The ultimate meta-skill you need in your life


Hey, it’s Matt.

Learning is the foundation for success in almost every aspect of life.

You learn new ways to improve yourself. Your health, what to eat, how to work out, and how to maintain good habits.

As you learn, you gain valuable skills that allow you to become a leader and help you progress at work or grow your business.

Learning matters for your relationships, building deeper connections, and your sense of purpose.

If learning is the building block on which our lives are built, why are we not taught how to learn at school?

We’re taught what to learn and the information required to pass exams and get good grades. We default to Rote learning and memorizing information through repetition.

I’m sure I’m not the only one to have crammed for an exam the night before. It’s the only approach I took to learning at school, university, and law school. Granted it served its purpose. I passed my exams and got decent grades. Trouble is, I don’t remember any of what I learned now.

Since leaving education, my interest in learning new things has steadily grown. I enjoy podcasts and reading about new topics, skills, and experiences.  Last summer it dawned on me that,  despite taking in all of this new information, I was only retaining a fraction of it, and applying even less in my life.

I listened to a Tim Ferriss podcast where he said: “Your goal should be to learn things once and use them forever.”

That one sentence made me re-evaluate my approach to learning.

I started to research how to learn effectively and turn what you learn into knowledge that you can use every day. This introduced me to people like Barbara Oakley, Scott Young, and Josh Waitzkin. They’ve all developed learning methods that share similar underlying themes.

Note-taking is an important part of the learning process. I learned how to take useful notes, how to set up a commonplace book and use the Zettlekasten method and start my own system of personal knowledge management.

It’s taken me the best part of a year to put these foundations in place. I’ve spent this time learning how to learn.

Learning how to learn hasn’t been a passive task. It’s been frustrating at times and it requires hard and intense focus. However, the rewards for this effort will be great because I’ve already developed skills that other people take years to grasp.

Why should you be interested in learning how to learn?

Because it’s the ultimate meta-skill that you need.

Knowing how to learn means you can learn anything you need to progress in life. From improving your health to starting your own business and progressing up the career ladder.

That’s why Tony Robbins believes: “Investing in yourself is the most important investment you’ll ever make…There’s no financial investment you’ll ever make that will match it because if you develop more skill, more ability, more insight, more capacity, that’s what’s really going to provide economic freedom.”

Additional Resources

If you learn how to learn, it’s the ultimate meta skill and I believe you can learn how to be healthy, you can learn how to be fit, you can learn how to be happy, you can learn how to have good relationships, you can learn how to be successful.”

From Naval Ravikant on the Tim Ferriss Podcast. Resurfaced using Readwise.

That’s all for today.

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See you next week!

Matt Harris