Posted on / by Natalie / in Season 3

Learning with a Growth Mindset

Changing our beliefs can have a powerful impact. The growth mindset creates a powerful passion for learning. Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better?”

This is a statement from Carol Dweck, author of the bestselling book Mindset.

A leading expert in the field of motivation, her research has demonstrated the role of mindsets in students’ achievement and has shown how praise for intelligence can undermine motivation and learning.

So let me ask you a question right now: Do you have a fixed or a growth mindset?

Your answer to this will define how you go about learning and reaching your human potential.

If you’ve often struggled to improve and the act of learning is not something you enjoy, then listen in to this short summary of the first key idea in Carol’s book by OnePercentBetter:

Mindset was written by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck. Her decades of research on achievement and success led her to discover what great parents, teachers, CEOs and athletes already know.

That our mindset is the basis of accomplishment.

Lesson 1: The Two Mindsets

People with the fixed mindset believe intelligence can’t be changed. This leads to a desire to look smart so they avoid challenges. They don’t want to look bad if they fail which holds them back. In the face of obstacles they get defensive or give up easily. They say effort is pointless and believe that people are only great at things because they were born with special talents. When confronted with constructive criticism they ignore it. Lastly, they feel threatened by the success of others. People with a fixed mindset achieve less than they are capable of.

On the other hand, people with the growth mindset believe intelligence can be developed. This leads to a desire to learn so instead of avoiding challenges, they embrace them. They persist in the face of obstacles and see effort as a path to mastery. They accept constructive criticism and use it to their advantage. Lastly, they feel inspired by and learn from the success of others. As a result, they fulfill their ultimate potential.”

Fascinating right? Yet how often do we just assume we’re not smart enough or good enough based on the stories we’ve told ourselves all our life, vs looking at whether we have a fixed mindset that’s caused this?

As Carol says in her book:

“Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.”

I wanted to share this as we come to the end of Season 3 which has been all about learning, because I think it’s critical to the role of learning in our lives, and more importantly, our enjoyment of it.

Right now I have around seven courses – yes seven, that I have invested in or enrolled in for free through some of the online learning platforms I discussed in the previous episode How to Learn More In Less Time.

Like most of us, I will often buy a course and then sit on it for months. Unlike many people I talk to though, I will dive into these when I most need them.

I made a conscious effort on my business sabbatical to really make progress thought, setting myself deadlines to do them in, or simply tuning into them at the right time – i.e when I needed them most.

So right now I’ve finally dived into Instagram with Intention that I bought from Hilary Rushford three months ago – because I love Instagram but don’t use it effectively for business and want to give it a damn good crack.

I’ll be diving back into Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula, as I go into producing some new courses, or what I prefer to call LIVE experiences to help my community tackle areas in their business and actually DO the work like my upcoming Freedom Lab on making your first hire and building your dream team.

I want to refresh my memory on some of his great tactics for interest building in the lead up to a launch. Even though I’ve done several over the years, you ALWAYS learn something new on every launch.

Both of these courses are for my business growth and learning – that’s how I categorize them.

I’ve been enjoying videos on The Wealthy Mindset by Tim and Kris Hallbom who concept of the Universal Cycles of Change I discussed in “When Too Much Change is Dangerous“.

Going through these videos (often in the evening or weekends) is for my personal growth learning, and they’re helping me look at my habits and mindset with a new pair of eyes.  

Along with this I’m finishing the Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani and there’s a course that comes with it I will dive into next – part business and very much mindset and rewiring your brain – so again personal growth.

I have Dr Libby’s latest book, all about eating the right food for you and knowing how to optimize your body and mind through what you consume.

That for me is learning to improve my health.

I wanted to give you a taster of how I learn, as I fit this into around content creation, course creation, mentoring calls, working on the property and that very important thing called everyday life!

Now I want to share a few of my personal hacks for learning, in addition to those in my most recent podcast and post on on How to Learn Anything Faster.

