2 Rules to Learn Anything Faster: A Case Study on Elon Musk
Elon Musk has one of the most incredible minds around. But have you ever wondered how he got so smart? Of course, it’s okay to think that he was probably born gifted, or he definitely reads a ton, but Elon Musk’s brilliance isn’t all down to innate talent and massive input of raw knowledge.
The secret of Elon Musk is that He has learned how to learn? What does that mean? He has learned and mastered how to shove the maximum amount of information into the brain in the shortest possible time. After co-founding PayPal and Tesla, Elon Musk in his mid-career mastered the art of rocket science and launched Space X.
How does he do that? Thankfully, He his willing to share exactly how he does just that.
Knowledge is a tree.
During an Ask Me Anything session, a fan wanted to know what techniques Musk used to learn so much so incredibly fast.
The curios questioner asked, “I know you’ve read a lot of books and you surround yourself with lots of smart people to soak up what they know; but you seem to have found a way to pack more knowledge into your head than nearly anyone else alive; How are you so good at it?”
In his response, he shared a nugget of pure learning gold:
“It’s important to view knowledge as a semantic tree – For a tree, the root is the most important, therefore when you understand the roots (the fundamental principles) then the little details will be easily grasped and better hung onto.
While the concept of the semantic tree may only be familiar to those with a computer science background the emphasis of Musk’s advice is:
“Don’t delve into the peripheral of a subject unless you understand conceptual framework”.
Remember to Connect.
From a memorization standpoint, it best to connect all that you have learned to something that you can relate to. Many memory experts note that the best way to remember something is to associate it with something you already know.
If there are no mental “hooks” for new
knowledge to catch on, it tends to go in one ear and out the other. (That’s why so many of us fail at remembering names and why making associations like “Mary from Abule Egba, where my cousin lives” hugely improves retention.)
On a final note, if you want to learn faster, don’t rush into more advanced material unless you take the time to master the core principles of whatever you’re studying first. Also, take a little more time to connect these principles to what you already know.