Hello! Thank you for stopping by and checking out my course. It means a lot to me!
I woke up and congratulated myself on how far I've come. I've been getting straight A's for so long that I stopped counting them. Then I went to school and told a classmate that I'd probably start a course on how study effectively in the next 5 years. But I asked myself: "Why should I wait all that time? I can help thousands of people if I just do it now." And I did.
I've got feedback from over 100 students who read the course before I published it. I've talked with over 20 teachers on the topic of how I can improve my teaching. By the way, I used my techniques while I was learning it. Finally, I can present to you my course.
This course is structured in 5 sections.
We'll see how important the mindset is when it comes down to learning. I'm going to show you the most important and fundamental learning techniques, and then you'll see how to implement them at school and in the real life. Combine that with many relevant examples and we have the perfect course!
The last section is dedicated to feedback, as feedback speeds up the learning process.
By the end of the course, you'll have learnt how easy it is to get an A in every imaginable subject, how to create your own learning method and how to win in life.
In this lecture, we're going to learn how important setting goals is and how we can achieve them in the time frame we've created ourselves.
We think on the definition of failure which is going to serve us best, and help us go beyond what we thought was possible.
Tracking change is a vital part of the learning process. If we don't get it right, it might take its toll in the long run.
Making excuses is an underrated disease which we have to cure ourselves from. It might seem normal to you, but it'll try to stop you from excelling in the areas at which you want to be good at.
Being open-minded is one of those things which you have to possess in order to be as successful as you can possibly can.
Focused learning helps you study effectively and then remember more information than you would normally remember.
Habits make us who we are, and we're better off creating good habits than bad habits. But how do you do that? In this lecture, you'll find out what worked for me and how to become better at it.
Your social circle can predict whether you get an A or not, whether you succeed or fail. You better ask yourself if your friends are good enough for you!
Also, finding the optimal studying environment is significant part of the studying process which can boost your efficiency.
You have to get some sort of feedback if you want to move forward at the highest speed possible.
In this lecture, I discuss why I didn't include any quizzes in this course, and what you should do to be the happiest version of yourself.
This lecture is all about what we've learnt in this section.
What are we going to learn in Section 2? See this lecture to find out!
We talk about defining goals once again, as they're the basis for your success, and you don't want to skip this part of the course.
We go back to the basics just to see how learning actually works in our brains, so that we could become very efficient in our learning.
Reading, of course, is the most common learning technique. However, most people use it the wrong way and it is very inefficient which makes it very hard to remember information.
Flashcards are a great way to assist yourself in the learning process, as they're very easy to make and you can make loads of them in a short period of time.
We go into more detail in the imaginative learning technique which has played a very major role in my learning progression. It helped me go from D+ to A+ in less than 2 months.
There are two types of visual learning which we'll discuss in this lecture. You can see which one works better for you, and practise it until you master it!
Before we begin, I want to tell you that I’m not a big fan of audio learning, although I’m aware it works very well for some people, so if you want to go in depth with it, you’d have to research it yourself, and find people who could give you relevant examples on how to do it.
What I found out through asking several university students about it, was that they found it very helpful recording the lecture on a tape recorder, then as they were revising, they could just listen to the lecture over and over again, so that they could make sure they understood everything.
Although, it is a useful thing to do, but very time consuming. Do you know hours a day it takes to listen through all of your lectures? Probably not. And what I’d recommend you to do, is to take notes of the most important things the speaker said, and listen to only the parts that you can’t understand or don’t remember.
Keeping a separate notebook with the name of the recording and the subject that is being talked about at what minute. 2:25 - Social Behaviour 5:41 - The Psychology behind it.
Audio might useful if you want to learn more about birds, so that you have more information to connect with a certain bird. Or if you’re doing music studies, obviously.
As I said, I’ve tried it, and it doesn’t work for most of the topics that I’m interested in, hence that’s why I don’t use it.
Challenge for the lecture: 1) Experiment with Audio Learning and see if it flourishes in your mind!
When we talked about visuals, I said that you could draw pictures that represent the main points about the topic that you want to learn.
The reason why I gave drawing as an example was because it’s accessible and almost anyone can do it. You, of course, can create an animation, video, sculpture, wooden item, etc. You can do whatever you like. Most alternatives, though, would take far too much time.
I encourage you to try out methods which you think would be great for you, but keep in mind that if your goal is just to get an A in Maths, you probably don’t want to spend 5 hours building a wooden representation of a Maths formula you want to remember.
Although if you want to go more in depth with it, it’ll help you a lot. Because it’ll require you to know more details about that specific topic. Therefore, you’re going to learn a lot more things than you anticipated to learn and your knowledge will broaden exponentially.
Keep in mind that some subjects at school can be read, and can be done. For an example, if seeing how a chemical reaction actually works instead of actually of actually reading it, will help you retain it in your mind much more easily.
I’m interested in entrepreneurship, management and almost everything related to business. But what I discovered was that when I read a book about entrepreneurship, I knew the concept of starting a business, but I didn’t actually understand it. I had to start my own to grasp the concept, and see what it really is in the real world.
Was there a time in your life when knowing a concept and understanding a concept didn’t overlap?
Challenge for the lecture: 1) Learn something by doing it and see if it works for you.
Discussions are a great way to evaluate how much you’ve learnt and facilitate your learning of new things about the topic you’re interested in.
I’m not going to spend much time explaining this, as I think it’s very straightforward, and it’s different for every person. What you have to do is to find one or more people you can discuss the topic that you’ve just been studying.
It’ll be more valuable to you, if the people you’re discussing the topic with are far more knowledgeable in that area than you are, because they’ll certainly talk about things surrounding that topic, and that will help you expand your knowledge in that area.
Although you can do it with someone who is as knowledgable as you are, and it can certainly help you see how much you’ve learnt, and show you which things you’ve missed out, but it’ll not be as beneficial as discussing it with someone who’s been in that industry for a while.