Hacks for Learning More

  • Schedule learning into your calendar so it becomes an event you make time for and has a deadline (a recurring calendar entry is even better)
  • Watch videos you learn from at 1.5-2 X the speed – click the settings icon or cog on most video players to speed it up.
  • Listen to podcasts (again at 1.5 X the speed) for daily bite sized learning
  • Learn with someone else by taking lessons together – for example my Mum and I are doing art class together, and Josh and I have been doing a Dog Essentials Training with our puppy Kayla; or
  • Go through an online course with a friend, do a coworking session together and go through the modules at the same time and share your learnings

There you have it, some hot tips for learning more faster. I hope you’ve enjoyed this season on the Quest for Freedom Podcast.

Want to stay up to date then please SUBSCRIBE on iTunes, Stitcher and Anchor so you don’t miss a show.

I’ll be changing up the intention behind this show and revealing all in the next episode!

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

So you’re racing against the clock to wrap up 3 projects, prepping for a meeting later in the afternoon all while trying to tackle a mountain of paperwork. Welcome to life as a freelancer.

Challenging? Yes, but our friends at FreshBooks believe the rewards are so worth it.

The working world has changed. With the growth of the internet there’s never been more opportunities for the self-employed. To meet this need, FreshBooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new version of their cloud accounting software!

It’s been redesigned from the ground up and custom built for exactly the way you work. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive, organized, and most importantly get paid quickly.

The all new FreshBooks is not only ridiculously easy to use, it’s also packed full of powerful features:

  • Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds.
  • Set up online payments with just a couple of clicks and get paid up to 4 days faster.
  • See when your client has seen your invoice, and put an end to the guessing games.

Go to freshbooks.com/quest and enter Quest For Freedom in the how did you hear about section when signing up.

Get the latest blog post and episode delivered straight to your inbox.

Posted on / by Natalie / in Season 3 / 1

How to Learn More In Less Time

There’s no doubt that learning should be an important part of your life if you want to expand and grow.

Setting about to learn something new or at least improve what you already know every single day is a commitment worth making to yourself.

But what about when you’re short on time and overwhelmed with other obligations?

In the previous episode I taught you 11 Benefits of Learning Something New.

And in this episode, as promised, I share how to learn anything more quickly including:

  • five hacks to learn anything more quickly
  • four of the best online course learning platforms to use;
  • as well as what on earth should you actually be learning?

5 Hacks To Learn Anything More Quickly

In Fast Company’s article Six Brain Hacks To Learn Anything Faster, the first hack Stephanie Vozza suggests, is one I personally used to get my through my Certificate in Fitness Management back in 2004.

#1 Teach Someone Else

I remember that I had just on a year to do this pretty full on Certificate in Fitness Management through Otago University.

And as I was learning about nutrition, exercise prescription, sports psychology and even injuries, I just had to tell people about it.

Otherwise, there was no way I was going to remember it.

I would come home and coach and teach my parents on exactly what we are eating and how that was broken down in the body and which of our muscles we are using to do that. When we were out playing tennis or doing something together with friends, I’ll be like “Hey! Do you know that we are using these muscles and these bones, these insertion points and this is what’s going on”. And the only way that I could remember stuff and good at it was to teach it.

I also used to dance around in my room and talk it out as if I was lecturing in a university hall or teaching as a personal trainer and it really worked.

When you have to teach a concept that you’ve just learned, you really have to understand that concept in order to put it out in your own terms.

If you imagine that you’ll need to teach someone else the material or task you are trying to grasp, you can speed up your learning and remember more, according to a study done at Washington University in St. Louis.

The expectation changes your mindset so that you engage in more effective approaches to learning than those who simply learn to pass a test.

#2 Take Notes by Hand

While it’s faster to take notes on a laptop, using a pen and paper will help you learn and comprehend better. Researchers at Princeton University and UCLA found that when students took notes by hand, they listened more actively and were able to identify important concepts. Taking notes on a laptop, however, leads to mindless transcription, as well as an opportunity for distraction, such as email.

“In three studies, we found that students who took notes on laptops performed worse on conceptual questions than students who took notes longhand,” writes coauthor and Princeton University psychology professor Pam Mueller. “We show that whereas taking more notes can be beneficial, laptop note takers’ tendency to transcribe lectures verbatim rather than processing information and reframing it in their own words is detrimental to learning.”

