Part Seven of the Support Elements series.
You have been commissioned as an Intelligence Operative for your nation.
Such operatives gather intelligence which is used to protect the nation and assist military strategists in preparing for war.
There are innumerable subjects which must be studied: nutrition and health, arithmetic, reading and writing, communication skills, etc.
Whichever areas you desire to gather intelligence about, you will need to know how to process the information, retain it, and apply it.
The following are learning strategies:
Make Your Brain Work Hard
We have likely all taken notes in class or underlined passages in books. These are learning techniques and they are certainly more active than merely listening or reading alone.
However, we can utilize greater mental force-production if we Create.
We create clues when we attach meaning to what we learn. This can be done in a myriad of ways:
- Write an essay on the topic you are studying and publish it on a public forum.
- Draw a picture of what you are learning. Regardless of your artistic skill, make effort to provide detail to your sketch.
- Organize a webinar on the topic and invite your peers to attend.
- Prior to study, write at the top of your notes certain prompts which you will return to throughout your study. These prompts could include: what is most relevant, most confusing, most difficult, most amusing, most trivial, most surprising, etc. As you read or listen to what is being taught or shared, answer the prompts.
And many more methods exist.
Instead of cramming all the information in one sitting, utilize distributive learning to help process and retain what you learn.
Read a chapter of a book or study a new concept or process, and space out your study. Set down your book or step away from the computer and take a Retreat – drink some water and meditate. Then continue.
Forget to Learn
This is similar to distributive learning. After studying a topic for the first time, allow a short period of time to pass (a day or two) and review the topic – but test your retention of the information by writing a paragraph in your one words about the topic.
This will demand that your brain work harder to recall the information you have likely forgotten. Test your knowledge of topics this way.
We discussed in part 4 of the Support Elements series the value of Coaches both living and dead. But the student eventually becomes a master.
Teach to Learn
An invaluable learning strategy is to become a teacher of what you have learned thus far. Once you have learned the fundamentals of a concept or skill, begin the path to mentorship as soon as possible.
Remember: you will not know everything – you will have to take leaps of faith. Your desire to become a better teacher will facilitate the greater mental force-production we discussed above.