Scott Young, author of the exciting new book, Ultra learning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career, delivers a thought-provoking analysis of the methods and ways in which we learn, and how we can learn more efficiently and faster if we put our mind to it.
Young discusses his path of discovery that led to an interest in ultra learning and motivated him to write extensively on the subject in his new book. As he recounts it was his own personal struggle to learn the French language that pushed him toward ultra learning techniques. Young talks about other ultralearners who inspired him, and how their impact was something he simply needed to share with his readers. As Young explains, ultra learning is not just a technique for the elite, it is something we all can apply.
In Young’s book, Ultra learning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career, Young outlines the ways that we can all improve our learning process and skills. If you want to master a new talent, or stay relevant, perhaps even totally reinvent yourself, or smoothly shift with the rapid changes in your work environment, Ultra learning provides nine solid principles that can help anyone master difficult skills quickly.
As Young details, ultra learning can help us to maximize our competitive advantages in a changing economic and technically-oriented business landscape. Staying ahead, staying on top of things, mastering the newest ideas and vital skills, is necessary in today’s world.
Young talks about the ways that ultra learning can be applied. Ultra learning is, at its core, a highly self-directed process. Those who engage in ultra learning must be motivated, without question, but a benefit comes from the fact that projects are geared toward exactly the kinds of information and skills that an ultralearner is most interested in overall. It’s a combination of aggressive learning tactics that immerse the learner into the core of a subject, tackling the most difficult elements first; it’s demanding, sometimes uncomfortable, but almost always more productive when applied with planning and intense self-motivation.
The Ultra learning author elaborates on how much information we miss in traditional learning practices. Young states that when we think of learning, we need to understand that books and classes are not the only means to learn, but that learning is the practice of building up many tiny subconscious skills that bring together the big or overall concept. In explaining this concept, he utilizes an example of cracking an egg when preparing a meal. The many and various skills that our brain is commanding during the cracking—forming the hand around the egg properly, tapping with just enough force to crack it but not get eggshell in the bowl, and separating the eggshell so that the egg flows into the bowl—are all sophisticated skills that demonstrate complex learning. And thus simply reading a book about something may not deliver enough real information necessary to provide that immersive experience where ultra learning can thrive.