The course I’m taking right now called Become a Master Writer by my friend Elisa Doucette, is designed with a (now) rarely used way of learning writing and language called COPYWORK.

Copywork is exactly what it sounds like – doing the work by copying the writing of someone else. This is how schools taught for centuries. The daily assignments you get will include an excerpt or essay up to ~2500 words for you to hand-copy, along with an explanation of what you will learn from that day’s lesson.

#3 Use the Power of Mental Spacing

While it sounds counterintuitive, you can learn faster when you practice distributed learning, or “spacing.” Learning is like watering a lawn.

You can water a lawn once a week for 90 minutes or three times a week for 30 minutes.

Spacing out the watering during the week will keep the lawn greener over time.

To retain material, author Benedict Carey said it’s best to review the information one to two days after first studying it.

“One theory is that the brain actually pays less attention during short learning intervals, so repeating the information over a longer interval–say a few days or a week later, rather than in rapid succession–sends a stronger signal to the brain that it needs to retain the information.”

In Lifehack’s article 8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More, author Maria Briliaki suggests to:

#4 Do something different repeatedly

“By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!” Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?”

Maria also suggests you

#5 Work your body.

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Just like I shared above in training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

What Should You Learn

So now you have those five hacks to focus on next time you learn anything new, what should you actually be learning and where?

So this is actually completely personal to you. No surprises there.

I mean if you are a coach or a consultant, it’s always great to upskill in that area whether you are taking a new actual certificate or a level diploma something like that will actually upskill you as a coach.

Or whether you are going to a course that’s around effective leadership. Maybe it’s around financial management. Maybe it’s around negotiations and people skills and bringing out the best in people that you are working with. Maybe you are taking a project management course because that’s going to help you with your clients.

If you are a web designer or an artist perhaps you are going to do a course that’s going to help you to expand your skills, learn new code or a different platform. Just so that you can expand the reach of what you can offer your clients.

But I’d like to challenge you here to think a little bit outside of that because I love learning about stuff that is completely new and outside the scope of what I’d normally be discussing with friends or clients and that will actually stimulate my brain in a different way.

Right now I am doing art classes, I am doing a “become a master writer course”.

I’ve written a best selling book, The Suitcase Entrepreneur and another book and I’ve written 900+ blog posts on my site, you might wonder why I am taking a writing course but I want to improve as a writer. I never taught myself writing. I’ve never actually taken a course on it.

Other things that I might want to do is learn how to sing or learn how to play piano or another instrument. You may want to learn about neuroscience or space or something completely different.

And I think the reason why this is so good to do is it expand your horizons, it opens up your mind, it expands your perspective, it allows you to reach new people because you’ll often go along into an event, a course, a workshop or an actual physical class and you’ll be introduced to all these new people who just think differently, passionate about this topic that maybe you’ve never heard about before.

Right now my partner, Josh is getting into a Bitcoin training and he’s introducing me to all these platforms that he is using, the art behind trading which is no different to normal trades to normal stock exchanges but why Bitcoin is different and I am just learning this from watching and observing him.

He is reading trading books, he is listening to podcasts, he is watching Youtube videos by Bitcoin experts and along the way I am kind of learning little snippets about it.

So I do suggest that you often learn something that is completely outside your realm of interests.

I mean, I hope you are interested in it. But you know something that is completely outside your realm of expertise and what you do on an everyday basis.

Best Online Learning Sites

The reason I am focusing on online learning sites is that if you are going to classes, workshops, events, conferences, seminars, or coaching in your own town, city, location – wherever you are in the world, that’s obviously a perfect choice for you.

And if you know of events and things that are happening local to you, then I highly recommend you do something in person. That’s a brilliant way to learn.

I am going to a gardening workshop down the road this weekend for about 3 hours to learn about permaculture, gardening and what I should be planting, so that’s going to be a first for me.

I know I will learn way more by being there and doing the actual planting then if I’d taken an online course.

But in terms of online learning, you can do this from anywhere, anytime. That’s the beauty of it.

So long as you now know to write out the notes by hand. So some of my favorite learning sites are:

Coursera

Coursera is basically some of the world’s best courses online from Penn University, John Hopkins University, University of Michigan, Stanford, UC, San Diego, Duke University and more.

