In this day and age staying ahead depends on continual self-education. This rings true whether you are a student, a new entrepreneur or an experienced professional. To achieve success, you have to learn new talents, stay relevant, reinvent yourself, and adapt to whatever the workplace throws your way.
Ultralearning, very much like the title says, teaches the reader the best ways to master hard skills in order to outsmart the competition and accelerate your career in the shortest possible time.
Whatever your reason for wanting to get ahead, there are nine principles of Ultralearning which can be summarised into three main lessons:
- Do the research
- Execute the plan
Lesson one: Do the research
The first principle of Ultralearning discussed in the book is Metalearning. To put it simply, this basically tells you to learn how to learn. Young incorporates the latest research about the most effective learning methods and the stories of other ultralearners like himself.
Be prepared to do the research and discover how best to approach the subject matter. The important thing to remember here is to adapt. We all have different ways in which we learn and what worked for us when we were younger might not necessarily work now. Be able to recognise the changes in how you learn and how to best use this to your advantage.
It will take a bit of trial and error to get it right and you always should remember it won’t always be the same method depending on the subject matter.
Lesson two: Focus
The second principle of Ultralearning describes the need to focus and methods to follow to reduce distractions. We are easily distracted by minor things and small changes like putting your phone away or choosing the right space to learn can have enormous effects.
As the “busy-ness” of life takes over, it is now more important than ever, to schedule your time to avoid procrastination. Your dedication to learning should also incorporate time specifically scheduled to learn.
Time is a precious thing and if you wish to learn quickly and effectively, you must be able to maximise that time fully.
Lesson three: Execute the plan
The seven remaining principles of the book deal with executing the plan. Once you know how to learn and have scheduled time to learn, you have to get going.
Young discusses the best ways in which to implement your learning. He writes about the power of directness and feedback and it’s importance in evaluating your learning. We often spend large amounts of time acquiring knowledge and then more time integrating it into our daily lives.
By directly utilising what we learn while we learn, the time taken to reach the desired goal is greatly reduced. Feedback in the form of tests and/or people experienced in the field of interest will also immediately let learners know if their methods of learning are succeeding or not. In addition, constantly testing our retention of information helps to determine weak points.
My personal takeaway
I, myself, am a life-long learner and understand firsthand the importance of continual self-education. Education in itself can be expensive in terms of the cost of courses, material and tutors. By decreasing the time taken to self-learn, however, can be extremely beneficial in eliminating these costs.
Even though this was not the easiest book to read, the case studies (which include Young himself) give valuable insight into the power of becoming an ultralearner.
If you are dedicated to achieving success and would like to know how to learn quickly and effectively, then Ultralearning is highly recommended for you!