And last, but not least, you can talk with yourself. This, too, will guide you in the learning process, but will not be as productive as the first two. However, if by any chance you have Dissociative Identity Disorder(DID) also known as split personality, then you may experience the benefits of the first two. I don't recommend that you split your personality just to do it.
Challenge for the lecture: 1) Study a certain topic and discuss it with someone. It might be on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, whatever. Or you could go out, and meet some new people if you’d like to.
Teaching is one of those things that you have to work on to be really good at. But the type of teaching that we’re aiming for is going to be a lot simpler than that.
Let’s say that your classmate didn’t understand the last History lesson, but you’ve got an exam next week. By explaining to him the basics of the lesson, you’re not only going to teach that lesson, but you’re going to see how well you understand what you’re talking about.
When the other person doesn’t understand, can you elaborate, and give relevant examples? While you were teaching which part did you struggle to explain? You have to spot it, and work on it, so that you have a full understanding of the given topic.
Also, by explaining it to someone your age, you can use examples you never thought of using before, and by that you’re increasing the connections with that information in your brain, making it a lot easier to go to the long-term memory.
You can try different teaching methods to suit the other person’s needs, but that is a story for another time.
Have you taught any of your classmates before? How did it go?
If it didn’t go well, why? Can you improve it the next time? How would the perfect teaching look like?
Challenge for the lecture: 1) Teach a lesson to a classmate who didn’t understand it and see what you don’t know about that topic.
Use loads of relevant examples to make it easier for him to understand.
Surround yourself with successful people. If you have to take one thing from this lecture, it is that previous sentence.
If your goal is to get an A in Maths, then this step is still important, but not as important if you’re trying to be good at Maths.
It is long-term versus short-term. If you’re playing the long-term game, then liaise with successful people in that industry. Go to conferences, presentation, meetings, whatever. Find them and pick their minds. Let them teach you, guide you while you acquire more knowledge. In several months, you’re going to be sitting under a large pile of knowledge, which you could never have got before if you haven’t met them.
Henry Ford had been living in poverty for his whole live! Nothing changed until he met Thomas Edison, and surrounded himself with people who knew more about cars than he did!
Gandhi had mentors. Andrew Carnegie, the richest man in the world at his time, met with people who knew more about the steel industry than he did, and he used all of that information to build an empire.
Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, the list goes on and on.
If you surround yourself with lazy, unambitious people who don’t have the burning DESIRE to learn new things, to improve, then you’ll become just like them.
Challenge for the lecture: 1) Meet one new person who’s knowledgeable in the subject you want to learn.
Once you’ve found a certain learning technique, you have to practise. The more you practise, the better you’ll get at it.
Actually, that’s not entirely true, because we get back to tracking change, which we talked about in the beginning. If you’re repeating something over and over again, you might not exactly get better at it, because you might be repeating the same mistake over and over again.
What you want to do is to improve over time. Look at yourself from a different perspective, and see what could be improved, what would work better for you, what you need to do to get to the next level.
Making mistakes is a vital part of the improvement process. Don’t avoid them, learn from them! If you manage to learn how to face mistakes with confidence and an open-mind, then you’ve already mastered success.
The point is that you have to record what you’re doing and how you could be doing better in 2,3,4, 18 months. Repeat that improvement, and you’re bound to be better at that method.
Can you guess how you’d do that? How do you know what should be improved and what not? Where should you put all of your energy and efforts?
I can’t answer those questions for you, but I’m going to give you an example which may guide you in the right direction.
I use the imaginative approach the most, but I think to illustrate my point in the simplest terms, I’ll use the Visual technique + Learning by Doing.
When I first started out searching for new learning methods, Visual and Learning by doing were the first ones I which worked for me.
I began doing them. It took me over 2 hours to draw and write down everything that I thought was important. I’d waste more than 4 or 5 pieces of paper. I can now replicate that thing with the same results and retainment rate for 40 minutes, and 1 piece of paper.
When I first asked myself: “What could I do better?” the answer was efficiency. You really aren’t required to know the how’s. You just have to know where you’re going. So, how did I improve my efficiency?
I stopped thinking what I should write for 30 minutes before I actually wrote it or draw it. I made many mistakes during that period, because I would start drawing and realise that this wasn’t the thing that I really had in mind. And I had to start all over again. But with time, I managed to decrease this, because I became more experienced and my past experiences helped me decide which thing was going to work out, and which wasn’t.
Okay, I did this, but I was still spending like an hour to get it done. I asked myself the same question again. “What can I do to improve my efficiency?”
This time, the answer was details. I drew too many details which were unnecessary, because my imagination would go wild, and wouldn’t stop pouring them over my mind.
However, what I’ve learnt was that not all details should be emitted, and that when I removed some of them, I lost clarity and was sometimes harder to retain and later represent that information.
Challenge for the lecture: 1) Think about an activity you’ve been doing for a lot of time and ask yourself how you could become better at it or how it could take you less time.
Now that we’ve discussed the most basic learning techniques, it’s time to try them all out. I highly encourage you to do it, as there’s no other way to know if a learning technique is the right fit for you. It’s also a great way to learn new things about yourself.
By doing that, you’re going to get comfortable being exposed to new learning techniques which will come in handy when you see the last lecture. You’ll know how powerful it is to be open-minded and to try out new things that could change the way you think, learn and live your life. That’s the great thing about it.
Challenge for the lecture: Be creative. Don’t just copy what I’ve showed you. Do something on your own. Practise a learning technique that is done in your own personal style, so that it can be as useful as it possibly can.
We’ve talked a thousand times how important it is to have a unique way to learn that suits your personal needs, as this way it will be the most effective and natural.
Now that we’ve got the basics covered, it’s time for you to create something completely different and unique to your own situation.
