Mastery Quadrant #3 – LEARNING

Why are some people simply so much better at doing something, than others? How is it that certain people can accomplish a lot more with a lot less effort, than others who struggle despite clearly putting in longer hours?

The answer often lies in the Quality of their learning. 

Before we dig into this deeper, it is important that you have first understood the value of Mastery Quadrant #2 Deconstruction. It is typically easier to learn a skill, by breaking it up into it’s core sub-parts and learning each sub-part separately. Deciding whether you want to learn the entire skill or a particular sub-part, can often influence the learning source, which is why it is important to have clarity on the same prior to starting your learning process.

What is your level of commitment? How much are you willing to invest?

The common response (especially for life-transformational skills) to these simple questions is ‘as much as it takes‘.

The reality is vastly different. For learning life transforming skills, when push comes to shove, the vast majority of people are not willing to (a) put in as much time on a daily basis as a single episode of ‘Friends’ (b) spend as much money as a single coffee at Starbucks (the cost of a great e-book) or a night-out with movie & dinner (the cost of typical high quality online courses).

It is not so much a non-willingness to change, as an inertia in behavior that everyone deals with. Without a very strong commitment upfront (via MQ #1 Mindset) and a clearly defined plan (see below), it is very easy to slip back into the easy choices – general entertainment vs studying something new / learning from a cheap or free source vs paying for the best source of learning.

This is why, it is very helpful to define and document your commitment levels upfront, as they act as a valuable mental support and a guide when it comes to making important decisions on the choice of your learning. You need to answer the following

To make _____________________________________ change in my life, I am willing to

(a) invest ____ hours per day / week / month

(b) spend $ ___ or ___% of my monthly income

(c) continue learning until I am __________________________________

It is important to remember, that the answers to these questions are directly related to the importance of the skill that you are seeking to learn (i.e. is it life transformational, great to have, good to have or others — as defined in MQ#1 Mindset).

Who do your choose to be your guru?

In the modern digital age, the very best teachers around the world are available at the click of a button. You can access the very best books, top online courses or get accredited degrees from the top global universities all from the comfort of your home.

Yet, it is amazing how many people refuse to put in the effort to seek out the best in the field to learn from. Instead, they choose to learn from the easiest / cheapest / most convenient online sources, often on the basis of search results.

The quality of your learning, is directly linked to the quality and expertise of your teacher. Always seek to learn from the best-in-the-field, when you are are serious to gain expertise in a new skill.

At Mastery Quadrant, we have identified the top experts across a wide range of disciplines that help you gain mastery. While non-exhaustive, this list (available under personalities) represent some great sources of knowledge for their respective disciplines.

What is the best way to learn?

There are a number of different sources of learning – from the internet (blogs / you-tube videos), books, online courses to formal degrees. Which of these represent the best source of education for you?

The answer is very subjective. It depends on

  • (a) what works best for you (b) what you are trying to learn.
  • Some people learn best by reading, some by video, while others prefer more structured course and degree learning
  • What you seek to learn – more complicated topics typically benefit from the structure a book or course can provide, versus a more informal internet setting.
  • Lastly, the choice of learning platform can vary based on the importance of what you wish to learn – you may choose to use formal courses to learn your professional skills, while using the internet to polish your hobbies.

While there are good sources on all platforms, the general quality of learning improves (assuming a similar quality of teacher) as you move upwards from the internet > books > online courses > formal degrees. It is generally recommended to spend more time on the right of this list when you are very serious about acquiring a new skill.

At Mastery Quadrant, we understand that each person’s learning requirements are unique. Which is where we have carefully curated a list of the very best learning sources across all formats – including the top internet sources, books and online courses.

As you gain knowledge, it is important to be able to practice your new-found skills in low-impact & low-risk environments, to give yourself enough room to improve your skills until you are ready to demonstrate them to the world. Learn more at MQ #4 Practice / Play.