13 Rock-Solid Ways To Build Knowledge For Lifetime

13 Rock-Solid Ways To Build Knowledge For Lifetime

"All wish to possess knowledge, but few, comparatively speaking, are willing to pay the price."

– Juvenal

KnowledgeThis post introduces you to simple steps toward managing information and toward rock-solid knowledge. No cheap miracles, just a clear and straight approach based on facts and science. I'm sure you'll find some points obvious, but please do not stop reading if this is the case. This is the shortest path to empowering knowledge:

1. Nurse your hunger for knowledge.

If your motivation for getting knowledge is weak you can stop reading this post. All the other advices will not work for you. Your motivation can't be shallow (passing an exam, showing off, impressing the boss, etc.). You have to find the clear-cut link between knowledge and the value it brings to life.

Do you love science programs? Are you interested in how your computer works? Are you surfing the net looking for news? If the answer to this questions is yes, you are probably on the right track. But if you can spend more than 30 minutes on a totally uncreative and non-intellectual activity (like gossip, adult magazines, unadulterated laziness, etc.), then you may have a motivational problem.

Remember that hunger for knowledge grows as you learn more (the more you know the more you know you don't know). So there is an excellent remedy for poor motivation: learn more and see how it can impact your and others' life. Recent research shows that strong motivation may actually count more than your IQ.


2. Determine what you really need to know.

Clearly identify the areas of knowledge that are most likely to positively influence your life. You will not even be able to skim the surface of the world's knowledge resources in your lifetime! And the earlier you'll realize this the faster you will reach the point at which you will see that three well-selected pieces of knowledge may have the power to blast the entire shelf of ill-picked books.

You must check how much time you can spend on learning daily. Only a lucky few can afford to learn new things for more than an hour per day. So if this is the case with you, the problem of knowledge selection is yet more burning.

Also take a long-term perspective. Do not get obsessed with learning just one subject, like English, Word or Economics! To assume a responsible position in society, you will need strong general knowledge on health, sociology, natural sciences, history, etc. Only those who can grasp the full picture are well positioned to be successful in their efforts.

3. Locate sources of information.

Unless you are in your student years, going through a collection of big books may not be the best way to accomplish your goals. Limited time gives preference to an incremental approach. So you better study lots of sources in parallel and pick only information of the highest priority.

I guess you already discovered the power of the Internet. Lots of answers can now be found on the net (as this post: short, free, and, hopefully, making an impact). Obviously you should cast your net wide. TV, news magazines and the library are still irreplaceable in many areas.

4. Formulate knowledge for active recall.

Effective learning must be based on repetition. Read it again: Effective learning must be based on repetition. Otherwise whatever you learn will sooner or later be forgotten. So don't trust theories which tell you that you can develop memories lasting for lifetime! Everything you remember for life is somehow rehearsed by your memory, even if you are not aware of the repetition. No acquired memories last for ever; as a result, repetition is necessary to remember.

5. "What next?" thinking.

Always give yourself solution-oriented feedback when solving your problems. Don't just dwell on what went wrong. Ask yourself: What are you going to do about it? Spend your energy on moving forward, finding an answer. Keeping a journal helps here. What did you accomplish today? What went well? What can you do better tomorrow? How do you feel about your progress? Are your goals making you reach, or you're just going through the motions? Are you focused?

6. Ask questions to build knowledge.

Questions kick off the processes of integration and generalization, and therefore ultimately have an impact on the issue of long-term retention of information. So it is important to recognize that it is internally generated questions that drive memory and hence drive learning. Once your question has been generated by memory, memory is set to learn since it knows where to place any answer it finds. But memory is obsessive enough to fail to pay attention to information provided that is not an answer to any question it may have. So always ask questions.

7. No pain, no gain vs. patience, pacing, and persistence.

You don't need to go through emotional or physical pain to succeed in building knowledge. Realize that failure and handicaps have not prevented winners in any area of life.

Also, learn from the trial and error of others, and expect a lot of yourself. Not just a pipedream, but expect a lot, and expect to get it. It can be easy to overtrain, overcommit, and overwork if your expectations are too much. Success WILL come; just remember that it may take months instead of days.

8. One step at a time.

Don't bite off more than you can check, but make sure you do take a bite to get yourself started towards building knowledge. Move at a pace that is comfortable for you, but not too comfortable, otherwise you will slack. And as you start to invest time and energy in your goal you'll see the changes. Stay calm as all these changes unfold in front of your eyes and trust yourself. With calm persistence you will reach your goal, even if it ends up looking very different from what it looked like when you first set it.

9. Don't neglect knowledge management.

Once you start using these principles, don't forget that your needs change in the same way as everything around you. And this fact must find its reflection in learning! Repeating the learned material must become a daily fixture in your schedule. This time will be spent well if you carefully make sure at each repetition that the material you study is really worth the time you put in it. It must be up-to-date, useful, and properly formulated. Remember that you may be saving 60-90% of your time if you remove or reformulate the hardest 6% of your learning material!

10. Deal with your doubts.

When you have a moment of peace and quiet, close your eyes and internally visualize yourself achieving great knowledge. Make it like a 3D movie with you inside the movie as the main actor. See, hear, feel, smell, and taste what it is like to achieve what you are after. Make it even more real by intensifying the sounds and colors in the movie.

11. Deal with your limiting beliefs.

This can be a bit tricky, because some of our limiting beliefs about our self, others, and the world stem from the distant past and are hard to uncover. But if you already know what your limiting belief is, speak to it internally, as if it was a person. Ask: "What is it you want for me?" Limiting beliefs are often protective mechanisms that try to safe us from experiencing again some kind of suffering we have experienced in the past. So when you ask this question, you are likely to get an internal response like "To keep you safe, to spare you from 'x' happening again."

12. Focus on desired results.

Pure and simple: winners dwell on the rewards of success. Losers focus on mistakes and failure. So, do what's necessary NOW! Stay in the present! Then you don't have to worry about what happened yesterday or what's going to happen tomorrow. Thus, half of your worries disappear.

13. Play a bigger game.

Set a goal that does not just satisfy you as an individual, but involves some degree of unselfishness and benefits others. You must embark on a journey into the unknown, where you become a tool for a higher purpose. It requires of you a certain degree of surrender.

Why play a bigger game? Because there is no fun in life without playing a bigger game.

Remember, that life will give you what you ask for. So ask for some knowledge!

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