Taking a Step Back
So where have we been here? Okay, so we we said you've got to prepare yourself to learn you gotta pay attention, connect pieces of information really be here now and here's the last thing whenever you've got something that you were supposed to learn now you want to summarize it to yourself, okay? And this is the step we all forget so if you watch people in meetings for example, everyone sitting at the meeting and invariably the meeting goes, you know, five, ten minutes too long and everyone gets up and goes, oh, no, and they check there watching and they pull out their cell phone and they start checking emails and texting people that they were late and they go running off to the next thing and they didn't really take a step back and ask themselves, what should I remember from this meeting that I was just that? And as a result they're leaving their memory for that event completely up to chance, and we do the same thing with books that we've read, you finish the book, closed the book and...
move on to the next thing or an article that you just read or even one of those videos you know, you watch this video about how to do something and then you get to the end of your like, great oh three emails came in look at that and you don't take a step back and ask yourself, what are the three most important things that I was supposed to learn from that? And it turns out, if you give that summary to yourself and you produce it for yourself, it will help to solidify your memory for what it is that you just went through. Okay, so what I recommend is take ten seconds, thirty seconds and just summarize what are the three key points that I'm supposed to take away from this? And that act of creating this summary will help you to remember it better later. Now, here's, a way you can use your smartphone for good rather than for evil get an app on your smartphone that that is a voice recorder, a lot of smart phones now come with those, okay, and when? That way, if you're at a meeting and you can't really sit down and write out your own summary, then pop the cell phone in front of you, turn on the app, walk and summarize the meeting to yourself. In fact, it turns out it doesn't really matter if you ever listen to that summary again, it is in part the act of producing the summary that will help you to remember it later. So so, really, what that means is you don't really need the app. Yeah, it's, just that it's it's really awkward to walk around talking to yourself, so I strongly recommend using this for social cover, okay, just talk into it and walk around and that'll that will really help you to remember it later. Um, one other thing I should add on this. A lot of people ask me when we talk about multi tasking, what about taking notes while I'm while I'm listening to something? It turns out taking notes could be a really good thing. There's actually, a beautiful study that just came out by a friend of mine, a cook named any oppenheimer, and he actually found the taking notes really benefits you from, um, uh, when you're when you're learning something new, but what you want to do when you're taking notes is to take the notes longhand, so you notice everybody here's got a pen and a piece of paper, and they're writing them out don't take notes on the laptop now, why? Why don't you want to take notes on the laptop? Well, because most of us are pretty good at typing were fast enough, a typing, actually that were able to type what the speaker is saying as they're saying it, which means we don't really think about what they're saying we just type everything that they're saying and even if you read those notes a week later what you're getting is is just the speech that they said without all of the context so it's far better to write the notes out longhand where you can't write down everything that they said and so you have to think about it and taken note that is conceptually related to what it is that the person just said again even if you're even if you're taking a test on this or are needing that information a week later so taking notes is a good thing because it's not really multi tasking it's just a further engagement with the material that you were that you were learning okay, so this is what you need to do to remember stuff it turns out that you can use this same information to influence the way that you present yourself to other people and this is extraordinarily important whether you have the opportunity to get up and give a class like this but but even imagine that what you're doing is giving a pitch right your job is to pitch your new business to somebody you need to remember that people are going to remember roughly three things about your presentation and so you need to organize your presentation around those three things and make sure that everybody gets the three things that you want them to remember and this involves using the age old by advice about giving presentations right, credited to lots of different people including abraham lincoln right tell people what you're going to tell him then tell him then tell him what you told him now it seems trite, but we forget to do this. I mean, how many times have you been to a presentation where somebody launches into something their presentation goes all over the place they ramble from topic to topic with no particular rhyme or reason to it and then they finish and say thank you, which is the universal signal for please applaud now okay, that doesn't help people to remember and in fact a lot of times, particularly a things like business pitches and meetings people are so excited