I find that the best way to learn something is to make sure that you can practically apply your knowledge right away. Surgeons have a saying: “Watch one, do one, teach one.” The saying reminds surgeons to watch a procedure being done, get hands-on experience, and then teach someone else to do the procedure. It is the requirement to do the procedure, and then to teach someone else, that really solidifies what the person has learned.
You can apply the same learning-by-doing approach to anything you do:
- I’m told that Seth Godin recommends that people who are trying to learn how to sell should go out and do fundraising for a charity to practice.
- If you are learning a new sport, the best way to get better is to repeat the fundamental moves and plays.
- If you are taking a course, the knowledge becomes most useful when you apply it to a practical example in your work-life.
- If you are teaching someone a new computer program, they should use the keyboard and mouse while you are walking them through a demonstration.
When you have something to learn, find practical ways to apply your knowledge right away. Once you start using the new knowledge, it becomes a part of you. You become a person who does the new action, rather than only a person who knows the new action.
Go out and do what you have learned.