One of my colleagues today told me that he consumes between 80-100 articles per day. He does jokes on stage for thousands of people yearly about current events. He stays on tops of all of his events (pun intended).
Another great lawyer friend of mine talks about how he makes references to over 100 books and files per week. He consistently earns a half-million dollars per year. He also works 20 hours per week at the age of 44.
A former NBA player, who also speaks professionally, told me that he learned all of the tendencies of his teammates. He knows how they play and he has added thousands of hours to his craft within his 13-year career. He has an NBA championship and a nice mansion.
True professionals know how to eat information. They don't waste their time studying slowly. They've become such experts that they know what they are looking for. They focus on the meat and throw out the bones.
Years ago, I attended a conference and I was new to the topics of discussion. I was star-struck at the speakers because I didn't know what I didn't know. I knew that I had to keep going to get better at my profession.
This year, I went to the same conference and attended less than half of the sessions at the 4-day conference while extracting more than 10 times as much information. Those speakers are now my colleagues.
No matter what your profession may be, you are called to be an expert. I often hear people referring to themselves as 'motivational speakers', yet they don't know the basic human motivations. Consummate professionals know their expertise inside and out. That's how you become a 'go-to' person!
In the midst of my studies, I often ponder about my growth. There's so much more to learn about learning. We all need reminders. You already know some of these. Here are 3 things you need to be addicted to if you want to learn faster:
1. Speed-Up Videos: Most YouTube videos allow you to speed up your videos. I set mine at 1.25 x or 1.5 x speed. If the person speaks very slowly, I set it at 2 x speed. This allows me to get through an important video in half the time. I also have a habit of saving the important ones by emailing myself the link (especially if they are longer).
Another key is to skip ahead. Some videos take a while to get started with their 'meat'. Other videos have long introductions and lead-in times to build anticipation. If you browse the comments below, many videos tell you exactly what the important part starts (for example 'skip to 7:37). Others will tell you chapter titles if it's an audio book.
You can always read the comments while the advertisements are loading and check the 'likes' on the page. Most people will tell you if they found what they were looking for. You've got to discern quickly. I've wasted many hours watching a video that didn't deliver much. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out!
2. Read Faster: Learn how to discover the 'what' and 'why' early on in the literature that you're already an expert on. What you should really be aiming for the the 'how'. You must already know 'what' you want and 'why' you want it. There's more information than ever before, so get through it faster.
The key is to leverage your knowledge. I tend to skip a lot of stories, especially since they contain 80% of filler-pages in most books. Stories are great, but many of them are repeats or overemphasized to beat in a particular point.
Another tip is to read with focus. Too many people get stuck when they read statistics, quotes, vocabulary words, and facts. They run to Google and get lost in irrelevant information. This takes time and causes stress, which makes them lose focus.
Speed-reading books and courses are available too. Here's an article that you'll enjoy. Consume knowledge as fast as possible. Some people are reading 1 article a day, others read dozens in a day. Both relish equally on what they've learned.
3. Get A Mentor: I have a handful (3-5) of mentors that I study all the time. They are my ideals that help me to remember what I'm striving for. Unfortunately, many of them are dead, but they've left significant work behind for me to assimilate.
For my mentors who are currently alive, many of them are my colleagues. I have a habit where I have to call at least 1 mentor every month. This month, I've already called on 3 of them. I find a way to give back. Sow more seeds and you'll reap a bigger harvest. The secret of living is giving.
Trial and error is the slowest method of learning. If you're depending on learning by yourself, good luck. Too many people are cheap and that's why they remain amateurs rather than professionals. This separates most people in business. I believe that if you live by the price, you'll die by the price.
There's been so many times where I've profited 100 times over because I bought a book or attended a convention that my mentor recommended. People ask me for help all the time, by few are willing to pay the price. Real professionals invest in themselves so that they can invest in others.
Quite frankly, too many people are learning too slow. They are the people who get left behind. If you are looking to enrich yourself and others, you must learn how to expedite your knowledge. When you learn faster, you're competitors today will be asking you for help tomorrow.
What are you waiting for?
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