Life long learning

I was always a bit of a Magpie Learner. Attracted to the process of learning and the shiny things and I would pick them up and add it to my nest and then move on to the next and new shiny thing.

I always loved the process of learning but hated the learning on other people’s terms. Like school for instance, I was never a natural student but I was a good learner.

This was my approach through my whole life and hence why I call myself a life long learner. I admit that I never had the best structured approach, but it did mean I would gather up what caught my mind and supported my passion for sharing with others what I had learned. 

I had a reference library full of material but it was never that easy to work with or refer back to with any quick look-up.

Recently I have discovered this is more in common with what others call compound learning. Taking the moments of learning and building it up over time so that it compounds into a deeper and more protracted knowledge.

This idea of compound learning has caught my attention as previously I would just jump around so many different subject matters because I am naturally curious. So now with this framing, I have now managed to drill down into some key things I want to learn and share and I am learning to stick with them for the longer term.

What I am working on now is how to focus it more and also build some structure so that I can take it onto another level of usefulness over time. 

At its core, I want to use it to help others so I need it all to be more structured.

Because I call myself a life long learner, I am often asked now how I learn or what I am focused on and so with more structure, I am able to share with more clarity… the how I learn, over time this will be reflected or shared in this blog.

The ‘how’ is always interesting because when I tell people that I buy online courses and study a topic they always default to the fact that they could do the same by watching videos on YouTube for free and then they have a little chuckle at my expense.

I agree you can, so when I ask what are they learning now, they often say ‘nothing in particular’. Why is that? Because they have not invested in their learning with some hard cash and so they have nothing to loose. Lacking in incentive and living with the idea that they will do it one day when they get around to it is not learning.

The difference between free and a small cost is absolutely the attention that you will end up giving it. You want to make a change on your learning, get online and find a course you pay for, there is a mountain of them out there. Check out sites like Udemy and see what they can offer you. 

Note; they often run great sales on their courses where you can buy at a reduced price and that is a good opportunity to buy a couple a once.

Pick a course that inspires you and go ahead and make the purchase and then follow through on your learning. Finish the course. Stick with it.

An hour a day and you would finish most online courses over two weeks. Over a year you could finish more than 15 to 20 online courses. You just need to land the habit of learning.

Spend at least an hour a night watching the video and take notes. Buy a nice notebook and take your notes in that and keep them stored in a safe place for future reference and do take the time to recap by reading through your ‘back catalogue’. 

Do it with paper and pen and stay away from digital, if you must digitise it, then write it on paper first and then digitise it when you have completed your notes, there are plenty of apps out there that will help you with doing that.

My last point on this for the moment is that you would not hesitate in spending thousands of pounds on MBA’s or similar and yet with a fraction of the investment you can learn more, quicker and without the attached debt.

An example from Udemy online learning

2 Comments Add yours

  1. sakshib29 says:

    Very well written. Some key psychological aspects of a human have been discussed by you and are actually true.


  2. Iain says:

    Thank you for the kind comment and writing is something that I am working on improving by blogging. I am committed to being open and the thoughts are reflections of my own experience.


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