Taking in a bunch of info is fun and great, whether it's from blogs, podcasts, audiobooks, whatever.
But don't think that all of that is actually necessary. Don't beat yourself up if you miss out for a few weeks. You're most likely not going to miss that golden morsel of info that will change your life. And besides, the updates you really need to know about will trickle down to you anyway.
No, the truly life-changing stuff will come from real learning.
Probably you could pick 2 books this year, really read them and apply them to the max, ignore everything else, and truly LEARN. And you would get so much more from that than chaining yourself daily to your bursting-to-the-seams RSS feed which contains 10000x the amount of pure infornation yet only serves to paralyze and bloat you.
(Why 2 books? Because a little multitasking is necessary in life - motivation redundancy and identity diversification and all that.)
I'm not putting anyone down for insufficient asceticism - stuffing your head with Lifehacker.com and Hacker News is after all better than doing so with TV. But keep in mind that it's infotainment, not learning.
Info fasting and 2 books. Could you do it?
Very very true. Also, learning means you feel like you're getting ahead with almost no chance of failure... as opposed to actually trying to do things, which is much more scary and risks rejection more.
I constantly wonder how to best handle information overload and make information actionable, rather than entertainment.
I do find.. as whole.. that reading books does much better for you than the random blogposts.
For example: I have a backlog of Seb Marsh posts I haven't read... instead I'm rereading Ikigai.
How to make info overload actionable... if there was a startup for that I'd give them my life savings :)
I've always wanted to create an app for 'self help authors' which holds people accountable.
The app would release case studies, set challenges and homework for users who wanted to learn the skill.
It would be gamified, there would be a community.
To move onto the next book 'chapter' and find out more information, the 'reader' would have to complete some tasks and provide 100% concrete proof they had acted upon what they had learnt. If not - no dice, no more education, no more information.
Needs work on how to implement and there would have to be manual reviews, but this could PROPEL people forward faster than reading 20 books.
A bold, brave strong author would NOT release a book and setup a learning system where the information is so good, it's only released after they produce some work that is peer reviewed.
There are so many extensions for this - the corporate training world is full of bullshit trainers, who steam in for a day, do 15 'icebreaker exercises' - 3 'case studies' 'a Q&A' and a review.....At the end of the day everyone feels great, but 2 weeks later, nothing has changed.
There´s so many books I´d like to read. Wich ones would you suggest?
What's the 2 things that, if you improved them this year, it would make that a great year? What's the top recommended books in those 2 areas that has consistently gotten people from shit to suck to good to great if the effort was put in by the learner? There's your answer.
So if you wanted to learn coding and get fit this year you would put in six months of proper effort into Learn Python The Hard Way* and Starting Strength. What do you think that would do to your personal pride and future outlook come New Year's Eve?
* You would of course document the process on a blog to make it into a marketable skill on your CV.
Info fasting I am, but 2 books? Books are the main source of entertainment for me and I read them for entertainment first, applications a distant second. I cannot force myself to read dry books just because it contains bomb recipes in there. However, your points are valid and true and I will remind myself of it. Discussing with friends helps a ton too, as Sebastian mentioned.
Seems he's talking about info books, not entertainment books. 2012: Nonfiction or fiction. You decide.
Entertainment is fine as long as you know it's entertainment.
And that also means that it comes last on the priority list. Eg if you need to crunch for a few weeks, you cut out the blogs and books.
But if you treat your infotainment as more than infotainment, then you cannot prioritize it effectively.
Sounds obvious, but has been major problem for me in my life.
Very good question. Here we go -
I saw your post offering advice help, so I thought I'd take you up on that. I'm young, pre college, so time is on my side. I'd like to create a web startup at some point in the future, at least that's the dream. Should I focus on homing in on my technical skills, or business skills? Right now, I know much less of the latter, but I recognize its importance in entrepreneurship.
Also, do you think college credentials are as important as real world opportunities? And any reading recommendations would be much obliged. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks so much,
I've been saying that college is obsolete for a very long time. I dropped out in 2000, because even back then I could see that it was a really poor value proposition. I didn't predict this because I'm some crazy genius, but because I'm willing to discard emotional attachment and stare plainly at the facts.
School is outrageously expensive, leaving graduates with a debt (or net expenditure) of tens of thousands of dollars-- sometimes even one or two hundred thousand. There are some things that are worth that amount of money, but for many people school isn't one of them. In fact, apart from very specific cases, I think that school is a bad thing, not worth doing even if it was free.
That's not to say that school has no benefits whatsoever. It does, and although I left with zero additional skills after my three semesters there, I had a good time and benefited from the social aspect. The problem is that you can't just compare college to doing nothing at all. You have to compare it to what you COULD have done.
Let's say that when you turn eighteen, it's a good idea to take four years to develop yourself. College is one way to do that. If we were to construct an alternative way to do that, what could it look like? One of the biggest weaknesses of school is how inflexible it is, so one of the greatest benefits of designing your own curriculum is that you could come up with one that uniquely suits you. That said, here's a plan that I think would benefit many people MORE than school would. Let's call it the Hustler's MBA.