Since we aren’t naturally born with all the knowledge (and experience) we’ll ever need, we have to learn. Hopefully we are learning something new everyday, whether it’s something we are interested in for ourselves, or something we have to learn for work or our lives, learning is one of the cornerstones of what makes us human.
We used to do much of our learning by reading, going to the library was one of my very special treats, I loved reading, I still do, but today I read much more digital (and audio based) content. Books are a huge source of knowledge, you can still go to the library and find a wealth of information sitting on those dusty shelves. Presumably you even own some books yourself, these are great backups as there is always the chance that an EMP, whether natural or man made, could wipe out our digital sources of knowledge.
Speaking of digital, with the internet, places like YouTube, Instructables, eHow and the such, you can research and learn just about anything you are interested in. I personally find YouTube to be a huge source of information for me, from art related, crafts, DIY, building, cooking, the list I could make would practically be endless. When I needed to do some work on my tablet, an item that is not supposed to have end-user changeable parts, I went to YouTube and found out that first, I can change out these parts, and second, how to do it. This completely free source of information saved me from having to buy a new tablet, saved me money and time. For just a few dollars, I was able to fix the problem and I was able to see HOW to do it.
Just go to YouTube, you don’t HAVE to have an account with them, but it makes things much easier since you can “like” and save videos as well as subscribe to channels you enjoy. Go there and do a search for the subject you are wanting to learn about. There are many ways to filter your search, some of my most used filters are by date and length. Don’t forget you can also include negative search terms, that is simply inserting the minus sign then the word (without a space between the minus sign and the word), use words you do not want to show up in your search term, for example, if I wanted to look up dog videos, but didn’t want puppy videos, I could do a search for “dog -puppy”…
Now go through the search results, I personally prefer right clicking on the video in the list and opening in a new tab, that way I can just close the new tab and immediately go back to the search list without having to wait for the search to happen again, I can also open a bunch of new tabs with videos at the same time then go through them.
Another way to learn something is to find someone who is good at the thing you want to learn and apprentice under them, if you know this person, all the better. You might offer to pay them for their time, or offer to do something nice or helpful for them in return. Be respectful of their time and efforts, people aren’t like video tabs on your computer, you can’t just shut them off if you suddenly aren’t interested in what they are saying or doing. Learning from someone else’s experience is a great way to learn how to do something.
Now we get to experience, you must actually DO the thing you are learning, it’s great to get the theory on how to do something, you can read all about it, watch someone else demonstrate it, you can think about it all you want, but until you actually DO IT YOURSELF, all you have is knowledge, it’s time to turn that knowledge into experience. Practice until you become proficient and can do it in your sleep.
Once you become the expert at doing this, then pass on your knowledge and experience to another person, teach someone else so that they can also pass on the knowledge.
What are your favorite ways of learning? Let me know in the comments below.
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