Today we recorded two episodes at Mikael’s house.
First a discussion with a guest in Swedish language (for 25 Minuter) and then a soon-to-come practical episode for Future Skills.
Then, we got to talking in between the recordings (we often need to stand up, take a breather, go to the toilet, and review notes)….
We started talking about learning how to learn, and how important a skill it is.
Mikael intuitively invented his own methods quite early in life (while in school) and I did not. It was not until I was 21-22 that I realized this was important and plunged myself into it–deeply. That plunge has been instrumental in my ability to learn many unrelated areas of life.
We also talked about how school does not teach you to do this. They teach different subjects, but they don’t teach you how to learn other courses (or how to become an autodidact who learns on his own) or how to be more creative.
These skills lie at the core of a successful career as a knowledge worker (professional thinker or creative).
The result is that many people find it hard to learn new skills, change career orientation, or go into a new industry. They get hung up on the credentials (tie up their ego in it), and forget to consider the actual knowledge required.
This takes me to the topic of the day:
The #1 thing that knowledge workers and professional creatives need to do well is to Externalize their thoughts:
This can be done in any number of ways….
…. as long as you find a way that consistently works for you.
This is the secret of working successfully with thoughts and ideas. You need to find a way of converting abstractions into workable concepts. I use notebooks and my phone when I’m outside. Recently I’ve been riding bikes a lot too.
Once you start using your imagination regularly you don’t want to go back. It’s like a drug, but it’s a good drug!
The subconscious is the prime source of creativity. Then you have a Creative Process to trigger it. Once you’re creative consistently, the next step is to teach your brain “first-associations” (Categories), so that as soon as you have an idea you can intuitively place where it belongs, and use it later in your Commonplace.
1) Find a way to externalize info
2) Create a commonplace for information & idea storage
3) Learn your first associations (how you naturally think about things)
I have experimented thoroughly with this over the past ~4 years. I would say I got about half of the categories right from the get-go, and the other half I had to really think about and practice until it was something that became natural.
When it’s done, it’s very satisfying, because it feels like the brain is doing your bidding.
You can read more how it’s done here.