Building my personal knowledge pyramid. We have been reading all sorts of materials from different mediums like books, videos, graphics and even conversation with people. Yet, all of this information acquired is very loose and not categorized. So, learning the skill on how to learn is utterly important for every one of us, especially for us who want to be the group that earn well and live well.
The Learning Points
The volume is more important than its structure
Without the mass volume of knowledge, there would not be the need of knowledge structure to categorize what we had learned (since it is so little). Knowledge cannot stand by itself as it is like a web, every point connects to one another to form a knowledge structure that interlinks with each other. The more connection we can establish, the better we are in understanding the certain topic. We may come to a point where we are not sure about what we are learning is "useful" or not, yet take the opportunity and learn what we can first. Later on, there may be a time where we could link that up and complete the puzzle of the knowledge web structure that we want to build for ourselves.
In order to diversify my source of knowledge input, I am constantly in the search of getting better source, usually finding the most upper stream source of knowledge would enable me to gain the best clarity about a certain topic. Even like cryptocurrency projects, having to be inside the official group and also joining several key leaders, I could gain news, insights and thoughts sharing of how they view things. Of course, all of us need to do our own research before making any calls. Here are some of my channels to learn:
- Specific Facebook Groups
- Specific Telegram Groups
- Specific Wechat Groups
- Youtube Channels
- www.biji.com (which I used a lot)
- Google News (build my own interest list in the app)
- Of course, person to person interaction
One of the challenges for me now is to create a procedure for myself to make the input from all these channels into a library which in this case, I am trying out Notion to become the database for my "second brain".
Knowing the fundamental is the key of knowledge structure
Knowing something does not mean we understand something. In order to understand something, not only we need to learn the basic but also anything that relates to it. For example, when we are learning about explorer rover that we sent to Mars, not only we should learn about the machine, the program & software that operate the machine, what is Mars, where is Mars, how is the Mars' climate and so on. All of these knowledge points are from different subjects and without these points, we cannot apprehend the whole picture of what an explorer rover is in Mars.
Thus, the fundamental is usually the very basic level of knowledge where it starts with the 5W1H question (who, when, where, why, what and how). Then, that leads us to the next point which is asking a good question.
Learn to ask good question
A good question will lead us to the right direction to find the answer which can ultimately solve or make progress for the challenges that we are facing. In most cases, we learn because we want to be prepared for challenges that we may face in life. Good question, in essence, equals to the real question. In order to ask the "real question", we need to take action and keep trying. From the experience of trial and error, we can search what are the real key factors that really is the fundamental of the problem itself. One good tip that I read about is to make sure that the question is asked with the intention to help others and better the society. That would bring us to a level that not only could benefit us individually but also others which could, in turn, become a product or service.
Go deep than go wide
For a personal knowledge structure, it is good to start with going deep then only going wide. There are just too many knowledge points that we could learn and be focused on is the only way to become an expert. Of course, while focusing on one or two topics at one given moment, we can still use part of the time to learn about unrelated stuff that may give us unexpected answers. An 80/20 ratio would be a good way to allocate the main and the subsidiary learning topic so that we could keep the momentum going. Again, it is important that we always relate whatever we learn to the main knowledge point. For example, I have been spending most of my time learning about architecture. Yet, architecture is a knowledge that relates to all sorts of subjects like technology, design, psychology, economics, culture and so on. Therefore, rather than being a generalist, I identify a niche for myself which is urban agriculture & the idea of living in a green, sustainable environment. Yet, I had jumped to education which is not entirely similar to my previous plan but yet learning about education, creative learning and technology integration could help to pinpoint my niche better. I would consider I am a generalist rather a specialist, so I would need to find a niche that I could really dive into it and become the top 20%.
A compounding game
Like how Warren Buffet put it, earning money is a compounding game which is boring and what we need is patience. Earning knowledge itself is also similar to it, yet I do think that gaining new knowledge may not be as boring as earning money can be. Money is materialistic where we cannot feel the joy unless exchanged with certain product or experience that we wanted. On the other hand, getting new knowledge that in return widen our horizon in life is more long-lasting and can even open up more avenue for us. Thus, keep compounding and eventually when it hit the exponential growth, nothing can stop us.
Learning how to learn itself is an important yet often taken for granted knowledge. It is crucial that we have the fundamental and the most crucial tool to grow ourselves which is to learn. In my case, I had been evolving from learning to face the examination to learning for the sake of upgrading myself so I could do more for myself, my family and even others. The world is so large, but the knowledge world is even larger and expanding in a speed that no man can comprehend. Hence, keeping the speed to learn is essential to be relevant in the future.
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