Knowledge is the NEW MONEY! Get you some!

~Eric Thomas

Have you ever finished reading a personal development or self-help book, but can’t remember what the key takeaways were? Have you ever gone to a seminar or weekend conference and forgotten everything by Monday? For a lot of us, including myself, the information we hear or read goes into our brains, but it never fully sticks or takes root.

We get so overloaded with information every single day.

With such ease of access to information on the internet, our brain’s space gets used up by all the useless crap we see on Facebook, the news, and other social media feeds. The stuff we wish to learn that could better our lives gets quickly replaced, because we haven’t had a chance to let those new ideas solidify themselves in our minds.

You might hear that writing it down or taking notes is a surefire way to quickly learn something. Implementing and taking action on a new idea or concept is another way for us to learn faster. These are great steps towards learning, but these still take a bit of time to leave permanent imprints on our brains. Taking notes is useless if you don’t read them over and over again after writing it down. And executing an idea may take up to 21 days before it solidifies into a habit.

So what’s the fastest way to learn a new idea?

TEACH!

There’s a difference between regurgitating words from memory versus teaching an idea to someone. When you can relay information to another person and continue to do so UNTIL they understand what it is you’re teaching, that’s when you know you’ve fully learned the content.

Through teaching others, I’ve been able to retain information faster AND longer. I remember a time back in college when a group of friends and I were last minute cramming for a final exam. Usually when we do last minute studying, we cram the info into our brains just so we could remember it for a few hours. But I took a different approach to studying for the exam. I spent most of the time teaching all of my friends and testing them on the content instead of just doing silly flashcards and practice exams. To this day, I still remember all of the information from that class, and it had made a huge difference in my final exam results. I was the only student in the entire class to get an A on the final!

Ever since that AHA moment, I now intentionally learn things so that I could teach it to others. When you know in advance that you are going to pass this knowledge on to other people, you tend to pay more attention to what you’re hearing or reading. During live seminars or conferences, I also pay attention to HOW the speaker is teaching the information, so that I could adopt the same emotional effect on the listeners. People don’t remember what you say, but they remember how you made them feel.

Obviously everyone learns in different ways, but this is one method of learning that I believe is under utilized. I’ve been able to learn information within three sessions of teaching others whether it’s team phone calls, group presentations, online videos, etc.

Your ability to learn faster also benefits others by providing value to them.

The best perk of learning via teaching is that you’re developing others while you grow yourself! Information is completely useless if it’s not implemented or if it’s kept to oneself. I highly encourage you to not only continue to invest in yourself, but also invest in others by teaching them what you learn.