to get up in front of you that they want to launch into every single thing that they know about in order I guess to blow you away with how much they know and as a result they forget that less is more it's really valuable to focus yourself on roughly three things that you want people to learn and then tow focus on those three things repeatedly, right? Tell him tell him what you're going to tell him tell him what you told him so you start with an advance organizer, right? Remember when I started this unit, there were three ish things that that that we're here to tell you this is what we're going to do then this is what we did, and in a minute or two, uh, I'm going to tell you what we did right now, the reason for doing this is that you, as the presenter, are now leading people through the three course stages of what they need in order to remember things as well as possible. Okay, so part of what you want to do then is to make use of what you've just learned about memory, to help people to learn. So there are two things you want to do in your presentations, right? One is to find ways to connect what you're telling people to stuff they already know, because memories all about those kinds of connections. And then the other thing you want to do is to give people opportunities to actually produce stuff for themselves because it turns out that memory is an active process, and if all you ever do is talk to people and nobody ever does anything, they're not going to learn stuff. This is one of the reasons I keep asking questions, because I want you all to be engaging with the material and not just hearing it, we have a very strange relationship to the way that we learn things. In the world right now think about it like this how many? Well so how many of you play ah sport or a musical instrument or anything like that? Anybody okay out there? Few people okay, how many of you would ever consider learning to play a musical instrument or a sport without actually doing something without actually, you know, kicking the ball or playing the instrument you'd never do that that would be ridiculous and yet when we learn things we think it's just acceptable to read something over or listen to something oh, I heard this great lecture and now I know how to do this or I just you know, my kids would come down for a test that they had in high school and they say I've got a history test tomorrow and I'd be like, yeah, what did you do? I read the chapter awesome and you're just gonna have to read the questions uh, no, I'm gonna have to answer questions great go back up and answer some questions right? We have to practice the mental things we do in the same way that we practice the physical things we do and yet we don't we don't really think of these mental skills as being physical, but your brain is a physical entity, it is a part of your body and it needs to produce things in the same way that that you need to produce a tennis swing. O r a new line on a saxophone. Okay, so we need to get into the habit of doing things in an active way, okay? And so you can help people to do that by asking questions by forcing people to commit to things you know, you could ask yourself, why? Why did you have to fill out a questionnaire at the beginning of this class? Right? One of the reasons for it is to force you to commit to this is what I know. This is what I don't know, right? That's important to you know, one of the things that you may find in giving presentations is that you get to the end of it. People go, I already knew all of that, okay? Because the problem is when you get to the end of it and you feel like you know it, you think, oh, I must always have known this it's hard to get back to the state of mind when you didn't know it. So one of the ways that you can help people to recognize what it is they've just learned is by getting them to commit to what they believed before they learned anything, and now when you get to the end of it, you can look back and go. Holy cow, I guess I didn't know that before, right and that's a really valuable part of helping people to recognize what it is that they've gotten out of an experience. So when you're trying to present information to people, force them to make commitments to what they know, then help them to bridge the gap between what they know right now and what you'd like them to know, and then summarized it for them put people in a situation in which they have to give that summary in order to make sure that they are solidifying what they're goingto learn from the experience, and then and then, you know, and then encourage people to take a nap afterwards, but try not to give presentations that forced to get people to take a nap during that's just another helpful presentation. Any questions on this before we, uh, before we give that summary to you? All right, so let's, start by you just, you know, asking the question, how how is this going to help you to develop better habits? Okay, you want to be in a situation in which you don't leave your memory for things up to chance, and I do this up front in this class because we're gonna spend the next three days together, so we may as well all maximize what going to get out of this and we're going to be creating a new habit as we go along, so feel free to use this organizer you know, if you want to try this in the next unit tto help you organize what it is that you're going to take away from our understanding of habits in the next section because it turns out that in your life it is the quality of what you know that determines how effectively you work in the world. It is