I’ve already given the example of how I mixed together Visual and Learning by Doing. You can mix any of them, whichever you like. Experiment and invent the new learning method which will make your learning so much fun, that you’ll forget that you’re actually learning!
How would you evaluate if a new method is effective or not?
That’s how I do it.
Firstly, it’s not about the time consumption. When you’re starting out, leave time, and focus on retention rate. Meaning, how easy is it to keep that information in your mind, and can you recall it during a test or a discussion? Also, is it fun? If you don’t find it fun and enjoyable, then I don’t think you should spend any time on it. Unless there’s a time frame on the information you want to learn. Then you may want to experiment with and use some dull methods.
Creating new methods is essential to the learning process. Each method on it’s own is a powerful tool. But you want to have more than one powerful tool in your toolbox. Combining them together, though, that will form something you’ve not even imagined!
If you’ve got those two covered, then this is the right method for you and you can go ahead, and actually improve the efficiency and the speed at which you’re learning. Moreover, you may want to look up speed reading, and how you can read faster.
Challenge for the lecture: 1) Forge a method of your own
All of the techniques I showed you were the most fundamental ones, on which some other cool techniques are built upon.
An example of other learning technique would be the memory palace. But I encourage you to find something on your own.
Challenge for the lecture: 1) Find one new technique - Will improve your researching skills
3) Decide whether it’s a good fit or not
In this section, we’re going to learn about what the educational system’s biggest flaw is, how I did it, how you can implement all of the learning techniques at school and how to improve your learning efficiency.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
The educational system is structured in such way that they want you to fit a certain frame that they built themselves.
As you can see, the educational system hasn’t really changed that much for centuries. However, I think that we need something else in the 21st century.
The way it works is that they give you a test and they examine how comprehensive your knowledge is. The ‘only’ problem with that is, that they decide what you need to know, not you. I think that one size fits all shouldn’t be used in education. Students should be given the freedom to create their own curriculum and decide for themselves.
Although I don’t think that students have to have this right until they’re certain age, because if 10 year-olds start creating their own curriculums, the fundamentals that are so needed will never dwell in their minds.
Let’s go back to the first sentence. They want to put you in a box, and give you all the knowledge that they think would benefit you. As I’ve already said, the educational system is made to fit billions of people’s needs. They don’t really know what you want to do. There’s nothing that they could do even if they knew what your life’s purpose was.
And you’re left to do what you think is appropriate.
As you may know, this section is called implementation at school. I’m going to give an overview of how you can succeed in any given subject.
Here we go back to our first example. Do you want to get an A in Maths, or be good at Maths?
I’m going to discuss how to get an A in Maths. You have to know exactly what is expected of you. Not less, not more. When you know what they want you to know, you just have to get studying, and attain the knowledge that they want you to have. This also includes doing loads of past papers to prepare yourself for the format that the tests are going to be in. And, of course, you have to communicate and get feedback from your teacher about your performance. The teacher will steer you into the right direction, so that you get an A in that exam. That’s basically it.
But let’s go into more detail now.
Before we even begin, I have to say that I’m Bulgarian and I’ve studied at a Bulgarian school, and I don’t know how much our educational system differs from the one in the US, UK, or wherever else.
I’ve already covered the basics of how I got here in the previous lecture, but this one is going to be a little more detailed.
3 years ago, I had reached probably the lowest point in my life, where I wasn’t doing anything productive and had no goals for the future.
I felt no satisfaction with the life I had, so I decided I needed a change. Before I started improving my grades, I sensed that I had to improve myself first. That’s why the introductory section was all about mindset and self-improvement. If you don’t have the proper mindset, the techniques that you’re going to use are never going to have such a powerful effect.
Although you have to bear in mind that there was no time to do one thing at a time. I had just begun with the self-improvement, and I had to start improving my grades immediately. It felt almost like a duty at that time.
So, I found the root of the problem which was that I spent way too much time in front of the computer, wasting time on unproductive activities which didn’t make my life more fulfilling in any way. My favourite excuse used to be that I didn’t have time to study.
Looking back now, I find it repelling. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I wanted to have more time to study, and I made a radical change. I told myself that that week I wasn’t going to sit in front of the computer.
That didn’t mean, however, that I ceased to waste my time. But I was overwhelmed by the amount of free time I was in possession of. So overwhelmed that I began wasting it in other ways, but I soon found solution to that problem, too.
I sat on my chair, and just studied the old fashioned way, I’ve been used to. It worked! It worked, and I was seeing immediate bumps in my grades.
Yet, I wasn’t content with what I had. I knew I could do better. Because at that time, I spent the majority of my free time studying. That was the period when I found that I liked being an entrepreneur so much, that I just had to find a way to create more free time. And that’s why the mindset is so important. Constant improvement in every area is such a vital part of any process. I could’ve just said that I didn’t have time to be an entrepreneur and use the same excuse I used to give myself. Still I was better than. It wouldn’t fulfill me.
To be frank, the reason why I started improving my studying and learning techniques was out of necessity and need. I was so determined to find a solution that nothing could stop me.
I’ve looked for learning techniques, methods on how to improve my learning, and tried them all out. They all assisted me in enhancing my learning process, however, none of them taught me what I was supposed to learn.
I had to ask each teacher for specific requirement about what they wanted a student with an A to know. “If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” Sun Tzu said. And that guy is totally right. You have to know what you’re aiming for, you have to know where you’re headed, so that you know how much effort you have to put in it, and where to direct it. I’ll mention directing efforts, energy, time and money in the next section, as I’ve learnt quite a lot from my second business.
When you set the bar, you better set it high. Don’t ask the teacher how to achieve B, B+, B++, or whatever. Aim high, and reach heights you’ve never thought you could reach before. Because if you set the bar too low, it’s going to be too easy for you. If you set the bar too high, you’re going to have to create new and innovative ways to learn, as it’ll be much harder than what you’re used to.
