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Learn anything FAST like a POLYMATH

Updated: Apr 5


a man in a library, holding a book

Have you ever wondered how some people are able to learn new skills fast?


They churn out content, create new applications, develop new methods, movements, patterns, sounds, lyrics, basically new creations daily.


These people create so effortlessly, and observers start calling them names such as polymaths, generalists, gifted or maybe a jack of all trades.


In this article, I will explain a learning method that you can apply to improve your creative output and learn anything fast like a Polymath.


OK so, let’s start with a story.


Some weeks ago, while at the office, I went into the lunchroom, and sat at a table. Just opposite from me on the same table sat an office colleague.


Her face lit up just as I sat down.


She said Hello.


I replied with a Hi.



a man and a woman having a conversation

And before I composed myself on the chair, She popped a question. It was like she had been hoping to ask me this question.


I have been seeing the content you create online. I have been trying to learn computer programming and software applications for some time now.


I am also hoping to create applications and content like you.


Do you have any tips to help me achieve my goals?


The question startled me a bit.


I asked; How has learning computer programming online been so far?


It has been OVERWHELMING she said. With a long face.


a woman lost in thought

I wasn’t surprised by her response.


I was in your shoes some months ago, I said.

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What I have realized is that a lot of people adopt learning processes that hinder them from actualizing their goals.


I think this issue stems from the educational system. 99% of people approach learning the way they were taught while in schools.


SO back to the story;

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Break Your Learning Goal into Little Tasks by asking “WHY”


So I asked my colleague if she would allow me show her some information.


She obliged.


I brought out my phone and opened google. She looked at my phone screen with curiosity.


a man looking at his phone

And in the search bar I typed;


“learn computer programming”


A result page of over 500 million results came up. Interesting result, do you see those huge numbers?

I pointed at my phone screen, and her face nodded in agreement to the google result.


How about we be more specific. I typed.


“How to use Java script to create a social media app for Mobile devices”


A result page of about 200, 000,000 results came up. Interesting, this is about half of the initial search result I said.


We both looked at each other in agreement.


Ok let’s be even more specific.


“How to use Java script to create a log in page for my mobile app.


A result page of about 34,000,000 results came up. You see the difference I asked her. She nodded in agreement.


The difference between a result of 34 million and that of 500 million is that the result with a higher number would likely cause you to feel overwhelmed due to information overload.



two images of a woman looking sad and then happy

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This is the first step in my approach to learning anything fast.


Before I commence learning, I breakdown my goal into little tasks by asking “why”.


For example, If I wanted to learn a new language. Say Spanish.


First think about it.


Learning a new language isn’t a walk in a park.


a man frustrated because he has to learn spanish

But if I were to refine my goal by saying;


“I want to learn Spanish so I can speak with my colleagues at the office”.


This changes your learning route.


Now its no longer as cumbersome as learning the whole Spanish.


Now the learning goal is a steppingstone towards learning the whole Spanish.


With this refined goal, when you get on your computer to research Spanish tutorials, you know exactly where and how to salvage information.



a comparison of two different events

On the flip side, this method also gives your brain dopamine, thereby giving you motivation to learn further.


Let me explain this!


Imagine you start learning some Spanish and during an office meeting you get to communicate in Spanish with your colleagues.


Even if it’s just some words, such scenario makes you feel good about yourself.


Now that’s the sweet dopamine going into your brain to make you feel good.


Another thing to take note of is to convert your learning objective into a task.


Some people call it Task Based Learning approach.


Like in the example of Learning Spanish.


The process of redefining the goal from


“I want to learn Spanish.”

To

“I want to learn to communicate in Spanish with my colleagues at the office.”


The second phrase is more specific. More intentional. More goal oriented.


This is where precision comes into play.


Break your refined Learning Goal into smaller tasks!


Third step. Now this is where it gets interesting. And we separate the boys from the men.


Breakdown the goal into to dos, or smaller actionable steps.


You can write this down if it’s a complex task, or you can simply visualize this process.


So, for the example of learning to speak Spanish with my colleagues at the office.


A list of sequential actionable steps would be.

· Find a reliable language learning app, platform or website

· Check online. Example YouTube channels

· Establish a consistent study routine to build a habit.

· Begin with fundamental concepts like greetings, common phrases, and pronunciation.

· Learn the Spanish alphabet and basic grammar rules.

· Focus on building a practical vocabulary related to the office environment and everyday conversations.

· Use flashcards or vocabulary apps to reinforce learning.

· Practice Practice Practice


Outlining your task into actionable steps gives you a bird’s eye view on your goal and objective.



The SMART principle

Fourth step.

Apply the SMART framework to each outlined step to see if you need any iterations or changes.


the smart principle framework

The SMART criteria is an acronym used to review goals in business, personal development, and performance management. It was coined by George T. Doran.


The acronym means; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-related.


Going back to our example, starting from the first outline;


“Find a reliable Language learning app, platform or website.”


Is it specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time related?


If it checks all the points, then move to the next outline. If not, you would have to revise that step by possibly looking for alternatives.


There are a lot of iteration is this stage.


But the idea is that you shouldn’t start the learning process if there is an outline step that doesn’t meet up to the SMART criteria.


Finding Your Learning Resources


a man studying in the library, and working on his computer

Once you’ve applied the SMART framework to your outlined steps, it’s time to gather the resources you’ll need for each task.


This is where you can leverage the vast expanse of information available on the internet.


For instance, if your first task is to find a reliable language learning app or platform, you can dive into reviews, watch video tutorials, or even join forums to get recommendations from those who have already treaded this path.


Remember, precision also applies to selecting the right resources.


They should align with your specific learning goals.



Setting Milestones and Celebrating Progress


a man  jubilating

Breaking down your learning process into manageable tasks not only provides clarity but also allows you to set milestones.


Celebrate each small achievement along the way. It could be as simple as completing a module or holding a basic conversation in Spanish with a colleague.


Recognizing these achievements releases dopamine, the brain’s reward chemical, which further fuels your motivation.


Embrace Iteration as a Path to Mastery


Learning is a dynamic process.


It’s crucial to revisit and revise your approach as you progress.


If you find that a particular resource or method isn’t as effective as you’d hoped, don’t hesitate to pivot.


The ability to adapt and iterate is a hallmark of successful learners.


Immerse Yourself


a man studying

Immerse yourself in the subject matter.


Surround yourself with content related to what you’re learning.


Watch videos, read articles, and engage in discussions.


This not only reinforces your understanding but also keeps your motivation high.



Seek Feedback and Connect with a Community


Don’t be afraid to seek feedback from peers, mentors, or online communities.


Engaging with others who share your interests can provide valuable insights and different perspectives.


It’s also a great way to stay motivated and accountable.


Track Your Progress


a man reading a graph on the wall

Keep a record of your progress.


This could be in the form of a journal, a digital document, or even a dedicated app.


Being able to see how far you’ve come can be a powerful motivator, especially during moments of doubt or frustration.


By approaching learning with precision, you’re not just acquiring knowledge, you’re honing a skill.

You’re not just completing tasks, you’re achieving milestones.


This deliberate, focused approach propels you towards mastery.




Interested in unleashing your creativity with our online Creative Journaling Course for beginners?


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