- Bob wants to learn X.
- The minute he starts tackling something, he finds the material too difficult to grasp.
- He gives up forever.
His knowledge of X sucks.
Here's a better way to learn anything effectively:
- Get your feet wet.
- Eventually, the more you immerse yourself, the likelier you learn even more.
- Little-by-little, day-by-day, you become more proficient in the material.
- Ultimately, the longer you stick with it, the likelier you start becoming an expert on the material.
For instance, take "discount cash flow analysis" (a.k.a. DCF analysis).
"WHAT-THE-MOTHER-MUFFIN IS DISCOUNT CASH FLOW ANALYSIS?!?!?!?!"
Try reading the Wikipedia material on DCF in one sitting; it seems horrifically difficult to grasp.
But, as you get your feet wet, you start learning in stages:
- "I get the big picture! Peeps use DCF to value a company."
- "Oh I see now. Money has a time value."
- "Ahh okay. $1 today is worth more than $1 tomorrow."
- "Oh, oh okay. You value a company by discounting its future cash flow."
- "You discount future cash flow because money in the future is worth less than money today! YAY! HOORAY! HIGH-FIVE!"
- "....and to do that, you use these formulas...."
- and on, and on, and on, and on, and on until you = expert-tastic.
Depending on how quickly you want to learn the concepts, you can break the steps into minutes/days/hours/weeks, etc.
Get your feet wet.
Learning one simple-itzy-bitzy-small-thing of a difficult concept will make the difficult concept easier-and-easier to comprehend.
- It's like you're building a pyramid of knowledge.
- You lay one brick of knowledge on top of the other knowledge of bricks you've already set.
- One day, you look back -- and tell yourself: "HEY! I've built a ridiculously massive pyramid of knowledge!"
You = expert rock star whose knowledge of X > 98690834698495603845093498534209 other people.
Nobel Laureates didn't wake up one day with their massive knowledge databases stuck in their brains; instead, they piled new knowledge bricks atop of their existing foundations.
Becoming a rock star expert at X takes learning a series tiny-bite-sized chunks of new bricks of knowledge.
Posted on September 27
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