Some of the things that they have in there are like Deep Learning, Data Science, Python for everybody, Excel to MySQL, Analytics Techniques for Businesses and many of these are free.

You get to learn from the top universities around the world, even if it’s a little bit of a US focused and bias, but you are learning often for free.

There’s courses on Machine Learning, Neural Networks and Deep Learning,  and around Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency technologies. There’s even one on Learning How to Learn!

So for example, if I click on the Learning How to Learn, you’ll see when to enroll.

It’s taught by two university professors and they talk to you about the commitment you’ll need; about three hours of videos, three hours of exercises and three hours of bonus material.

It’s in about ten different languages too. They show you through the syllabus and an FAQ of when you get access to everything and do you have to pay for this course etc.

And often these sites as you’ll hear from me as I go, they often have certificates. So this course is often free but to get qualified or certified in it, is anywhere between $49 and a $150. And you’ll often see reviews on there because people have already taken the course.

edX

One online learning platform that I’ve been loving is edX.

It’s a bit cheeky to mimic the name Tedx, but hey! All the courses are free.

Their motto is they have ‘Courses to advance, create and improve your life’.

There are ones from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Berkeley University of California, University of Texas, University of Queensland Australia, TU Delft, The University of British Columbia and more.

Some of the most popular subjects that they offer are around Computer Science, Economics and Finance, Engineering, Business and Management, Humanities, Language, Biology and Life Sciences.

This is where I did the Science of Happiness course through Berkeley University and loved it!

It was quite intense. It was over three months and I only had four weeks in which to do it live, because I came to it late but I could have re-enrolled again to start with the next live round.

The material was great. I loved it. There were videos that you could play and none of them were over seven minutes.

At the same time as you are watching the video, you could watch a live transcript. You can also download the transcript after.

Plus they have little tests throughout and quizzes that you have to take and you actually get graded on those. So really really neat site.

Skillshare

Skillshare classes are taught by expert practitioners and they really focus on classes for your career and for your passions.

Once again you can choose from all sorts of different categories: design, business, technology, photography, film, writing, crafts, culinary.

These courses are more practical. Not saying that computer science isn’t but these are things like:

  • Street photography: Capture the Life of Your City
  • Logo Design: Secrets of Shape, Type and Color
  • Going Freelance: Building and Branding Your Own Business
  • Knife Skills: A Mini Class to Chop Like a Chef and;
  • Learn How to Mix Music with a Young Guru.

You can also see the ratings of them, how many people have taken them. Almost all of them you have to pay for but they constantly have specials going on with massive discounts on the normal price.

 

Udemy

Another online learning platform  that you probably would have heard of which is huge is Udemy.

Essentially, they have over 55,000 courses taught by experts and instructor, that you can enroll at them at anytime with lifetime access.

It’s learning at your own pace, whereas ones on edX and Coursera can often be time limited as they are doing it in a university setting with start and end dates.

In Udemy, you can find things like The Complete Web Developer course, you can learn about Javascript, Complete Cyber Security, Become a Super Learner or an NLP practitioner..

The point here is there’s almost nothing you can’t learn online.

I mean, as a course creator and as somebody who teaches people skills in business and building an online business, lifestyle, systems, sales funnels, you name it, it’s quite easy for me to be able to put some of my courses up here.

In fact, Udemy approached earlier this year to do that. And there are benefits for you as a business owner if this is what you do.

So look at some of these platforms and see whether it’s actually worth putting them up on there rather than on your own site.

If you have a small list or reach then tapping into their huge databases of students is definitely a bonus.

Those four would be my top picks for Online Learning Platforms. There are many others.

I hope that this episode has given you an understanding of some of the hacks that you can use to learn more effectively and also some of the things that you might want to be learning as well as where in the heck you can go to learn those things.

Before we finish off, I would love to say, if you’d like to learn more about creating freedom in business and adventure in life, the 3rd edition of my book, The Suitcase Entrepreneur is out!

It is available in Amazon, Itunes, Google Play, Barnes & Noble, Bam Books a Million and a couple of other book shops for the first time, it’s available in books shops in North America. For full details, go to suitcaseentrepreneur.com/book.

