- Be curious
- You want to learn about photography, coding, or how to play an instrument. You are curious about something and therefore you want to learn it. Being curious is indispensable to learn anything. If you force yourself to learn something or you feel pressured to do it, you’ll have a hard time learning. Remember school…?
- Start doing
- Start doing. Don’t worry about not having the right item or place to start doing and learn. For example, if you want to learn about photography and don’t have a good camera, then start with your phone. If you want to learn to play guitar start with a cheap guitar, don’t convince yourself you need to have the right equipment to make it happen. Start doing something rather than waiting for the right moment or equipment to do it.
- Stay motivated
- After you start doing and become better at it, it might be time for you to get some equipment, like a better camera for example. Once you start seeing some results and you outgrow your initial setup, place or equipment, then it isn’t a bad idea to invest a little more on it. Keep yourself inspired and don’t stop doing.
- Surround yourself with individuals that have the knowledge you are looking to acquire. Find the right community, find your tribe. There are many places both digitally and physically. A few I can recommend are online forums, youtube channels, podcasts, meetups, etc. When you first join a community, it is a good idea to just be there and listen, don’t feel pressured to participate. Absorb as much information as you can and start engaging when ready.
- Find an individual(s) to be your mentor. Before you ask for help, try to add value, or to give something before you ask for their time and help. Reach out. For example, start following the person you want as a mentor on social networks, read their posts, comment, participate, etc. Build a relationship before you ask for help.
- Find people sharing their knowledge and experience openly to a large group of people. For example, search on YouTube, blogs, podcasts, etc, for the right people sharing the right information that can help you reach your goals.
- Steal, change and share
- Observe what other people are doing, steal like an artist, tweak what you find and make it your own. Deconstruct other people’s ideas. You don’t have to start from zero. Remember that if you copy someone, it might be stealing. If you copy from many people, it is called research.
- Continue doing, fail fast, improve, repeat. This step is absolutely necessary when learning. If you don’t do enough because you want to avoid failing then you are not learning. Limited knowledge and constraints are necessary for creativity to flourish, to learn and to improve things.
Hope this is something that helps you have a somewhat structured way of designing your learning endeavors. This is just my opinion and the way I tend to learn things I am curious about. Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments.
Nice article Ricardo. I especially like the part when you write, “When you first join a community, it is a good idea to just be there and listen, don’t feel pressured to participate. Absorbe as much information as you can and start engaging when ready.” That’s something I like to do; observe. Sometimes I don’t have anything to contribute to the conversation. When I don’t, it usually means I’m learning.
Thank you Michael. It’s difficult to learn when you do all the talking.