Fast Learning 100x Faster
Fast Learning. You’re gonna spend thousands and thousands of hours learning over the course of your life.
And what’s crazy is that despite all that time in the classroom, learning languages, music, whatever it might be, you might be learning one of the slowest ways possible; not because your teachers didn’t have good intentions, but because they did not know how to teach you to optimize that learning experience.
The good news is this. There are ways, principles, that you can apply to everything, from martial arts to business, that is going to help you lap the competition.
You can learn much faster than you are.
So, right now, think of something in your life; one thing that you’re trying to progress in, apply these 5 tips and watch as you just go crazy, crazy fast through your learning curve.
#1. Measure the smallest possible victory
First thing is this: Measure a smaller unit of success. And to illustrate this point, think of two salesmen making outbound sales calls. First salesman, he wants to measure whether he’s successful in that call.
He makes the sale or whether he isn’t; he doesn’t make the sale–good thing to measure. Second salesman says, “Yes, I want to know those things, but I’m gonna go smaller.
I want to know, first milestone is the person staying on the phone with me for 10 seconds; second milestone, did I finish my entire 30-second pitch? After that, did they ask me a buying question within the first 2 minutes? And so on, all the way through the close.
It goes without saying, this guy, over here, who has smaller milestones is going to do better because he can diagnose where he’s going wrong. This guy only knows things are generally going good or they’re not.
He’s got no data, no analytics. This guy on the other hand can say, “My first 10 seconds are great. My first 30 seconds are great, but I’m missing something after that that isn’t going the way I needed to.” And this one became very clear to me.
I’ve been practicing jiujitsu lately and in class, there’s a lot of these complex submissions, and I saw myself feeling like, “Okay, if I’m doing well, that means I get the submission.
If I’m not doing well, I’m not getting the submission.” But I spent a lot of time not getting the submission.
What has gone better for me is rather than say, “You know what? Forget the submission.
I need a smaller step, which is gonna be, can I break this guy’s posture? Can I grab his wrist, pulled off my chest, and pull him to me? Yes or No.
Crap, I’m not doing that thing right. Okay, what am I doing wrong? Fix the wrist, okay, I’ve got that piece, next step.
When you deconstruct things in this way–that’s what Tim Ferriss calls it–you can chunk all these little lessons together and that makes the learning process.
In the end, you just re-assemble these pieces and you will fly through the learning curve. So that’s the first tip.
#2. Drill one thing at a time until it is unthinking habit
The second tip is this. When you’re thinking of this thing, pick only one thing at a time.
And I see this all the time when people ask me about the website. They come in and say, “Charlie, I’ve watched all of your article. I’ve seen them twice, seen a ton of improvement, but I’m kind of hitting a plateau, what do I do?” And I never tell them, “Go ahead, watch it third time, all 60 article.”
That’s not the right thing to do. The right thing is to pick the one article that have the tip that could be best for you because you know your own self, right? Pick the thing that’s gonna be best for you and apply that until it becomes an unthinking habit.
When we teach our programs, we’ve done a ton of different ways. We’ve done weekend bootcamps.
We’ve done group classes. We’ve done one-on-one Skype coaching. By far, the fastest improvement that I’ve seen in my clients comes from the online program that we have that walks people very specifically through things, okay, week number 1, First Impression. Week number 2, we’ve got the first impression, we’re gonna move to confidence.
Week number 3, conversation, going chronologically.
And within that first week, it’s eye contact, tonality. Each day has just one thing that they’re going to focus on.
And what this enables you to do or someone to do, in any area, is that you get to focus on that thing without having your mind just be flooded with “I got to do this and this, and I got to remember how to finish the submission.”
You get to focus on one thing, make that a habit, and then, move along. So that’s the second tip.
#3. Shorter periods of study every day beat cramming
The third tip. People get this one wrong, I think, from college, and it’s that if you have a set amount of time to dedicate to any sort of learning endeavor, you are much better off spending that time a little bit every day than you are in one batch to process.
There are some things in life that do better in batching. Learning is not one of them because learning comes from repetition, right? I see people in college they go, “Wait a second, I crammed for my last test, I did fine. Eight hours straight, I studied.”
Yes, but how much did you remember three days later? If you’re trying to build a skill, you’re trying to rewire your brain, create new neural pathways.
Say you’re playing the piano. If you sit down for three hours and play, play, play, play, play, and then, come back a week later, you’re not gonna have it.
But if you sit down for half hour a day, walk away, come back; the next day, half hour, you’re getting to review what you did in a much shorter time span.
That’s going to help you learn faster.
So, keep in mind, if you have something, this consistency, every single day–with the exception of things that require rest, like weight training–you want to keep that up. Now, a couple of caveats here.
First thing is this takes much more will power. It’s a lot easier for people to go, “I want to run really hard,” for one day than it is to do it for a year a little bit every day.
So if you’re working on willpower, you haven’t mastered that, check out our article on will power. It’s gonna help you with that. And the second thing is that this is true of learning and practicing.
They’re not necessarily of production. I’m a writer and if you’re going to write, I recommend you read and write every day. But if you’re writing your masterpiece, some people, myself included, do better to have this complete flow experiences of six hours at a time.
You write, write, write, write, write, walk away for a week, and then, come back to it. So learning and production, not necessarily the same mechanics going on here.
But this brings me to the fourth thing, which is my favorite of everything that I’ve mentioned so far because it’s impacted me most recently in the biggest way and that’s with Charisma on Command.
When we started this, I was doing it wrong. This business is actually about three years old. I had a blog, which I still do, and I was writing articles in that all the time.