We have a little contest going on right now, all details are on that page so I’d love for you to check it out.

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

So you’re racing against the clock to wrap up 3 projects, prepping for a meeting later in the afternoon all while trying to tackle a mountain of paperwork. Welcome to life as a freelancer.

Challenging? Yes, but our friends at FreshBooks believe the rewards are so worth it.

The working world has changed. With the growth of the internet there’s never been more opportunities for the self-employed. To meet this need, FreshBooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new version of their cloud accounting software!

It’s been redesigned from the ground up and custom built for exactly the way you work. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive, organized, and most importantly get paid quickly.

The all new FreshBooks is not only ridiculously easy to use, it’s also packed full of powerful features:

  • Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds.
  • Set up online payments with just a couple of clicks and get paid up to 4 days faster.
  • See when your client has seen your invoice, and put an end to the guessing games.

Go to freshbooks.com/quest and enter Quest For Freedom in the how did you hear about section when signing up.

Get the latest blog post and episode delivered straight to your inbox.

Posted on / by Natalie / in Season 3 / 2

11 Benefits to Learning Something New

I don’t know about you, but I’m always curious about the world, and always aware of how much I still have to learn.

The day I’m not curious about anything will be a day I personally don’t want to see, as I’ll either be a know it all and completely deluded or on my deathbed!

Yet in an increasingly connected world experiencing information overload and a certain amount of burnout from that, it’s become critically important – and I do mean critically, to curate your learning experience and limit the information highway to some specific side streets and cul-de-sacs of your choosing.

I wanted to talk through how I’ve been ‘easing’ back into learning zone post my Business Sabbatical and what steps I’m taking to expand past my comfort zone, increase my skills and knowledge and deepen my understanding and perceptions around areas I’m not often exposed to.

But first let’s focus on the benefits of learning something new and why you should want to do this in just 50 minutes a day.

I was reading a piece on Lifestyle Updated about the seven benefits of learning something new, and the very first one was fun.

I thought to myself how often do we, especially as adults, do something for fun. The example they gave for this benefit was a friend who’d recently learned to surf and how much fun they’d had.

I thought back to the 20+ surf lessons I took in Portugal last year and how I was constantly out of depth (no pun intended) and challenging my assumptions about what I was capable of, while learning something new every single time, if not several new things.

I quite enjoyed being a complete newbie to this sport and taking a mix of private and group lessons. I loved how our instructor, crazy Nelson as I like to call him, would draw diagrams in the sand and make models of waves in the sand to illustrate a point.

Along with this there was yelling and enthusiasm, practicing the technique on land and of course getting out in the ocean and doing it.

Full immersion so to speak – pun intended this time!

FUN! Why on earth learn something if it’s not fun?

Everything that’s taught can be fun, even accounting, especially when you’re shown real case studies and examples that resonate with you and make your learning that much quicker and effective.

Another on their list that is obvious but often overlooked is..

A sense of accomplishment and pride.

I know back in 2004 when I had landed my biggest job to date as National Brand Manager at Schwarzkopf Professional, working quite long hours but loving learning on the job at speed, I also took on more learning for the ‘fun’ of it.

It still amazes me that not only did I start training in January of that year for a bodysculpting competition, I then decided to enrol at Otago University for an extramural 1 year certificate in Fitness Management.

I was also going through Anthony Robbins Awaken the Giant Within book and working on some NLP for past events in my life, and listening to his CD series in the car on the way to work.

Once I’d finished with his CDs I recall listening to around 5 audiobooks (on CD of course) during my long-ish commute…back in the days when I actually commuted.

The results of this year were still my most impressive ever, at least in my mind.

I got straight As from University, and some A+ – proof that when you have experience in time management and a full time job you study much more effectively than when you’re doing it full time.

I won my Regional North Island Body Sculpting competition and went on to compete at Nationals.

And I had a rocking first year in my job running the best ever New Zealand Hairdressing Awards – most ticket sales and under budget.

And I felt immensely proud at what I was able to accomplish in just one year.

