Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Stop Trying To Remember And Learn

    One of the biggest problems we seem to face when trying to learn something new, is the overwhelming amount of information, that we need to take in. To really have the best chance of success at something you need to know it inside and out. Sure you can try and learn as you go, eventually learning things, usually after making mistakes, but the real problem isn't the amount of information it’s how we try and take it in.

Learn Don't Remember
     Something I was taught at a young age by a very good teacher, was that there is a big difference between remembering something and actually learning something. You see most of us try our best to remember as much as we can, by crash coursing through a lot of information just to pass a test. It’s ingrained in us from our school days, starting in elementary school with the multiplication tables or singing the alphabet and most still do things that way in adulthood. The problem is how much of what we crashed our way through, in high school or college, just to pass a test, do we still actually remember. If you're like me probably not a whole lot. (Fortunately for me that teacher was my math and science teacher, for 3 years of high school and those are my best subjects today. Note: Not because I was in special ed, I was in advanced honors classes, same teacher for all, LOL).      To further explain, I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “It’s just like riding a bike” the reason for that saying is, you only have to learn how to ride a bike once and after that it’s simple (That’s because you learned how, not remembered how). If you were like me as a kid then you were jumping everything thing that you could build into a ramp. I wouldn’t recommend trying that now, bones take a lot longer to heal at 43. But, still if I were to get on a bike right now, I’m sure I’d have no problem keeping my balance and going for a nice leisurely ride. You see learning comes from repetition, doing something over and over until it’s no longer a memory, but ingrained in your very being.      You see as I explained in my earlier post, I was in martial arts when I was younger. The whole point to it is, you learn real basic things and you repeat them over and over, until they become your very nature and then you advance to more difficult techniques. (You see if they aren't part of your very being, something that is unconscious, then they will have no value to you when you really need them). You also have to condition your body to achieve those advanced techniques. This is crucial in sales, marketing or any business negotiations, if you're trying to remember sales techniques or basic information that you should know, when actually using them, you will come across as unprepared or get nervous and fumble. If you are well versed in your craft, you will be filled with confidence, which is the most important part of the game.
Don't Panic It's Easy To Fix

       But don’t Panic the problem is easy to fix, you just have to know how. When we are dealing with marketing or business or anything mental for that matter. You have to treat your mind like a muscle and you have to condition it, you have to get it used to taking in information and working that information repeatedly, until you no longer have to remember it, because you’ve learned it. What my teacher taught me in high school (And I have no scientific proof of this, I just know it has always worked for me), is don’t try and remember something when you read it for the first time, just browse through it, don’t worry if you don’t understand everything at first, you're just conditioning your mind to receive that information at a later time (And always read allowed so you can hear your voice, this is extremely important, as it is a big part of the learning process). The next time you go through it, preferably a couple of days later, you will notice that it makes a lot more sense to you now, even though you weren't really trying to understand it all, your mind was picking up on things that it did understand and starting to put them into context and you were unconsciously thinking about it for those couple of days. Then go through it a third time, again at least a couple of days later, now you will pick up on finer details of the whole idea and it will make a whole lot more sense to you. Then comes the most important part, what actually ingrains the information in your mind forever. Write down what you just learned, in your words as simply as possible, (Don’t copy the information, think about it and write it through your eyes how you interpret it) if you need to stop and review it, thats fine, just make it your words. The process of learning is often visual, you can learn something much easier if you visualize it and when you're thinking and writing your visualizing. That’s exactly what I’m doing by writing this blog. I’m going over large amounts of information and writing it down, simplifying it and in the process I’ve learned it, not remembered it. (That's what taking notes is for, your writing down what you learn, not just for reference, but because it's part of the learning process.)    Don’t worry you don’t have to go through all of this if you don’t want to (It’s just something I was taught and it works very well for me), just don’t worry about trying to learn everything all at once. Take your time, work at a pace that best fits your schedule and your life, this isn’t a contest. (and always remember slow and steady wins the race, don’t burn yourself out trying to get it all in a week).     If this process sounds like too much work, it actually isn’t once you make a habit of it. You see I can browse through an enormous amount of information really fast if I’m not trying to remember it all, so it actually is easier and quicker in the long run and I don’t burn myself out trying to remember every word, unless you're some kind of savant, you're probably not going to be able to remember every word anyway, so don’t bother.
Don't Over Complicate Things
    One more point, don't over complicate things, try and simplify them and try and relate what you want to learn, to things in your life. (Like I use the Karate example, for myself) this way you will process that information much easier as you will relate to it.

       I hope this is something that you can use, I don’t have all the answers, I can only try and show what has worked for me and this technique has worked well.

Thank you for reading and the best of luck in all your endeavors, 

+R. Michael Gonzalez

Please ask questions or leave opinions in the comment section, as I welcome any outside opinions and will answer any questions that are made directly and honestly.

If you found this article helpful, please show your support

No comments:

Post a Comment