I set the bar as I high as it could be set. I knew what I needed to know to get an A in every subject, and mind that in Bulgaria we study 15 or 16 subjects each year.
I had all the data which was required and I had to plan it all out. I had to create good learning habits in order to achieve that, and this wasn’t that easy.
You’ll have to figure it out yourself, but I’m going to give a little trick that worked for me, and I’ve heard that people with serious addictions use it with the opposite meaning.
Just say: “I’ll study today!” Don’t tell yourself that you’re going to be studying straight for a gazillion weeks or months, but just today. It’s easy to do, and easy not to do. Do it for a week, then a month, and it gets easier and easier every time. it’s going to feel like a second nature to you in no time.
You’ve have all the data you need, you’ve set the bar high, you’ve planned it all out, and you’re putting in the effort. What next?
Get feedback. Ask your teachers for feedback. What did you learn? What didn’t you learn? What could you do to improve?
They’ve been teaching for who knows how many years, and have gone through thousands of students. They most likely possess some information that they could help you with. Don’t underestimate them. But don’t take all of their advice wholeheartedly, as it may not fit you. You have to decide if the advice is valuable or not.
You’ve heard my story. What’s yours? How does your story look like 6 months from now, 1 year from now?
We talk about the mindset that you have to possess in order to succeed, and there is a reason for that.
Some people have heard from their parents or friends that you can’t be good at everything, and that there’s one thing you have to pursue. While that is nice and all, it really stops you from getting the best grades you can, because when you get an A in Maths, you’re going to start thinking that this is enough.
But I can assure you that you can get an A in every imaginable subject out there only if you put the smart effort in it. Don’t study for 1000 hours a day, studying the inefficient way, because you won’t learn anything in the end.
What do you think about it? Can you get an A in every subject? Can you do it?
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't-you're right.” - Henry Ford
In most cases, the way you’re learning something is by reading about it. You have Biology textbook, History textbook, and whatever textbook.
The obvious thing to do, is to pick it up, and start reading. However, there’s one big hole in that. Most people continue reading when they don’t understand something.
If you want to retain information more flawlessly, you’ll have to understand what is being talked about. If it doesn’t mean anything to you, if you haven’t connected it with a past event or something interesting, why would your brain even bother to remember it? If you don’t think that information is valuable, your brain will not, too. Do you agree with that?
Read each paragraph, and ask yourself if you fully understand what is being talked about. If the answer is no, go back to the paragraph again, and find that missing piece.
Have you ever been in that situation when you’ve just read something, but you didn’t understand anything, and moved on?
What I usually do, while I’m reading a long text, is to underline the most important bits and pieces, as if you have to reread it, it’ll actually be a shorter text to read. Most authors go into useless details sometimes, and you most likely can shorten it quite a bit.
Also focus on keywords. What is the most talked about thing? What does it revolve around? Find them, and focus on them. Also, finding keywords is vital to all of the other techniques.
Challenge for the lecture: 1) Research some speed reading techniques and other methods on how to improve your reading.
Outlining what you’ve read is a neat technique, as it helps you see what you’ve just read in a glance and if done right, it WILL save you tons of time.
You open up your Physics textbook and see a magnificent wall of text with no pictures at all. You, of course, smile at it and start studying, fighting the urge to look away from that beauty.
After you’ve read the lesson and have used some technique that works for you, you open a blank page of your notebook, and start outlining what you’ve just learnt in the most pleasant way possible.
Details aren’t that important, and you leave most of them out, but the main points of the lesson are there, followed with the line and page where they reside at.
Next week you get an A in the Physics exam and you’re so happy about it.
2 months later you have to do an exam on the whole material which you’ve been learning throughout the year. You quickly scan all of your outlinings, and can tell at a glance what each lesson is about and can start revising the topics which you don’t remember so well.
That will not just save you a lot of time, but it’ll make your studying a lot more enjoyable experience.
Challenge for the lecture: Outline your lesson and see if it works for you as well as it does for me.
Here I give you an example of how I'd go into creating some simple flashcards. By the end of the lecture, you'll know how to create one yourself!
School is a great place to practise your listening skills. If you get this right and combine it with outlining, you could save yourself a lot of time.
This is the hardest one to teach, as every person is listening for different sounds. What I’d suggest to you is do some IELTS listenings, and see if you get them all right. Do them even if you’re a native speaker, because those listenings make you listen for certain type of information. That helped me, but you can find something else that helps you.
Every teacher teaches in a specific way and you have to adapt to it. Many teachers want to get straight to the point, and that’s absolutely fine. Besides, that will help you improve your note-taking skills.
Some people want to tell you a story to get you in the mood, and some will do some weird things to get the students’ attention, but whatever they do, you have to adapt, and listen. Listen to what they say, and take notes.
I’ve tried to combine the Imaginative learning with the listening, but I often get distracted with my own images, and forget to listen to what the teacher is actually saying. The note-taking is easy to follow, and you don’t have to put much effort into creating anything yourself. You just put down what the teacher is saying, and organise it later.
What do you usually do during class, though?
You could also ask your teacher if she or he would be willing to be recorded on a tape recorder. If they say yes, then you could listen to the important parts as many times as you want. Side note: You could sell the recorded mp3 files to your classmates, so that they get access to more educational resources. It’s a definite win-win!
Challenge for the lecture: 1) Enhance your listening skills by trying to retain as much information as you can in class.
In the previous section, I talked about Imagination mainly combined with Learning by doing. Nevertheless, imaginative learning is much more than that.
There’s a great course on Udemy which talks about the concept of the Memory Palace. It’s called “Become a SuperLearner” if you’d like to check it out.
But it doesn’t stop there. Just because Memory Palace works for many people, doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you.
I’ve always been a pioneer and I like exploring new methods, and that’s why I’ve always wanted to create something that fits me perfectly, not all people. I believe that’s the way to go, and that’s what I’m trying to teach in that course.
