The lazy man’s guide to mastery

I used to envy people who were better than me. Used to. Until I decided to do something about it.

So in 9th grade, I walked up to the class topper and asked her about the methodology she uses to learn and score so well, consistently. She gave me a 15-minute crash course on the art and science of rote learning.

I was pumped!

But it didn’t work. And three days later… I couldn’t help but ask the quiet kid sitting across my desk about his “system.” Now, this kid was above average but better than me. Not the best, but better than me. And I respected that.

So, I asked him. And he had a simple strategy to learn — read a piece of text aloud, jot down what you understood in bullet points and expand on these bullets once you are done with the chapter. That’s it!

And Boom! I smashed the next unit test with flying colors (by my standards)! Next up, I got hold of the person who scored a notch better than me on the test. Same question but I learned something else this time. Applied it. And voila! My next set of scores were even better!

I kept repeating this until I graduated from high school. And the approach has since become my system to learn anything that fascinates me.

And here it is:

  1. Find someone who’s done it better than you and ask them how’d they do it! They’ll be flattered and be more than willing to share their “expertise” with you.
  2. Discover their go-to resources, methodologies they use to simplify the complex in their daily lives, and the go-to hacks they use when they get stuck.
  3. And my favorite — what’s the roadmap they’d recommend to someone who is just getting started.

This simple 3-step approach will save you tons of time and keep you motivated to move up the mountain and close the summit.

In my opinion, this is the best approach to shorten one’s learning curve. And can literally save years!

One step at a time. And over time.

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