Naturally there were several things I had to give up in order to achieve that, like a life…no I’m kidding but I did literally eat chicken and brocolli all the time during my training and my boyfriend certainly didn’t get the time and attention he deserved during 2004.

So I’d hasten to add learning should be fun, give you a sense of achievement AND fit in with your lifestyle, not take over it. Much like my take on business supporting your lifestyle too.

So what else? Well Jon Lebreton from Sydney, Australia also shared 7 reasons why learning new things is important, what’s with the magic number of 7.

My favourites are, and I quote:

  1. You can grow as a person, develop your knowledge base and improve yourself for the better.
  2. Learning something new gets us access to new and different opportunities and the chance to try new experiences that might be the best ones you have ever tried
  3. You could potentially earn more money in your work life from learning a new and appropriate skill or by developing one that links to the work you do. You’ll rejuvenate your working life and get so much more from it.
  4. Developing a new skill will influence the way you do things day to day and they will make doing things quicker and easier, saving time, energy and stress.

While these are all obvious reasons, it’s worthwhile letting them sink in. Because at the end of the day scheduling in time to learn and the actual act of learning takes time and effort.

But the payoff can be phenomenal.

To cap off the benefits may I point you to a final article written by CCSU Continuing Education titles The Top 7 Benefits of Learning a New Skill seriously again 7 reasons? I swear I didn’t search on that specifically on Google!

The 3 most important ones they stated in my opinion are, and I quote

Your brain chemistry changes.

The white matter in your brain is called myelin, and it helps improve performance on a number of tasks. The more people practice a new skill they are learning, the more dense the myelin in their brains becomes, which helps them learn even better.

Your learning speed increases.

Learning a new skill helps you learn things faster over time. By stimulating neurons in the brain, more neural pathways are formed and electrical impulses travel faster across them as you attempt to process new information. The more pathways that are formed, the faster impulses can travel.

You could stave off dementia.

People who learn a new skill are less likely to develop dementia, which has been linked to demyelination of your brain. People who actively learn new skills don’t give their brains a chance to demyelinate, and their neural pathways are ready for new impulses to travel along them.

Perhaps the most important reason of all though is this….

Learning something new will make you happier

According to an article in Psychologies, I quote

‘It’s actually a core need for psychological wellbeing. Learning can help us build confidence and a sense of self-efficacy.

It can also be a way of connecting with others too,’ says Vanessa King, positive psychology expert at Action for Happiness. ‘As human beings, we have a natural desire to learn and progress. Psychologists call it mastery.’

There is evidence to suggest that adult learning seems to have its most positive impact on self-esteem and self-efficacy when the learning provided meets the needs of the learner, and when the learner is at a stage in their life when they are ready and receptive to benefit from it.

‘Learning also fuels our creativity. Ideas can come from making connections between seemingly unrelated things,’ says King.

‘Learning something new in one area of our lives can trigger ideas in another. So curiosity and creative thinking go hand-in-hand.’

This can also help with creating what psychologists call ‘flow’ or ‘being in the zone’ – when we’re so absorbed in what we’re doing, we lose sense of time and of ourselves.

‘It’s not passive, like when watching TV – it’s active,’ explains King. When we’re in flow, the level of challenge in the activity just exceeds our level of skill.

We’re also getting instant feedback from the activity on whether what we are trying is working, so we can adjust what we’re doing accordingly. As our skill increases, so does the challenge.

So there you have it, more than 7 reasons to learn something new. The reason I’ve researched into this, above and beyond my natural curiosity, is that it’s important to have a foundation of your why.

A strong why linked to learning on a daily basis will keep you motivated during times when you feel you can’t afford the time or energy to learn.

And in the next episode I’m going to be covering off on exactly that, the how of effective learning and hacking techniques to learn more in less time.

As well as the what. What on earth should you actually be learning?

Tune in on all good podcast platforms like Stitcher, iTunes and Anchor.

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

So you’re racing against the clock to wrap up 3 projects, prepping for a meeting later in the afternoon all while trying to tackle a mountain of paperwork. Welcome to life as a freelancer.

Challenging? Yes, but our friends at FreshBooks believe the rewards are so worth it.

