Some say your brain is your most powerful asset, so why not learn as much as you can? There are many benefits of being a jack of all trades, such as being able to adapt to unanticipated changes. For example, a lifelong learner will take a job loss, change in work responsibilities, and/or technological advances much easier than their underskilled counterparts. However, the benefits of lifelong learning extend far beyond being adaptable.
Today, seventy-three percent of American adults consider themselves to be lifelong learners, and eighty percent have pursued learning about an interest to make their lives fuller. Furthermore, eighty-seven percent of learners feel their new skills make them more well-rounded and capable. Overall, continuous learning can lead to personal improvements, gained confidence, and a new perspective in life. With so much to learn in such little time, what’s the most effective way to learn new skills?
Set a Goal & Break it Down: Pareto’s Principle
Singapore’s National Institute of Education concludes that people who solely attempt to solve math problems don’t come up with the accurate answer; however, it is in this process that leads to the generation of ideas concerning the nature of practicable solutions. In summation, this leads to improved potential to solve kindred-natured problems in the future.
To achieve this, it’s best to set goals. Consider modeling your goals after Pareto’s Principle, saying that 20% of your efforts will lead to 80% of your desired results. Understanding your ultimate goal is the first and most important step toward learning anything. Knowing what you want will keep you on the road to progression, especially as challenges arise. To define your goal, ensure it’s concrete. Make a list and check off your completed tasks to build momentum.
After you’re aware of what you want, you’ll need to break it down to further understand the outcome of your goal. Start by doing some research into the skill you want to master without forgetting your original goal and overall purpose. Moreover, list down all the components involved in accomplishing the task, no matter how small these are. Thinking analytically from the get-go can help you in the long run.
Practice Makes Perfect – Use the DISS Method
The more comfortably we know something, the easier it is for our brains to do the work. Even further, mastering a skill leads to increased activity in the parts of our brain not involved in the performance. Each time we learn something new, our brain chemistry changes.
Performing various activities can increase a synapse’s strength when we learn new skills, so repeated stimulation of two neurons simultaneously can create new links between them. After a new connection is developed, stimulating one will activate the other.
This can dramatically change your mind and attitude, allowing you to look beyond what you already know. It can also be argued that the more you learn, the better understanding you’ll have of the world. With that being said, go outside of your comfort zone and be ready for new opportunities.
Using the DISS Method can guide you into these new opportunities. Before approaching something, deconstruct the problem. Ask yourself: how can I break down what I need to know? Following this, choose a selection process. Ask yourself: which steps should I focus on first in order to achieve my most ideal outcome? Then, align your tasks in the smooth sequence. Ask yourself: in what order will it be easiest to learn these steps? Finally, weigh out the stakes in your situation. Ask yourself: what are the consequences if I am not able to complete my task?
From here on out, you should have a perfect understanding of what you want and how to get it. The only thing left to do is to practice. Some tips along the way are to focus solely on your task, and avoid distractions as much as possible. Furthermore, split practice time into concentrated periods, multiple times a day or week. Finally, visualize yourself accomplishing your goals.
The Value of Lifelong Learning
Lifelong learning has led 64% of people to make new friends and connections, 58% to feel more involved in their community, and 43% to become more open to taking volunteer opportunities. Outside of this, lifelong learners have also noted personal improvements such as improved memory, fine-tuned emotional intelligence, and increased language skills. Many have even felt a boost in confidence as learning new things gives us a feeling of accomplishment, making you feel ready to take on challenges and new ventures.
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Facebook has announced that the limp “Oversight Board” intended to help make difficult content and policy decisions will not launch until “late fall,” which is to say, almost certainly after the election. You know, the election everyone is worried Facebook’s inability to police itself will serious affect.
On Twitter, the board explained that as much as it would like to “officially begin our task of providing independent oversight of Facebook’s content decisions,” it regrets that it will be unable to do so for some time. “Our focus is on building a strong institution that will deliver concrete results over the long term.”
That sounds well enough, but for many, the entire point of creating the oversight board — which has been in the offing since late 2018 — was to equip Facebook for the coming Presidential election, which promises to be something of a hot one.
As my colleague Natasha Lomas described the board when it was officially announced:
The Oversight Board is intended to sit atop the daily grind of Facebook content moderation, which takes place behind closed doors and signed NDAs, where outsourced armies of contractors are paid to eyeball the running sewer of hate, abuse and violence so actual users don’t have to, as a more visible mechanism for resolving and thus (Facebook hopes) quelling speech-related disputes.
But as we soon found out, the board would have nothing to do with what many would call the most dangerous content on Facebook: fast-spreading misinformation. The board will for now primarily concern itself with disputed takedowns of content, not simply disputed content. On many matters its decisions will be merely advisory.
Facebook has taken a relatively laissez-faire attitude towards manipulated media, deliberate misinformation, misleading political ads and other troubling content, and executives including Mark Zuckerberg have regularly reinforced that attitude.
An attempt to hit the company in its wallet has proven unexpectedly successful, with many large companies pledging to at least temporarily advertising from Facebook to protest these policies. Coca-Cola, Ford, REI, and even TechCrunch’s parent company Verizon have signed on to #StopHateforProfit. Facebook met with representatives of the effort today and the latter were, predictably, disappointed.
“Today we saw little and heard just about nothing,” said Anti-Defamation League’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said. It seems that Facebook does not consider the present pecuniary punishment heavy enough to warrant a serious response.
The delay of the Oversight Board, even the defanged one being promised, is just one more straw on the camel’s back.