A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I were discussing about how people learn a new skill or technique. Learning is one way to make sure you continuously grow and if you can learn how to learn, then you could essentially get good at anything you set your sights on (over a period of time of course). We identified 3 different learning styles (I’m sure there are many more) and this blog post is my takeaway from that conversation. I’ll use Tennis as an example in this blog post, but this applies to any kind of learning - learning to play a Guitar, learning to speak a new language or learning something technical for your work.
Self-Learners - They are the people who can watch YouTube Tennis Lesson videos and become a professional Tennis player (say level 5) quickly. They are what we call the Genius or the Highly Self-Motivated Individuals. They’ve great discipline to schedule their learnings and have the talent to apply their learnings on the court.
Students - They start learning by hiring a Tennis coach to teach the fundamentals - the various grips, how to hit a forehand, a backhand and how to serve. By the end of the lessons, they would have reached a point from where where they can pick it up on their own. The advantage with this approach is that you get to learn things the right way from the start. However, this style requires you to make a big payment initially and you must also make sure you pick the right coach.
Self-Learners and then Students - These people start by watching YouTube Tennis lessons and practicing with their friends. However, unlike the first category they soon hit a wall - they’re not improving as much as they would like to. Hence they hire a Tennis Coach to take their game to the next level. The advantage with this style is that you get to check your interest level before you make a huge payment. The downside with this approach is that the Tennis coach might probably ask you to unlearn all the hacks you’ve learnt previously.
So, what’s your learning style?
P.S. A friend of mine also recommended me the Coursera course Learning How To Learn. You might want to check it out to learn more :)
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