The working world has changed. With the growth of the internet there’s never been more opportunities for the self-employed. To meet this need, FreshBooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new version of their cloud accounting software!

It’s been redesigned from the ground up and custom built for exactly the way you work. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive, organized, and most importantly get paid quickly.

The all new FreshBooks is not only ridiculously easy to use, it’s also packed full of powerful features:

  • Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds.
  • Set up online payments with just a couple of clicks and get paid up to 4 days faster.
  • See when your client has seen your invoice, and put an end to the guessing games.

Go to freshbooks.com/quest and enter Quest For Freedom in the how did you hear about section when signing up.

Get the latest blog post and episode delivered straight to your inbox.

Posted on / by Natalie / in Season 3 / 2

How to master self learning

How do you decide on what you should be self learning and the most effective way to do it?

That’s what Season 3 of Quest for Freedom is all about.

I’ll be talking about hacking the way in which we learn and going down the unconventional route of creating your own learning University, plus throwing some stats and interesting factoids at you about why the traditional route of education isn’t the best.

Before we dive in, I just want to give a quick update as to why you might even be listening to this podcast (and reading this blog).

So hey, it’s Natalie Sisson and I am on a quest for freedom for you in 2017 to uncover what you can do to simplify your life, feel connected, live mindfully and develop true personal and financial freedom.

In Season 1, I covered off around personal freedom and I really delved into that mindset freedom through meditation, through mindfulness.

In Season 2, I talked about business freedom and all about the business sabbatical that I went on where I essentially fired myself from my business for three months.

I shared the outcome, I shared the results and the journey of taking that much time for your business as well as flipping your life 180 degrees which was an added bonus.

Season 3 is about self learning, a topic that has always fascinated me because I believe that if we really want to truly grow and learn and later very fulfilled life we need to be constantly learning.

We need to stay curious.

And yet as we get bombarded more and more with information, how do you consume it in a way that feels good, that feels fun, that feels like you are actually developing, growing and taking things in?

Where you are not just consuming stuff because it’s in front of you. You are curating what you want to learn, what you read and what you take in.

And so that’s what this season is all about – self learning mastery.

I recently read an article on Quartz by Zat Rana called ‘If you want to be smarter, learn to say “I don’t know’”

The Value of “I Don’t Know”

When you think about it, acknowledging ignorance is actually productive.

Sometimes, the best answer is simply “I don’t know.”

Now, that isn’t to give you a reason to exercise indifference or to avoid making difficult decisions. It’s just about choosing to stick to your circle of competence and awareness.

At any given point, there’s only so much information we can make sense of. On a daily basis, there will be things we don’t understand.

If they aren’t relevant, it’s okay not to know. If they are, it’s better to take time to think.

This may seem fairly intuitive, and yet, the vast majority of people rarely find themselves comfortable enough to be at ease with not knowing.

Instead, they recite from memory whatever has been ingrained into their mind.

They would rather stand for something with a loose foundation, and they prefer certainty even after being challenged rather than to reconsider.

In the long-term, none of these tactics tend to lead to a healthy outlook.

“I don’t know” not only keeps us in our circle of competence and awareness where the risk of potential harm is low, but it also works as a feedback tool.

It’s a competitive advantage because it adds an incentive to critically break things down rather to take the easy way out. It forces us to get smarter.

There’s no point standing for something if you have a bad reason to do so.

Life is complex and messy, and it’s okay not to know everything. It’s fine to take time to form an opinion, and it’s useful to acknowledge ignorance.

We live in a world saturated with ideas, and not all of them are good, and not all of them are right for everyone.

Ask questions, be critical, and don’t be afraid to change your mind. There are no solid rules against doing so.

No one makes progress by standing in the same place, and we didn’t get to where we are by always being right. Everything is trial and error, and if you truly want to understand the world, you have to be comfortable with that.

It’s okay to open your mind.

I want to share with you that I’m experimenting with up to 60 minutes of active learning EVERY Day.

Apparently it’s good enough for Oprah and Bill Gates and other super smart, successful people.

I’m doing this because if I can’t even commit that amount of time to invest in my myself, and in my mind, then I’m clearly saying I’m not worth it.

