if schools taught us how our brains work and how to leverage them to learn more effectively?
Early life of depression. Jonathan used to struggle with his studies and had been diagnosed with ADD when he was 8 years old. Eventually, he went into deep depression and self-hatred.
He was struggling both inside and outside of the classroom that he even came to the point of contemplating suicide at 13-14 years old.
Knowing your worth. Jonathan ultimately acknowledged he was never going to be an A student (although he did). But he knew he had something he was good at and could excel at.
Getting the needed help. Before he began business school, Jonathan hired a husband-and-wife team. They coached problem students in accelerated learning, memory, and speed reading.
Anyone can learn what he did. Jonathan started down this path of “re-education” of what is truly possible for the human mind and the human body.
Imagine how your ancestors lived from a learning and knowledge perspective. They actually knew more than we do in terms of plants, animals, seasonal migrations, and medicinal therapies. They had long, vast oral traditions and family history. If writing had not been invented, you’d be storing it all in your memory.
A visual way of learning. What they didn’t know was how to read and write. All their knowledge was transmitted in a visual and experiential way. Everything was visual for them. Our visualization and location give us a huge survival advantage.
The Picture Superiority Effect: In our minds, whether we know it or believe it, pictures are vastly superior to many other forms of memory
Visualization is the third-best sense. Smell and taste are more important for survival. While they’re actually much older senses in the brain wired directly into the reptilian brain, visualization is third-best. You can learn to visualize anything.
You can learn anything if you want to. As you learn new things, you become more and more empowered.
Treat everything in your life as a learning challenge. Your relationship with your problem changes. And that changes everything!
We’re taught not to break the status quo. Most of the school is designed for future academia. Unfortunately, less than 5% even becomes academic. The rest of it is for compliance for people to be trained in the factory. Don’t disrupt.
It all comes down to memory. Memory gets a bad rap, however, there’s no learning without memory. You can’t change everything at once. But at the end of the day, there are things you need to commit to memory.
Memorize the right way. Knowing how to memorize information effectively becomes fun and entertaining. It becomes a creative exercise. It becomes fast and easy.
Research shows that the most effective readers do a few different things.
1. You move your eyes less. When you’re taking in groups of words on a line, you’re actually spending less time with your optic nerves. This way, you’re able to take in more information.
2. You can train your mind to pay attention to blurry stuff. You want to try to reduce the amount you’re hearing in the mind’s voice. The way our brains process language is predominantly vocal and auditory. You’re always going to hear some of the words in your mind’s voice. The smaller the proportion you hear, the faster you can go.
3. Our brains are really fast at identifying visual symbols.
The two main elements in learning a new language are vocabulary and grammatical structure. Vocabulary is much easier to learn. In learning grammatical structure, for instance, you can create a memory palace methodology where you can load all of the grammatical rules into a memory palace.
Speak from Day 1. You cannot learn languages from a textbook or listening to YouTube videos. Go out and test your knowledge in a feedback loop. The most effective learners apply their learning immediately. You get so much more feedback because you’re able to constantly test your own knowledge.
Fluency is being able to dance in a language. There’s a big difference between knowing something and knowing how to use something. Fluency is when you can do wordplay in a language. You can express anything in that language. You can think in the language without being hindered or held back.
Use your preexisting knowledge. Create a visualization comprised of your existing memories.
For anything you want to memorize, come up with a mental picture. There are systems to make this easier. However, it all comes down to making pictures in your head.
Some rules to make your visualizations more likely to work:
Writing a book is different than writing a blog or a course. Apparently, there is a very delicate balance between stories, narrative, entertainment, and content that people can actually apply.
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Check out Jonathan on YouTube.
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