The problem with the imaginative learning is that it doesn’t work for me when it’s on its own. I always have to combine it with Audio or learning by doing. But, of course, that could be said about any of the learning techniques.
I’ll give you an example of what creative imagination could look like.
Let’s say that you want to learn new words in a second language. You could just imagine those words in your head, and leave them there, but that wouldn’t be effective.
I’d probably imagine that I had to walk on a rope built from the words that I had to learn, and I if I failed, I’d fall into a volcano with erupting lava which spits out some other words.
But you could do anything you’d like! Like being chased by dinosaurs while jumping over Maths equations? Great! Enjoy living on Mars while the deadly wind whispers important History dates? Amazing! Love watching Atomic Bombs go boom, while Einstein explains how Physics work? Marvelous! What about watching how asteroids crash into the Earth, while Beethoven teaches you how to compose beautiful music?
You see, it can be anything! The more absurd, crazy and unique, the easier it will be for you to remember.
Some people have told me that when they combine their favourite TV shows and the Imaginative technique and it does wonders for them!
Challenge for the lecture: 1) Experiment with the imaginative learning and create the custom solution which fits you!
Focusing on keywords is sometimes difficult, because the author of the text might have hidden them very well, making it hard for you to realise that you’ve just started reading something that has nothing to do with the given topic.
If your textbooks are written by the best authors in their respective fields, you better skip this lecture.
How do you focus on keywords? You read a paragraph and ask yourself, what is the most important thing about it. If this thing was suddenly removed, the whole paragraph would make absolutely no sense. Mind that it can still make no sense, even if you know what the keyword is, because you hadn’t studied a previous lesson which is fundamental or is the basis for what you’re learning right now. Therefore, you’d be required to gain some basic knowledge about that thing in order to move on.
I usually underline them in some weird way, in order to know which are the keywords in a given text without having to read a single paragraph. But something else might work for you, too.
How to ignore the useless information and do you actually have to do that?
We come back to having a clear goal again. Do you want to be good at Physics? Then you probably don’t want to ignore ‘useless’ information, as all of the information will be useful to you to some extent.
However, if the goal to get an A in Physics, then you probably would want to skip the useless information, which isn’t going to help you get a better grade. Although what my personal experience tells me is that when I dig deeper into the topic, the questions on the exam seem fairly simple. But most of the time, time is the salient variable, which we can’t play with.
In my country, the teachers decide what to put on the test, and they can put whatever they want. Ideally, they’d tell us what we’re required to know, so that we wouldn’t have to read more than we have to. That makes it fairly easy for us not to waste time on anything else.
In other countries, however, this will be different, and your only option to save time, is to avoid reading about the authors’ deviations about something that doesn’t concern the main topic.
Also, you could ask your teacher what he thinks is unnecessary in that lesson, as they’ve taught it many times.
Challenge for the lecture: 1) Find a lesson which you have studied before in you a subject of your choice and find the useless information.
2) Ask your teacher about his/her opinion.
We live in the 21st century and we are surrounded by technology. The amount of free information we have access to is just ridiculous. Can you imagine telling someone in the 18th century that you could type your question by clicking some buttons, and that you could get it answered in less than a second? They’d think that you are crazy!
It’s just unbelievable how easy it is to get our questions answered and how easy you can access the millions of amazing educational resources.
Imagine we’re back in the 18th century again. Your teacher didn’t explain a Physics concept well enough. What do you do? You’ve asked your father, but he’s never gone to school himself, and he can’t help you. Your mother has never gone to school, too.
You go to the library, find a Physics book, but you’ve just realised that they didn’t include the thing that you’re looking for after reading 200 pages of it.
It’s a late night, so you can’t just go to your teacher’s house and ask for explanation. They have lives outside of school, too.
You read your notes over and over again, but you just aren’t able to grasp it!
Fortunately, it’s not the 18th century and we don’t have to go through this nightmare anymore.
There’s no shortage of information, in fact, we have an abundance of it.
Let’s get back to our example. You didn’t understand a Physics concept. What do you do?
You Google it, of course. You get your question answered in less than a second.
If you wanted to, you could listen and watch someone on Khan Academy teach the same lesson in a different way. Or you could check out all of the other educational resources, like Crash Course, MinutePhysics, and other Youtube channels. Or even ask a teacher who you’ve met on Facebook to help you understand your lesson better. You could discuss it with people all over the world. It’s just incredible.
Personally, I’d like to improve my English vocabulary, and I use an app called AnkiDroid which lets you create flashcards, and it reminds you about them in a certain period of time. If you’re doing very well, it’s not going to bother you with the same card and it has really helped me enhance my vocabulary.
Also, I could just buy an ebook in English in a matter of seconds, instead of waiting someone to import it to Bulgaria. It makes it so much easier to meet with the great ideas around the world.
There are thousands if not millions of books dedicated to your favourite subject. You could have them whenever you wanted to, but imagine if you were back in the 18th century. If your library didn’t have it, you were basically screwed.
Challenge for the lecture: 1) Use technology in your advantage.
Humans are social animals and they communicate between each other and gather information about various things.
Social learning can be a great way to skip all of the crap and get into the interesting part of the topic. People want to share only the interesting parts and would try very hard to make the boring stuff seem interesting.
I can personally say that social learning has helped me learn a lot about entrepreneurship. I’ve met with many successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs and they helped me avoid making their mistakes, gave me guidelines on how to be successful, and how to run a business after it grows. It has been pretty amazing how many things I’ve learnt in such a short period of time.
I highly advise you to try to teach lessons to some of your classmates. It’ll be valuable to them, as they’ll be taught a lesson in a more accessible way, you’ll get to know if you know everything important about that topic, they’re likely to ask you questions, so you’ll see how deeply you understand the subject, and it’ll guide you to where you should focus your learning, because you may not know everything, but you’ll at least know what you should work on.