Robin Sharma believes you can grow effortlessly in 60 minutes and unlock your hero potential.

Robin is considered to be one of the top 5 leadership experts in the world.

His work is embraced by rock stars, royalty, billionaires and many celebrity CEOs, so again I’m going to heed his advice and suggest you do too.

Listen to the podcast to get the snippet of him talking to Vishen Lakhiani, founder of MindValley, about why 60 minutes of learning each day can unlock your Superpowers.

They go on to discuss Traffic University – as in listening to a podcast when you’re stuck in traffic and learning something new.

Or Running College – where when you’re out running you go with someone you can learn from, or again you listen to an audiobook or educational podcast.

Or School of Walking – same concept.  Listen to a course while you are walking.

The real point being – anything that you’re doing you can be learning – working out, grocery shopping, walking to your airport gate.

What you feed your mind is ultimately what you will believe and become.

So why not take the time to curate it carefully with what you WANT to expand your mind with, not narrow your mind.

So how do you go about self learning anything faster and better?

Well as part of my self learning I’ve been looking into this.

In Elle Kaplan’s Medium article she shared some tactics on this very topic.

In fact Elle quotes research that says Robin Sharma’s 60 minute principle is 10 minutes too long.

And I quote:

“Ellen Dunn of Louisiana State University explains that “anything less than 30 [minutes] is just not enough, but anything more than 50 is too much information for your brain to take in at one time.”

To put this into practice, make sure you’re scheduling your learning sessions for short bursts of time, using quick methods like flashcards.

Schedule at least a 10-minute break between sessions to give your brain some much-needed R&R.”

Elle also quotes Tim Ferriss who seems intent on hacking everything in life from your brain to food to health.

“He says you should focus first on the most important 20 percent of what you’re trying to learn, which will actually cover 80 percent of what you need to know.

Ask yourself: What are the most important elements that yield the biggest return on investment?

For example, if you’re learning a foreign language — what 20 percent of words are used 80 percent of the time?”

When I read that I instantly thought to myself: But of course!

I mean this is the Pareto rule we’re talking about here, where you aim to focus on the 20% of whatever it is that you do, that gets you 80% of the results.

I typically apply that in business whenever I can, but I hadn’t thought about applying it to learning before, and frankly I’ve no idea why!

Why do we learn all this extraneous stuff that doesn’t serve us, instead of narrowly focusing in on the most important.

Now to find a language app that does just that….anyone have the answer to that? I’m happy to put my hand up and say “I don’t know”.

And the final tip I liked most in her article was this one:

Think about modifying your self-teaching techniques as you learn.

A Johns Hopkins study found that “if you perform a slightly modified version of a task you want to master, you actually learn more and faster than if you just keep practicing the exact same thing multiple times in a row.”

If you use flashcards in one session, think about a more hands-on method the next time, or listening to a podcast or webinar. This will help your brain remember and recall information at a quicker rate.”

So I think that’s enough learning for today, I wanted to start off light, and build up over Season 3.

That way I won’t lose you in information overload.

Instead I’ll help to expand your mind in the best possible way, and learn more than ever before, that’s actually relevant to you and even better, curated by you.

More on that in the next episode when I bring on Phoebe for more insights.

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

So you’re racing against the clock to wrap up 3 projects, prepping for a meeting later in the afternoon all while trying to tackle a mountain of paperwork. Welcome to life as a freelancer.

Challenging? Yes, but our friends at FreshBooks believe the rewards are so worth it.

The working world has changed. With the growth of the internet there’s never been more opportunities for the self-employed. To meet this need, FreshBooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new version of their cloud accounting software!

It’s been redesigned from the ground up and custom built for exactly the way you work. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive, organized, and most importantly get paid quickly.

The all new FreshBooks is not only ridiculously easy to use, it’s also packed full of powerful features:

  • Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds.
  • Set up online payments with just a couple of clicks and get paid up to 4 days faster.
  • See when your client has seen your invoice, and put an end to the guessing games.

Go to freshbooks.com/quest and enter Quest For Freedom in the how did you hear about section when signing up.

Get the latest blog post and episode delivered straight to your inbox.

Pin It on Pinterest