I read the Meditations by Marcus Aurelius the first time in August 2014. To be honest, it disappointed me. A couple of months before, I read The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday and A Guide To The Good Life By William B. Irvine. They introduced me to stoicism. I loved reading both books. Both authors explain in a structured and easy way stoic ideas. I expected the same from Marcus Aurelius and the Meditations. But, the Meditations are not like any other book I read. In September 2015 I reread it with a clear view what the Meditations are and how I could take notes. This second time I wasn’t disappointed.
“The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.” – Marcus Aurelius
Writing is a craft! Like any other craft, we can train it. Most teachers and professional writers will tell you to write as much as possible, to become a better writer. And yes, practice makes perfect. But, how and what we practice makes a huge difference. A structured approach can improve our writing skills in no time.
To this day I regret that I didn’t make more friends at college. When I started studying I was a different person. I was very introverted, insecure and I had self-doubts. I was the first in my family to study at a German university and completely new to the environment. The first two semesters my goal was to survive. Looking back I realized how much suffering I could have avoided with help from friends. With that in mind I want to teach you 9 ways to make friends your first semester in college.
In the last decade we have seen many startups coming up. Examples are Facebook, WhatsApp, Mint … the list goes on and on. What started as a trend around Silicon Value spreads around the world. We will see more success stories in the future. With the rise of the scene more books are published about the topic. One of the most successful is the lean startup by Eric Ries.
We all love to get ahead in life. Reaching goals is one of the most satisfying feelings that exist. Behaviors and the right proceed are the cornerstones for success. You can use the power of feedback loops to affect both.
Before looking at feedback loops from those two perspective, let’s establish how to create them.
Work towards a goal
While you do it, collect data
Use the data as feedback to change action
You create feedback loops simply by collecting data and changing your actions accordingly. It is as simple as powerful.
When was the last time you unsuccessfully tried to understand a concept?
“I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.” – Richard Feynman
For me, it was the day before I learned the Feynman method. I tried to understand some algorithms during my calculus classes. I did the math and sometimes I got the right answer. But I did not understand the underlying meaning. I could use the algorithms but I did not know when and why. Around the same time one of my professors mentioned Richard Feynman during class. It was a recommendation to look him up. I did. I found a role-model and a great learning method.
“No two persons ever read the same book.” – Edmund Wilson
I find it very difficult to remember everything I read in a book. After some time I even forget the bigger ideas or core concepts. For fictional books I don’t mind so much. I read them for fun. But with non-fictional books it is different. I read them to get better and grow. Reading them is an investment into my future. It should pay off!
How fast can you read this article?
Reading is one of the first things we learn in school. We learn the letters. What they mean and how to write them. We learn to build words with the letters. With words we build sentences. With sentences paragraphs and so on.
As we learn to read and write words we break them down to the letters. Read → R E A D. We do the same for words in sentences. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE. We emphasize the smallest parts.
Teachers test our reading skills. We read texts out loud in front of the class.
This method to teach reading isn’t wrong. But does not go far enough. This method leads to bad reading habits, that slow us down.
Do you find it hard to learn something without knowing its structure or context?
I’m often in that situation for example while reading a non-fiction book. How does this one part fit with the rest of the book? How are the parts related? To avoid such questions I make notes in form of a Mind-Map.
Mind-Mapping is a thinking tool. It was introduced by Tony Buzan and is especially known for mapping your thoughts by using pictures, metaphors, colors and associations.
How to Mind-Map
In the last couple of years I occupied my mind on the subject learning. In school or during university the main part of the courses are predefined. Beyond that you can or must set a thematic priority. But how do you decide which thematic priority is right for you?
Beginning with the work life similar questions come up. You have to learn many new skills in a very short period. So there do you start and what is important for your career?
Such questions can be answered with an investment plan.
The idea is to maintain your knowledge portfolio like a financial portfolio.