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The Secret to Better Learning

Do you ever think of learning something faster and better than you normally do? Do you ever think of enhancing your productivity while reading something? 

I have been asking myself the same questions and have come up with a theory. I won't be boring you with superficial statements, but would rather try to walk you through to the answer.

I want you to go back to your past and try remembering the best reading spell you had. It could be for a novel, or for an academic textbook. Remember that instance when you read something, and it got so well embedded in your mind that you wished you could always read like that.

I've always wanted my reading speed to be faster. I want to be able to read as many books as I can in a short while. And here's what I've observed:
I achieve the fastest reading spell only when I am not thinking about the reading spell.
Anyway, the thought of consuming knowledge more efficiently never came to me when I was reading novels/fiction books. It came to me while reading academic books. I wanted to understand everything better, and faster.

Here's what happens when I usually get down to study. I open the book, and the thought of why I'm studying this crosses my mind, at least once. I suppose, by my interaction with various people on this topic, others have the same thought in the beginning too. Why? Why am I studying this? The brain makes up an answer, and we use that answer as our motivation to get started.
The only problem is, sometimes we aren't able to disconnect from the reasoning of 'Why'. We keep thinking about the possibilities of the upcoming exams, possibilities of the results, etc.

Now I want you to visualize that past instance which I asked you to remember very well. Remember every detail of not the result, but the process. What happened when you were studying that good piece of information? Chances are that the concept you are too proud to understand was learnt by you when you were an hour or so into reading.

The instance when you have disconnected from the reason of studying, the distractions that come with it and the only thought that you have is of the knowledge lying in front of you, that's the moment when you're a formidable force of learning. You are not someone who wants to ace the exams, not someone who wants to pass the tests, but just a brain that wants to learn more. This 'zone' of productivity has a limited time frame for all of us because reality almost never leaves us; unless we stop caring about it.

So when you had the best reading spell experience, you didn't really care about what exactly you were studying for. Sure, you may have begun studying about it in the first place, but at that very moment that you got some piece of information into your head, you were never thinking about why you're doing it.

How do we achieve that 'zone'?
Simply care for knowledge. I know I can't ask anyone to stop thinking before studying why they are doing it. That is necessary. It's like advising a horse that if you really want to run faster, run anywhere.
But I can definitely ask a horse to enjoy the run instead of thinking about the destination.
Sure, begin by visualizing your goal. But disconnect from it, and read to learn, just learn. Live the present, and develop a taste for knowledge. Most of the time the reason a book bores us down is because we don't see any point of learning it for our foreseeable future. I'm asking you to stop seeing your future at every instant of reading.


  1. This is a fantastic idea that you described here. Steve jobs said once in his speech at stanford that, "you can only connect dots looking backward you can't connect them looking forward". so its definitely true that read to learn not to earn your reading and learning definitely bring something in future.


    1. That's a great observation and it's really insightful. Thanks Sheetala!

  2. You are amazing. Looking forward to meeting you in person.

  3. It is amazing. Everything written is 100% right.


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