The One Question That Will Change Your Life:
This one question has recently changed my life:
What will I learn today that will excite and astonish me?
I aim to surprise myself every day through the pursuit of constant learning and discovery. I have read 12 fiction and 20 non-fiction books in 2021 just to surprise myself and open my horizons. The more I read and discover, the more excitement and flow I am going through.
In this article, I aim to offer you some inspiration and practical suggestions on how you can foster a habit of learning in your everyday life.
Why Curiosity is a Magical Door That Opens New Possibilities
The more curiosity you have, the more you will open up your mind to new possibilities, new worlds, and new journeys of wonder.
Curiosity is a game-changer for you. It increases the quality of your life and it brings you joy and flow. Following my curiosities, I have started writing about transdisciplinary topics outside my comfort zone including Mars, neural laces, doors, a squash, GPT-3, singularity, BTS, panarchy, entrepreneurship, and corporate spiritual responsibility. When I look back at these stories, I am deeply surprised. I did not think that I would be writing articles covering imagination, futuristic visions, technologies, or innovations. I did not think I had the confidence or expertise to write on these topics. I surprised myself and my brain through the power of curiosity. So, it pays to be a hunter and learner of the most interesting things. You need to become a relentless learning machine and develop your own mental models to strengthen your perspectives.
When you are curious, you become a relentless learning machine. You get excited and want to explore the topics in more depth. As you read more, you get momentum and want to learn even more. Your super-power then becomes sharing your excitement with your readers.
Why Learning Is A Super-power
Rewire your brain to become a polymath. Your brain has amazing capabilities of limitless learning and neuroplasticity. You can change your definition of yourself. You can rewire your brain to learn fast and achieve fascinating things. That is what I have experienced recently. I have re-invented myself as a futurist technology writer despite my lack of technical expertise. This is the power of neuroplasticity — you can re-wire your brain and tremendously amplify your learning skills. It all starts with changing your inner conversations with yourself.
Learning is the single best investment of your time that you can ever make. Intellectual capital trumps financial capital. Learning always pays off. Even useless knowledge can be paradoxically extremely useful. In the words of Richard Feynman:
“Throughout the whole history of science, most of the really great discoveries which had ultimately proved to be beneficial to mankind had been made by men and women who were driven not by the desire to be useful but merely the desire to satisfy their curiosity.”
Why Learning Offers You A Lifetime of Opportunities
This is the golden era for people who value self-directed learning and interdisciplinary perspectives. Information is abundant and free. You have access to all the world’s knowledge at your fingertips. YouTube gives you the chance to learn from world-class scientists, artists, and entrepreneurs. You can stand on the shoulders of giants and teach yourself anything that you want. As you learn and experiment with new things, you can share your progress with the world. You can pursue your passions and curiosities to build up fresh and exciting things.
As the number of academic and professional fields increases exponentially, there are now thousands of disciplines and skills. Creativity is about combining unrelated things together, and there are more possibilities of combination than ever. This creates hundreds of new job titles every year. Today’s most popular jobs (such as digital marketing specialist, podcast creator, or driverless car designer) did not even exist a decade ago. You can better adapt to this rapidly changing world by combining diverse skills and mastering new fields.
Astonish and amaze yourself every day. Schedule some time for creative activities and use your wildest imagination. Develop your own system of creativity and asset creation. If you want to live a happy, productive, and fulfilled life, you need to provide yourself more opportunities for curiosity, reading, play, fun, idea creation, surprise, and entertainment. In other words, you need to unleash dopamine in your brain through your learning sprints.
Keep a diary to record what you have discovered every day: What did you learn today? What are the fresh, exciting, innovative ideas you have come across? Why are you attracted to these ideas and knowledge? How can you continue your learning journey? What will you learn next?
Treat every day as an adventure in learning. Engage in self-directed learning activities beyond your own discipline. Be curious about planes, exoplanets, flies, starships, flowers, ocean plants, and black holes. Once you are addicted to the joys of learning new and exciting things, you will want to learn more.
Never lose that child-like sense of wonder and curiosity — as this is key to your learning, happiness, joy, and creativity in your life.
