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How to learn anything

"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool." Shakespeare

I'm enjoying learning how to write content. This is my first time. Seeing the A+R Posts readership increase each week gives me the confidence to keep writing. But it's the learning process that gives me joy. Learning all the little things that come with trying to write something interesting and of value - in a readable format - is feeding my brain and soul.

I've learned that writing fast - and well. Is very hard.

Building A+R itself, has also been a learning curve. We started out simply wanting to create products we couldn't find on the market; we wanted style and functionality in our desk goods, so we felt better and thus became more productive.

Like our best-selling notebook covers.

So what have I learned about learning? There is a sort of "hack" to learning anything new. It requires you to be humble, objective and curious. This is the art of saying:

"I don't understand."

Put more eloquently; this is the skill of objective humility. And it's tough.

Looking at where you're at and being brutally honest with yourself, not just about the big thing you don't know about, but all the facts and details that make up that knowledge set. For example: Take my ability to write 500 exciting words. It's stuff like good grammar and decent vocabulary that compounds into the ultimate skill.

This is the basis of a "beginner's mindset", a term we have all heard, but having ruthless objectivity to oneself can indeed speed you up.

This skill requires a lot of self-confidence. Sitting in a meeting and hearing acronyms you don't know, then being ready to say "I don't understand" is not easy, but it's by far the fastest way to learn. I've also learned that respect is only increased from your peers when doing this, the same thing has likely happened to them, but they have not been as brave.

As a leader, doing this can inspire confidence in your team to do the same. You need to encourage this, or you run the risk of people providing opinions like they are facts or information without data.

You want a team with the confidence to say, "I don't understand".

Of course, there are some brilliant techniques out there for learning things, I'll drop my favourites below, but I would implore you to take a step back and be OK with accepting what you don't know, so you can truly learn something. Bluffing or skimming over things is slower in the long run.

Top 3 hacks for learning things:

  1. The first 20 hours, how to learn anything- Ted Talk. 
  2. The four critical steps to the Feynman Technique.
  3. Ebbinghaus's forgetting curve- Why we keep forgetting and what we can do about it. 

Extra, wild one; seek adrenaline right after you learn something.

These are great, but integrity in the process is the goal.

The next time your instinct is to provide a conversation-stopping quick reply, retort or comment - pause and consider:

+ How often do we trade factual accuracy and thoughtfulness for immediacy?

+ Do you sometimes find yourself believing your opinions are facts?

+ What do you risk by assuming you know?

We are conditioned to having and providing quick, confident answers as a sign of competence and leadership. We behave as though any gaps in knowledge should be hidden at all cost.

Say you don't know. Do the work.

The News


- Households across the U.K. are about to experience an 80% jump in energy costs.

- It's a fairly dry talk, but probably important to hear Zuck in long form. I was shocked at how poorly he speaks. Lots of "I dunno's".

What we know and don't know about the PGA Tour's upcoming changes.


Peloton continues to climb - downward. But it's more accessible subscription concept is sprinting.

Cyrpto ads disappear from TV as advertising budgets are cut. Will this slow things down even further?

Marketing and Sales

- Apple’s bold new strategy to bring ads to your iPhone.

- Why brand awareness is the fifth pillar of SEO.


The rise of corn kid!

Thank you, have a good week, Caspar.

P.s if you enjoyed this article, please share it with friends to help us grow the community. Share with 10 people, show us you have, and receive a vintage A+R cap in the post!


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