I can’t give you more guidelines on that, as you know yourself best, and you communicate with others in a unique way, so discover how you can get the most out of that.
What do you think about social learning by the way? Has it helped you learn faster or improved your life in any significant way?
The second most effective social technique that I’ve found is based on the first one, but this time you are the one who’s being taught. You’ll get the same benefits as the previous one, and you’re going to learn the most fundamental things about the topic in no time. That’s not all, though! This makes it more personal, as you’re the only who it is being explained to, and it will get to your long-term memory much quicklier.
Another great way to learn is to join a school club dedicated to the subject. It’s based on an old concept we’ve talked about. The people who’ve joined that club are smart and know what they’re talking about. So, by joining it, you’ll surround yourself with people who can teach you all of the information you need. They’ll talk about even more complex things related to that topic, and your knowledge will grow and grow until the questions on the exam seem like a piece of cake to you.
Challenge for the lecture: 1) Experiment with the social techniques and gain new knowledge about a subject of your choice.
One of the techniques which has helped me a lot is making mini tests. It’s tightly connected with finding keywords, and the skill of extracting the most important information from a given text.
Depending on your teacher’s teaching style, and what tests he gives you, you will want to use this technique in an adaptive way, in order to fit that teaching style.
Mini tests are created only after you know what the fundamentals are, have used several learning techniques, taught it to a classmate and discussed it with friends. It doesn’t have to be that extensive, but if you want it to be effective you’ll have to have done at least one of those things.
I ask myself the question, what is the most important bit of information here? When I have written it down, I create the questions, just like in a test. I sometimes put the trivial information down on a flashcard, so that I could remind myself about it later.
I make sure that the questions aren’t very narrow, because I want to answer them broadly, reminding myself about all of the other things I’d learnt then.
Depending on the length of the lesson, I’d do them from 5-10 questions. But I don’t know if that would work for you, and you’d have to figure it on your own.
(Give an actual example of how I’d do a Mini Test)
Challenge for the lecture: 1) Build a Mini Tests to remind yourself what you have to remember about a lesson you are certain you know
Learn the method, not the facts.
The way I see it is that it’s not important who the tenth president of the United States was, but how you learnt that information. And school is a great place to practise all of your skills and learning techniques.
Learning doesn’t stop when school ends. It just begins then and if you’re not prepared for it, all of those valuable things life tells you will slip away.
You have to recognize life’s lessons and use your method to capture them and use it later on.
What lesson did life teach that you find the most valuable?
While school can be a good place to practise your skills, it can have a dark side, too.
You might get used to the way content is taught. The way it works is that a teacher presents the information you need to know and it is structured very well, so that you have a strong foundation before you go into more advanced things.
While it might seem like a nice deal, it isn’t. Life isn’t a teacher.
You have to look for life’s lessons, and use all of the methods we’ve talked about to capture that information.
The other thing is that life’s lessons aren’t structured. You might encounter the hardest thing first, and work your way down to the easiest. You might have one easy lesson, and one hard lesson.
Life doesn’t care if you can cope with it or not. It moves on, and gives you the next lesson.
I really want you to realise that, because when you go out of school, the learning field becomes quite wild, which differs a lot from the isolated environment you’ve been taught in.
What do you think about it? What differences do you see between life’s lessons and school lessons?
Psychologist call the mindset we’re aiming for the growth mindset, which means that everything about us is not fixed or permanent. Not good at talking with people? You can change that. Not ‘naturally’ good at something? You can change it.
Most people have a fixed mindset though, and when something doesn’t work out as they’ve planned it, they say it’s the way they are. That’s what’s stopping them from improving.
A very significant question you can ask yourself is how can I improve this?
Your Maths skills aren’t on an A level yet? How can you improve them? How can you get there?
Don’t focus on the problem, but the solution. Once you start doing that, you’ll see how many opportunities you’ve got in front of you.
I want you to fully understand that concept and explain it in your own words. Because knowing something is one thing, understanding something is another, and using it in the real life is another.
I can teach you the thing, but I can’t teach you how to understand it, and use it in your own life.
That’s why I want you to be involved with the course.
Do you agree with the statement that there’s a difference between knowing a thing, and understanding it?
As I’ve already said, learning in the real life isn’t as structured as it is at school. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t control it. You may react to one situation and learn from it, but why should you wait for it to happen to you, when you can create it yourself?
You want to learn more about entrepreneurship? Well, why wait until it’s the ‘right’ time, why wait until you stumble upon the right situation? You can start learning about it by reading some stories about entrepreneurs, you can join a subreddit about it, you can go to conferences and meetings, meet with other like-minded people, and see what they’ve done, how they’ve done it.
Nothing happens TO you, it happens BECAUSE of you.
What can you do about it?
What I do is that I’ve created short-term goals, and long-term goals. I have yearly, monthly, weekly and daily goals. That’s what keeps me motivated and productive.
I look at my yearly goals, and ask myself: what can I do this month to achieve this yearly goal. Then I create my monthly goals, and it’s the same story with weekly and daily goals.
If I want to become more productive, I write that as a Monthly Goal, and it makes its way to my weekly, and daily goals. I don’t wait for it to happen to me. I don’t wait for the perfect moment. I just create it.
If I want to learn more about successful business owners in my country, I put it down in my monthly goals, and try to find some meetings, or find someone I know, who might be friends with someone successful. If I can’t find a meeting, that’s not an excuse. I just make it happen.
What do you think it’s harder? Waiting for the right moment or just doing it?
When you have the answer, you’ll know why most people aren’t successful.
Challenge for the lecture: 1) Find a way to control your advancement
2) Structure it (If that works for you, if not let the chaos guide you)
Tracking change while you’re at school is very straightforward. You get an A, and you’re doing great, you get a C, and you’re doing not so great.