And I’d write an article, you’d get a couple of bookmarks, write an article, there’s a couple of bookmarks, but the growth rate was very, very linear. It wasn’t going very quickly.
And about 6, 7 months ago, I was talking to Ben, my co-founder, and we said, “We need to mix stuff up. We got to try something different because we can’t do this tortoise thing forever.”
So we said, okay, we’re gonna do LinkedIn, we’re gonna do Facebook, we’re gonna do Pinterest, we’re gonna get in Instagram, which I don’t even know how we would possibly do that.
#4. When you are starting, try a million different things
The point is, you do not know which vehicle is gonna take you there. Everyone tells you, get a mentor, get a method, get a teacher. True. But when you’re first starting, pick a bunch of different mentors. Pick a bunch of different methods. The good news is, the introductory class for a lot of people is discounted or free.
So, when you’re starting, say, improv comedy, go to a bunch of different clubs. Find the one that works for you. Once you find the one that is making you grow the fastest, that you like the most, double down on that, and that’s what we’ve done with the website.
For the last several months, I’ve been– all my energy is going to the website. But then, something happens, which always will happen, is you’ll start to plateau.
Now, our biggest growth month for this website is probably a month or two ago, and since then, things had kind of leveled off, which tells me that yes, this is still a worthy investment of my time, but something needs to be tweaked.
Something needs to change. Maybe I need a different style of article. Maybe now that the business is at a different spot, I’d invest in ads that I hate to bombard you with before every article, but maybe we need the ads on the website.
But the point is this, at the beginning of every endeavor, mix it up. Get a bunch of different teachers, a bunch of different methods. When you find one that works, shove all the rest out.
Stick with it while that growth is going crazy, and then, when it starts to level off, you go back to that. Okay, something new. I’m on a new stage. I need a new teacher.
That is going to help you grow extremely quickly.
#5. Debrief your successes and failures
Fifth thing. This is, again, one of the more important ones for me is debriefing. And I’ve been thinking a lot about jiujitsu lately, that’s kind of what inspired this article, but I see things, people have a lot of pride. And when they lose, they want to act like they, “Oh, god, I knew, I knew that I shouldn’t have done that.”
The truth is I have no idea what I should and shouldn’t do. I’m getting out there, I’m getting beat all the time.
But whenever I get beat and I don’t know what happened, I’d say, “Hey, man, can you show me what you just did there?” He’ll walk me through it, “Yeah, you did this, that.” Okay, how do I avoid that next time? And he’ll say, “Well, you had your arm really far extended.
When you’re doing that, you want to keep your arms in tight,” and I’d say, “Okay, great.”
Next time I do it, I don’t make that same mistake. So, in this way, I’m limiting the mistakes I make rather than repeating them over and over and over again, which is what most people do. I make them once.
Now, you’ll notice in this story, I needed that second opinion because I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.
This is true of you as well. Quick story to illustrate the point, we had a guy in our program Charisma University. He was doing very well with the program, but one area of his life he was struggling in, and he was trying to get interviews for this scholarship.
He had five interviews set up to get scholarship programs for Tech, and he had four of them, and he’d missed them all, despite the fact that he was, by far, like the most qualified candidate.
I’m talking the kid has won national awards for technology. His GPA– every single, like, brainiac thing was there. So I talked to him because this kid should have been getting these scholarships. He was, by far, on paper, extremely, extremely worthy of it.
And it became clear to me in listening to him, so how do you talk about it? That he was just listing his achievements–I won this award, I did that, I got this GPA. I said, “Pause.
I think I know what’s going on here is that you’re not connecting with these people, so tell me, honestly, like what is it you love about technology? Why do you want to do it in your life?” And he said, “Well, I think that there’s a ton of problems in the world today and that they’re not necessarily gonna be solved by politics.
They’re gonna be solved by groups of smart people who are building new technologies like green energy, for instance, that makes things work for a bunch of different constituents, and that’s what I want to do.
I want to contribute to the community in that way.” So, pause, “That’s your answer, all right? So when they ask you why the scholarship? Do not tell them I won this award. Tell them what your dream is.”
So we worked on that. He goes back for his final scholarship opportunity and, of course, because they could see his resume, and then, hear his story, those things together, he blows it away and he gets the scholarship.
So, for you, you’re going to need when you’re screwing up, probably, the second pair of eyes on you.
And if you don’t know who to ask, you don’t want to ask the wrong person, check out a article, it’s called “How to Spot Dangerous Advice.” It’s gonna help you find the right mentor for the situation that you are in, but I hope that you found these five tips helpful.
Take them. Think of that one thing that you had in your head at the beginning of this article and apply this to it. You’re going to see that you’d start learning so much faster, people are gonna go, “Well, you’re just a natural.
You’re just stronger,” you’re just whatever it is, it’s incredible how quickly this helps.
So, if you found this helpful and you’ve not yet done so, bookmark to the website. We’ve got an article like this. We’ve got the Charisma Breakdowns, which I mentioned, which will still be coming, even if we change our strategy, I’m gonna stick with the website.
I love doing this stuff. But go ahead, bookmark to the website, you’ll see us on your feed every single week, typically on Mondays, sometimes on Thursdays as well.
If you haven’t ever done so, go ahead write in the comments. Let me know what kind of questions you guys have that helps these article, that helps the Charisma Breakdowns.
I will tell you, the one you suggested, I’m still working on it, and I should have next week is on Muhammad Ali, so that should be coming up. I can’t promise it on Monday, but I’m very much thinking it will come Monday.
I hope that you guys have enjoyed this article. I hope that you take one thing from this and actually apply it to your life rather than watching all 60 article, even though I appreciate that, and I’ll see you in the next article.