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What is the best way to learn something?

What do you think is the best way to learn something? There are many effective ways to learn something and different methods work for different people. Some might prefer reading in a quiet environment, others might find reading out loud helpful, and some benefit from taking self-tests. Personally, when I was a child, the most effective method for studying was writing things down. Whether it was an essay, an equation, or a poem, copying it into a notebook helped me remember it better. I emphasize "remember" because memorization is not the same as learning. In today's world, memory isn't even as necessary as it once was. So, what exactly is learning?

Learning is, understanding these 3 core parameters about anything — concept, technique and application. 

Concept: is the theory behind something.

Technique: is the skill or medium to execute the concept.

Application: is your ability to apply the concept in your life. 

Let's think about swimming. Understanding the concept involves knowing how your body interacts with water and the physics behind it. The technique covers the different strokes, breath control, and how to reuse momentum. Application is putting it all together when it counts, whether you're competing in a swim meet or trying not to become a permanent part of the pool's scenery during a drowning incident.

Now, there might be so many questions at this point! Who needs concepts? I can just swim by learning the technique! Not many swimmers in my village know about aquatic physics! True, but. When you ignore the concepts you can never troubleshoot. This is the reason you might find a lot of excellent drivers but not many who can repair their own cars as well! 

Okay enough of driving and swimming, let’s take design. You made a poster and showed it to client. They appreciated the effort but said that the brand vibe is not conveyed in the design—it's just not working, they say. You go back and create another poster using the same techniques and tools, only to receive the same feedback. You might know everything about Photoshop, the medium, prints, margins, and bleeds, but what exactly is the vibe? How do you communicate a vibe through design? This is where concepts become crucial. You need to understand what colors mean to people, what typography can achieve, how shapes can influence an audience, and much more. It's these concepts that differentiate an average designer from a great one.

Back to our main topic of the day, what is the best way to learn! It has a simple answer really. Talk about it. Whatever you read- talk about it. Whatever you watch-talk about it. Put it out there- somewhere! Discussions post-learning will help a lot to do this effectively. You can write about it and make it into a blog. You can make a video of what you understood and engage in comments!  I do make videos while learning a new topic and share it with forums that triggers discussions. There was a recent incident of me searching the internet for a creative problem that I faced and stumbled upon the solution from a video that me myself made 5 years ago! 

Try this out, Share whatever you are learning. Talk about it, Learn more! 

Happy learning. 


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