Hello and welcome to the Autodidactic Podcast, Episode nine Season two.
If your first time listener, I wanna welcome you to the show and I’m glad you’re visiting. If you haven’t already, please visit the website autodidactic.info, where you’ll find links to all the shows that the show notes and the transcriptions and these contain. You need links to anything I talk about in the show.
This season. I’ve been covering autodidtactics and their methods for learning, but on this show I don’t want to talk about a specific autodidactic but rather talk about somethings all of the people I’ve profiled had in common, and these things are reading and a passion for learning, and then at the end, I briefly like to discuss creation of what I and others call the Forever project.
So if you have listened to all of this season, you will have noted a common thread among all of the other two tactics that I’ve profiled. And that is all of them have been. Readers, all of them, from childhood onward have continued to read a great number of books on a daily basis. This is in their topic of interest and outside generally. But you can find others who do this today as well, including Warren Buffett and Bill Gates and Stephen King, who read constantly and assess what they’re reading.
Reading is a great way to broaden your horizons and to expand the topic of interests. If you’re studying something solely to complete a particular project, then it’s a finite amount of time that you need to study and to complete. But generally, if you’re working toward a more general usage of this system.
So, for example, let’s say you were learning mathematics, and but you don’t generally have a direct need for it. But the knowledge of mathematics would help you in your job or your daily life in some way, shape or form. Setting up a strict regime for learning. This might not be appropriate, but as covered previously, you do still need a goal where you’re going to go and how you’re going to accomplish what it is you need on.
The first step is always to determine what it is you need. You have the issue of you don’t know what you don’t know and starting out there are things that you need to learn. But you don’t actually know that you need to learn them yet because you’ve not passed along on your journey far enough to realise that you need to know these things. So reading broadly in a topic prior to commencing can help you when you’re trying to define what it is you need to learn. And assuming that you are doing this as a forever project which will cover later rather than a specific, I need to know by X date, then reading more broadly in the topic.
Generalised reading or related topics as you come across them will help you to develop a study plan. Now, it might be that your topic is fairly specific and you don’t really need to read broadly in it that you have a really good idea of where you’re going and what you need to do to start, in which case, brilliant. But when you get into the topic, you are still going to need to read, and you’re gonna need to read a lot in order to learn the topic. I would advise you to listen to my previous podcast and I’ll put a link to some of the ones that are be of most interest about reading and studying reading for comprehension, reading for retention.
As well as highlighting and note-taking for the things that you’re studying. If you’re studying, for example, to become a better writer, it might be that you’re reading not to underlying a specific section of, a textbook, but more likely you are reading and highlighting passages that help you to understand character development or how to convey a sense of seeing or scenery this type of reading activity where you’re reading and you’re actually studying the material that you’re reading, as opposed to learning from the material that you’re reading.
I haven’t done a topic or a show on that, but I will in the future because I have done this myself where you’re analysing on author style or you’re you’re analysing a piece of work in order to help yourself learn how to construct that same type of thing later. Now the other thing that they all had in common was a passion for learning. All of them had the desire and the passion to learn on the motivation to learn a lot of people when they start their studies are looking at the end, go far more than the journey itself.
So, for example, if you’re a college student and you just enrolled, you’re actually looking at the goal of graduation, and you were thinking about what you will do when you graduate, but you really should try and enjoy the process of learning while you’re doing it. Try to make yourself enjoy the process of learning, because that will help you, too. Continue to be a lifelong learner and to enjoy learning, enjoy reading and have a passion for knowing new things. Which sort of brings me on to the topic. I want to discuss the primary topic for today, which is what is called a forever topic, and I’ll give you a couple links in the show notes for some plug posts people have made about this but forever. Project is a project you’re going to focus your time and energy on, but you are not using this as a source of income typically so, for example, this might be what most people would label as a hobby.
But the first element of forever project is to focus on a new topic that you aren’t investing time and energy. And so, for example, if you are a computer programmer on your forever project is carpentry. Um, you read about carpentry. You learn about different techniques. You might go to shows or conferences. You might speak to professional carpenters or furniture builders. So this is ah, forever project. Now, the point of a Forever project is that you, as the name applying implies, you can work on it forever. It’s an open into topic that you can explore for a long time without ever running out of challenges.
Now, normally, when we pick something to learn or to do, we have an economic goal because you’re learning this in order to get a job doing it, for example. But if you’re not doing it for an economic reason and you’re not time constraint, they economic reasoning behind doing the project breaks down a bit. So for someone who had an infinite lifetime, you’d have an infinite amount of money because you you know it doesn’t matter. You constantly be able to get more money. If you didn’t have money, you just carry on until you did get the money and then you start again because you have infinity to do it in.
You don’t have to choose between doing one thing or another, because in an infinite lifetime you can do both. So any any thinking along the lines of I’m wasting my time makes absolutely no sense at all. If you were going to live forever because you have an infinite amount of time and there’s no way that you could leave, lose it. And even if you spent half an affinity infinity on one topic, you still have an infinite amount of time left. Now, obviously, we don’t have forever to work on the project, but you can reason like you, too. And so ah, the economic drive to learn or to not go off on tensions or not, distract yourself or think about you’re wasting time, etcetera goes away. So a good forever project encourages you to wander through a variety of topics, and many of them will be new to you. And you can find something easy to learn about them or difficult to learn about them, that you’re constantly walking along the pathways and byways of knowledge that you’re gaining from this particular project.
In our example forever. Project of Woodworking you might go off on a tangent and study different types of wood and how it grows and what climates different trees globe grow in, and the relative strengths that gives to the wood before you come back to actually learning a technique for joinery. And it doesn’t matter to you because your reasoning is not Oh, I’ve wasted six months doing investigation of climate changes and how they affect would because you have forever to do it. So the reasoning process of wasting time has gone away.
A great deal of this show is talking about how to study and methods of studying. But why you study is really quite a personal thing Your reasoning behind studying a particular topic or not is completely up to you. But for the most part, most people have economic reasons for whatever project they’re choosing, and I would advise you to pick a project that actually has no economic benefit. But you find interesting because it will allow you to read, expand your horizons and to learn about something new and different, and keeps you engaged with the world without having the constant drive to improve yourself in an economic work related sort of way.
Now, for many people, this is not or may not seem valid. You know, we all have bills to pay and things to do and not a lot of time and not a lot of time to invest. But many people will have a small amount of time that they can use for a forever project, and you don’t need to pick a large. You need a large topic, something that will let you move through different areas. But when you’re doing a project within your forever project, it might only take you a day or a week or a month. Well, it’s been a quite a short show this week. I hope you enjoyed it. I know it’s going off on a bit of diversions, but hopefully you’ve enjoyed it. If you’re interested in the show and you want to give me feedback or suggestions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d like to thank you for taking the time to listen to these podcasts, and I hope you believe that this is time well spent. So once again, thank you for listening