Do you have mental barriers?
Do you tell yourself you aren’t good at something or that you don’t have the mind for it?
I used to. I had three mental barriers:
1)I’d never be skinny
2)I’d never be successful
3)I’d never be good at math
I listened to myself and had mental barriers that,for the longest time, kept me overweight, broke, and unable to do basic Algebra.
(Want to Master Success in any situation? Here)
I had a break-through with my mental barriers when I saw a presentation by Arthur Benjamin on Youtube. Arthur bills himself as a Math Magician.
Arthur did impossible multiplications, explained crazy math theories and closed his talk by multiplying two five digit numbers in his head.
I was blown away. I was squeaking by in basic Algebra and here was this guy doing massive math in an instant without help. I knew I had mental barriers and realized I could change.
I looked Arthur up. I found a book he wrote on Amazon (here). It taught how to do everything he did. I bought the book and that was the moment everything changed.
Why You Are Smarter Than You Think
You ever watch a kid learn something new? The look on their face is one of joy.
We lose that as we get older. School beats it out of us and takes the joy from learning. School creates mental barriers we come to accept.
When we get to college we are tired. We’ve spent hours spent rote learning. Our love of the pursuit of knowledge, of learning, of mindset mastery has dried up. We sign up for sensible degrees and end up resigning to a life of middle mediocrity.
It doesn’t have to be like this. You are smarter than you think.
(Carol Dweck thinks so. She wrote a whole book about it. Get it Here)
How to Get Smart
We grow to detest learning because we are told it is something we ‘have’ to do. We create mental barriers we don’t need.
*If you wanted to get a good grade you ‘had’ to memorize stuff for the test.
*If you wanted to get into college you ‘had’ to take certain classes.
Eventually we ‘had’ enough and lost our love of learning.
That’s about to change. I am going to help you get smarter, love learning again and become better than you have ever been.
To get started we need to go back and learn how to learn again.
How to Want to Learn Again
If you want to love learning you have to train yourself to want to learn.
That’s right. Getting smarter is about training. The harder you train the smarter you will become. I’ve found that when I leaned into challenges, faced uncomfortable situations and came out the other end I was smarter, more adapted and better than before.
(Want more Grit? Read this. Here)
Adapting to uncomfortable situations is something we have a hard time doing. We are trained to avoid difficult things. We are taught to see ‘failure’ as a bad thing. That’s all going to change.
You have to train yourself to want to learn by re-framing how you think about learning.
Re-framing is how you view new information with a familiar light. As a copywriter we re-frame content from a lateral point of view. This has a psychological impact on the readers.
(Want to learn more powerful habits? Here)
Lateral points of view allow readers to take things they already know and use them to understand and learn something new.
The Snowball Effect Of Learning
Re-framing is like the snowball effect. You start with something you know (the snowball) and you roll it around to accumulate more snow (the new idea).
You don’t need the snowball to accumulate snow. The snowball makes it easier.
Re-framing removes the mental energy needed to start a project.
Pro Tip:Taking something we already know and using it to understand something new cuts the process needed to start learning.
Re-framing drops information into our mind. This cuts time needed to understand something in half. Studies show you also retain what you’ve learned better.
How to Think About Thinking
Imagine your mind is the claw in a claw machine. What you want to learn are the prizes. To learn something new (the prizes) you grab with what you know (the claw).
Pro Tip:Learning to use your mind to acquire new things is the key to breaking through mental barriers.
I’ve shared a speed learning method i’ve had success with. It is a simple way to use lateral thinking to re-frame your mind.
How to Learn Quickly
I struggled to remember people’s names. I would meet people and have to pretend to remember their name.
I became good at getting people to say their names.
(Want to know how? Here)
I told a friend and he shared this tip.
Memory Secret:Next time you meet someone when they give you their name immediately think of someone you know that has that name and imagine them standing next to that person.
It sounds crazy but it worked! I remember the names of everyone I meet. If I can’t remember a person’s name I think about who I put next to them and just like that their name comes to me.
You can use this same idea to learn anything quickly.
How it Works
Here is what you need to do. Take something you like. It could be a hobby, a book, a catalogue of facts about a band, a cooking technique. (Or always being able to say the right thing in any situation. Here)
Now take something you want to learn. Let say you are learning to speak another language (for instance I do this while learning Italian).
Find something interesting in your field that relates to the language you are learning. For instance if you love comic books find a copy of your favorite comic in the language you want to learn (Tim Ferris does this! He talked about it Here).
If you love cooking download a couple recipes in the language you want to learn. If you love a certain band read about them in the new language.
You’ll find your retention skyrockets! Why?
What this does is activate the part of your mind that likes to take in information. You are programming yourself to remove resistance to acquiring new information by letting it in through an existing door.
Everything in this article comes from my experience from being a life long student.
I’ve gone to college, been mentored, bought online courses, bought books, etc. I love learning and I love trying out new ways of learning things.
What i’ve shared above (lateral thinking, cognitive acquisition, adaptive learning) are a few of the dozens of methods to increasing how fast you learn.
If you have a method that works best for you, would like suggestions for resources or want to share a life changing experience you’ve had please share in the comments below!