But how do you track change in the real life?
Well, I can’t tell you how YOU do it, but I’ll give you an example of how I do it.
But before we get into that, we have to know the basic principle of tracking change. Who were you then, who are you now. Past and Present are compared. Or maybe not. Maybe that’s not the way you do it.
Tracking improvement and setting goals are tightly connected together. By achieving your goals, you’re going forward. You could assess yourself by the swiftness you achieved them or by the the number of goals you’ve achieved.
The thing about it is that it’s tough to assess yourself objectively, without putting any emotion into it.
Let’s say you’ve done something, and ask yourself. How well did I do it? How could I improve it? What went wrong? How can I avoid doing it wrong again?
Those questions may seem easy to answer, but how objective would the answer be?
Obviously, you and I will never eliminate our bias toward us, but it’s very important to suck it up, and look at ourselves from a different point of view.
I still haven’t mastered that and every time I start thinking that I’m good at it, life just shows me how much more there is to learn.
Challenge for the lecture: 1) Find out how you’re going to track improvements in the real life.
Here are some examples that might help you get started with improving the aspects of your life which are important to you.
The first one is DIY. I’ve always been a big fan of DIY projects, as they make me think outside of the box and that I have to use only the materials I have laying around. (That doesn’t always apply, though.)
One day, I decided that I needed a whiteboard, which would boost my productivity. I googled whiteboard, and the prices were so scary that I just had to close my browser.
It made me think of how I could make one myself. Then I remembered that one time when I had drawn with whiteboard markers on a window and how easy it was to clean it up afterwards.
I went down to my basement and found this glass which was broken in the top-left corner. I tried writing with a marker on it, so that I was sure it could be cleaned up.
Then I just duct taped white paper on the back side, and there it was. A perfect whiteboard for free!
Okay, great, but what did I learn from it? Well, I learnt how to use all of the limited resources that were available to me, how to be efficient and how to use my time wisely.
However, because I’ve been doing this for so long, I know that the way I learn is by doing, and especially writing. I could do nothing, and retain the information on how to find a broken glass in a basement, but that wasn’t what I wanted.
I got a pen and wrote down all of the things I told you I learnt. Firstly, it was very specific, but then as I wrote down more and more, I dug deeper, until I had reached rock bottom and got the most out of it.
How would you do it, though? Would you write it down or would prefer to keep it in your mind?
Cooking eggs is another great example I can give you.
I decided I wanted to cook my own eggs, so that I could eat them whenever I felt like it. I asked my mother how she cooked them and she told me to wait for 5 minutes after the water had started boiling.
That was all nice, but it felt like I could do better than that, and I started experimenting. I tried to cook them for 3 minutes, but they were undercooked. I did them for 4, but weren’t tasty enough.
I tried to cook them for 10, but they were just meh.
What I found through all of those experiments was that the ideal length with 4 eggs in the pot, being cooked in my kitchen was 8 minutes after the water had started boiling. But that is very personal, and in someone else’s kitchen, the ideal length might be 20 minutes. But that doesn’t matter, as I had to experiment to find out what the ideal length was. Because no one else was going to tell me.
Again, I wrote down all of the things that I had learnt. The first thing was that I could never be complacent, because I might never find out if there is a better solution.
Second, it was that I had to experiment to discover new things.
Third, some things might work for me, but not for others, and so on, and so on.
Those examples might seem mundane to you, but if you don’t do anything about them, and don’t see them as an opportunity to learn, you’ll never learn the secrets that they possess behind their mundane look.
Task for the lecture: 1) Experiment with something mundane
2) Tell yourself what you’ve learnt
What do you do when you face a difficulty with someone and just don’t know how to find a common ground with them?
How do you improve your relationships with your spouse, friends or colleagues?
I want you to answer those question and be brutally honest with yourself. Did you make any improvements in the last month, 3 months, 6 months, last year?
How would you improve them, if your answer was no? How could you speed that improvement if the answer was yes?
I’d probably pick up a book on the subject and read what the great minds, who’ve been thinking and practising that subject, think.
Then I’d identify the problem and find the solution for it.
If you had an argument with a friend, or some kind of miscommunication, you’ll probably want to fix it.
What I’d do is to meditate for 5-10 minutes before I do the actual thinking on the topic, then I’d try with the least amount of emotion to see what the real cause of the problem was. This is very hard to do, so I’d advise you to write down what you think the problem was, and then ask someone who’s witnessed it for their opinion. You might find it surprising that the two are very different.
Now that you know what caused it, you can ask yourself how you can prevent it from happening again. I’d write down all of those things again.
The overriding problem is that it involves people which is a species which can be hard to predict sometimes.
When you try to liaise with that person, he might not want to cooperate. But then you’d have to ask yourself why that was, which could bring a whole new level of complication to the table, and it’s very tightly connected with that person, so you’ll have to figure it out. But I’m sure you can do it!
Challenge for the lecture: 1) Think of a relationship that has been going downwards
2) Find a way to fix it
Giving presentations is a great way to improve yourself in different areas.
By giving a presentation, you’re not just presenting a topic, but yourself, too. Your behaviour, your dressing style, your speech. It all shows up there. If a presentation is filmed, then that is even better.
You can watch yourself over and over again, and see where you flaws are, so that you can fix them afterwards. If you have no idea what your flaws are, then you can’t actually work on them.
Try to give a presentation about something, and then watch yourself. It might make you cringe at first, but don’t give up! Look at it like a learning material which will make you a lot better.
I had to give several presentations recently, and when I watched the first one I had given, I couldn’t actually look at it, or listen to it. I didn’t move at all, I didn’t use my hands enough, I didn’t speak as clearly as I had to, I didn’t present it as simply as possible.
I wrote all of those things down in my notebook, and asked myself how I could improve them.
The first problem was that I didn’t practise enough, which was the root of most of the problems stated above, but not all.