Fill your day with lots of inspiration. Get inspiration from lots of sources. What could be some of these sources? Brainstorm below. You can consider cities, people, films, books, museums, hobbies, theatre, cafes, caves, rivers, or woods.
Design your life by surprise. Leave more room for flexibility, serendipity, exploration, and adventure. It is not easy to get out of your comfort zone, scare yourself, and set yourself new challenges and adventures. In order to do this, you must set sail to new horizons and explore your own blue oceans. Embrace the chaos and the unknown — they are your friend. Losing yourself is one of the best ways in this life to get creative.
Creating new ideas and sharing your curiosities with the world will change your life. This is not easy of course — you might feel anxious and stressed out about potential criticisms or mistakes. Still, it is a good idea to share your creations or curiosities with the world. It is very satisfying to share your passions and curiosities, to put them out there for the enjoyment and benefit of others. Sharing your journeys of learning and discoveries with other people in real-time (as they unfold) will add tremendous value to your life and career.
See yourself as a work of art — always learning and growing, and always in progress. Reinvent yourself so that you can tap into endless opportunities in learning, growth, experimentation, and creativity.
Make A List of 100 Things That You Wish To Learn About
Open your notebook and make a long list of all the things that you wish to learn about. These might be a mix of anything small and big. Make sure to come up with a list of things and topics that will excite you.
For example, here is how your learning list could look like:
- Batteries of electric cars
- The future of non-fungible tokens
- Bitcloud, blockchain technologies, and other web 3.0 platforms
- Long term investment strategies in the crypto markets
- Unicorns in artificial intelligence
- Why Tiktok has become so successful
- Closest stars to the sun
- Learning Mandarin quickly
- How you can best prepare for the Metaverse
Write A Letter To Yourself On Creating Your Learning Game
By working less and learning more, you will get less done in a day, but you will achieve enormous leverage on the long term.
You need to turn learning into a game where you will feel excited, refreshed, and elevated as you keep learning new things. How can you do that?
Write a letter to yourself on how you intend to turn your life into a festival of learning and growth. Create a list of ideas and strategies, as you respond to the following questions:
- How can you make your life intellectually satisfying and exciting?
- How can you make learning an indispensable part of your everyday life?
- How can you keep asking questions relentlessly?
- How can you hunt for interesting, fresh, and exciting ideas & knowledge every day?
- How can you make more time for your curiosity?
- How can you be self-motivated to learn new things every day?
- How can you make reading a natural part of your everyday routines?
- How can you develop your knowledge across multiple disciplines and fields?
- How can you establish and create your own learning games and habits?
- How can you continue your learning adventures every day without quitting and without breaking the chain?
- How will you immediately share what you learned with the world?
Practical Actions and Take-aways:
- To be a super-learner, try out different things, and learn in diverse areas. Read and learn wildly beyond your own discipline to achieve unlikely combinations of skills and knowledge across diverse fields.
- Spend 45–50 minutes, at least 5 times per week, to learn new things that will excite you. These things do not need to be related to your work or field.
- Achieve flow experience. In the words of Einstein: “That is the way to learn the most, that when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don’t notice that the time passes.”
- Once every week or two, whenever you have time, do some intensive 5-hour learning sprints. You will immerse yourself deeply into a new topic, book, or field of interest.
- Design your learning adventures. Imagine that you are on a treasure hunt and you are finding clues and insights along the way. Turn your learning into an exciting game.
- Keep a notebook near you and document your fresh learning and insights. Building on these insights, try to create at least 50 new ideas every day.
- Develop multidisciplinary mental models and compound your learning and knowledge for the long term. This will give you leverage over the long term and make you indispensable; since you will be wildly creative through connecting seemingly unrelated fields.
- Develop new areas of interest. You can never have too many areas of interest.
- Develop your inspirational capital by being curious and passionate.
- Develop a personal system of learning and imagination that works really well for you. Be aware of your unique strengths and tap into them to make your learning sustainable and enjoyable.
- Schedule ample time for learning activities to nurture your mind and spirit. Take care of your brain and improve your learning habits.
- Develop positive habits, systems, and assets to take control of your own future.
So, here is the one question that will change your life, one day at a time:
What will you learn today that will excite and astonish you?