I’ve practised and practised for my next presentation, and then the time came.
I went on the stage, and felt a little restricted. It felt like what I had planned to say wasn’t ‘right’, but I said screw it(to myself of course) and did what I’d planned and said with all of the energy I could find. I consciously fixed all of the things I knew had been missing the previous time, and did a wonderful presentation actually.
However, that didn’t have to stop me from improving it and learning from it.
I asked myself, what made it so great? When I had the answer I knew I had to work on that to make it even better.
The next time I was prepared and knew what thoughts could emerge while I was on stage, and did even a better job.
Who do you think is a better teacher? Success or failure? Why do you think so?
Challenge for the lecture: 1) Think of a certain activity that you like doing and ask yourself what makes you good at it, and then work on that thing!
Making small improvements here and there is amazing, but it can become quite tedious at some time.
I’ve experienced this several times in my life, where I had become good at something, and I was working on the same things, the same way I had been doing it for the last year.
It worked for some time, but I lost motivation to do it, because it became mundane and tiresome.
Instead of giving up, I decided I had to do something about it. I came up with the idea that I had to start experimenting again. At first, my performance slowed and even began falling down, but I knew that was something normal, when I’m experimenting.
But I found the missing piece, performance and motivation tripled. And soon I was on the same success track I had been.
It’s a cycle, which you cannot escape, but which you should know about. You shouldn’t panic when the performance drops. You should be open-minded and stop holding your comfort zone so close to you. Otherwise, you might get trapped into it, and make it very difficult to get out of.
Remember: Always improve and find ways to boost that improvement several times its normal rate, and never stop experimenting. You never know how far the next discovery will push you.
I’ve talked about mindset in the previous 3 sections, and I’m going to mention it here again.
I just want to put emphasis on how important it is to have the proper mindset. I can’t tell you what that means for you, but the basics will have to be there.
That includes perception of failure, time for recovery from a misfortunate situation, work ethic, perception of learning, how prepared you are, etc.
Imagine the mindset like the foundation of your building. If you don’t make the foundation deep and sturdy, you won’t be able to build a high building, because the foundation isn’t sufficient enough.
Have you built a strong mindset? If not, how could you build it in the next 3-6 months?
Challenge for the lecture: 1) Create your mindset, don’t let the environment create it for you.
I like viewing myself as an infinite learner. Its definition is that you’re always expanding to new domains of expertise and grow as a person, businessman or technician.
Being an infinite learner isn’t limited to making the most out of your everyday situations which you encounter. It goes beyond that, and lets you expand your vision, knowledge, actions and thinking to a new level that you can’t imagine.
There’s no such excuse as ‘It’s just the way I am’. There is ‘How do I become better, and suggest some books I could read on the subject.’
All of the successful entrepreneurs you can think of are infinite learners, because at one point in their business lives, they had to grow from ‘I do most things at the startup’ to ‘Leading the company’ which requires a different set of skills and knowledge that you could only learn in the field, and if you’re not an infinite learner, then you’re going to experience many lost opportunities.
Are you an infinite learner? Would you like to become one, if the answer was no? How could you become one? Or how could you become a better learner.
Challenge for the lecture: Look up what Reid Hoffman thinks about infinite learners, and do some further reading on the subject.
Social learning is essential to your acquirement of knowledge.
You can skip a lot of hassle with it just by asking people questions. You just have to meet with them, so that you can bombard them with questions. Of course, you might want to be careful with some people not to scare them off.
For an example, as I was creating this course, I asked all of the teachers in my school what they have learnt from teaching for so many years, what has worked for them, what makes a great lesson, how to get students’ attention, etc, just so that I can make this course great. I would never be able to do it on my own, as it’d take an enormous time, which I don’t have.
That’s why apprenticeships are so valuable. You get to ask an expert in the field questions, so that you learn faster, and get better at what you do.
In addition, you can ask your friends for advice about something. Just keep in mind that this advice would be on how they do it, not on how you should do it. But as you ask more and more people, you can gather data, and then combine it, and create something completely different from what you expected.
Surrounding yourself with great people is essential, because you will bounce ideas off each other, and together create something that is astounding.
And the question is what do you think about social learning? Do you make the most out of it, and if not, how can you start making it?
Challenge for the lecture: 1) See your social interactions in a new light and make the most out of them.
Trying out new things and exploring new industries has always been very alluring to me, because I could never know what’s possible and what’s not.
My own ignorance about a topic could help me excel at it, because there’s nothing that could stop me.
The expert knows that a thing isn’t possible, because of the knowledge he possess, but I could not know that, and it wouldn’t seem like an obstacle to me, but like an opportunity to test my skills and willpower.
The question is has ignorance ever helped you go beyond what you were capable of? Has it done you more good than bad?
Practising is the key to success. If you don’t beat up on your craft, you’re never going to acquire the skill to be successful.
But here is the missing piece. Repeating the same mistakes over and over again isn’t going to help you much. Well, unless you want to be good at making the same mistake, then it’s totally fine.
What you have to do is move forward, and find new challenges which you’ll have to fight. Moving forward is much more valuable skill than repeating the same mistake.
The question is how do you get from A to B? Figure it out, and you’ll become the winner.
Was there a time when you were repeating the same mistake over and over again, when you realised that you weren’t moving forward and that something had to change?
What did you do then?
I am an entrepreneur, student, learner, businessman and many others.
I'm in my last year of high-school now and I am a straight A student.
However, 3 years ago, that wasn't the case and my grades were below average at best. I've started looking for ways to enhance my learning skills and make studying more enjoyable and fun.
I've implemented my own learning style not just at school, but in the real life, too. I've created 2 successful e-commerce sites, I've taught myself how to code, how to have a more meaningful relationships with people, how to be meet more people at networking events and many more!
Now, I share my knowledge with you.
Thank you for reading my short biography. It means a lot to me!