not how fast your brain works it is not how many digits you can hold in memory at the same time it is not your ability to fill in the third word when you get two words that are somewhat related to each other, right? It is none of these abstract things your ability to be smart is crucially dependent on what you know einstein would not have been einstein if he had garbage in his head, right no matter what his brain did, it was because he filled his mind with high quality knowledge that he was a smart person and we want to make sure that each of us develops a new habit to maximize the quality of what we know and to make everybody else around us smarter and better informed by influencing what it is that they know okay, so we really want to make sure that we're organized when we're learning stuff so here it is, there's. My summary. See three things. We're gonna we're gonna practice what we preach here. Today. Your mental world happens in threes, ok, all the way from the level of who did what to whom to, you know, remembering some digits and memory. And most importantly, you remember approximately three things it's about every situation that you encounter in the world, and you need to use that piece of information, that bit of information, to influence the way that you learn new things. You need to use it to influence what it is that other people are going to learn from their encounters with you. So when you're learning new things, that means that you need to prepare yourself to learn, bring things to mind and get yourself ready. Tto, learn them, focus on them, stamp out multi tasking. Don't worry so much about your getting older because remember, the more you know, the easier it is for you to learn things recognized by the way that if you switch fields, for example, you're going to feel a little bit lost for a while because they're going to be times where you realize, wow, this domain of expertise I had doesn't apply so well at this other place. And so one of the things that you want to do is to give yourself permission not to be his effective a learner when you're learning something brand new, and to recognize that that's normal that's not a sign of of age or inability, it's just a sign that you're venturing into something new and it's valuable to go through that experience because you never know where the next good idea is going to come from, learn new things, don't just learn stuff that's already in your area of expertise, okay? And, uh and then summarize things to yourself. When you're done, make sure that you give that summary actively, right? Make sure that you become an active lerner and finally, when you're influencing what people remember about you remember, tell people what you're going to tell him, tell him and tell him what you told him. Encourage other people to step through the same process with you, and if you do those things, then you've developed an initial set of habits that makes you more effective across the whole range of things that you're going to do in your life. Any final questions here for any of the students before we head out e I was just thinking about this contrast of of learning, and I was thinking about a professor in college macroeconomics, and not only did you give the syllabus out at the beginning of the semester, body gave all his lecture notes, and he said that students learned better when he did that, even though fewer students showed up to class. But I noticed the same thing when I took a ah, an exercise boot camp, they gave specific workouts for each class before you showed up, more people signed up, but fewer people showed up. I don't know what the results were the people who did show, but I just I'm wondering if you give people, you know, tell him what you're gonna tell me if you give them all the information upfront, preloaded, do they learn better? Um, right, that's a great question, and the answer is yes and no, um, it is valuable to give people the information that you don't want them to have to learn. In the moment, or to pay attention to in the moment. So for example, if I I also give all my lecture notes out to students before class on die, tell axl I tell people I had a time, I'm giving you these because they don't want you writing down what's on my slides, I want you writing down what you're thinking about. I also tell people, and I did a little bit of empirical work on this in my classes when I had small enough classes that I knew who was in class and who wasn't if you don't come to class, you're going to do about a full letter grade worse in the class, then if you do come to class, so there is a temptation to think, well, I've got all the notes, that's all I need, you still need to do the work, right? And just like you're not going, you're not goingto get fit and trim by just looking at the exercises, right? So it can be really valuable when used in the right way to give people the information in advance, but but I recommend telling people where they're going to go off the rails, right? I I'm a big believer in giving people is much information about how they're going to think about things as possible, so, you know, give people the notes and say, you know what? There's going to be a temptation now that you have the notes not to listen to what I'm saying don't do that right? You want what I'm going to be doing is embellishing on these notes, I'm going to be adding to those these notes are there so that you don't have to write that down, and you can write what it is that my conversation sparks in you because that's the thing right each of us comes to every situation with our own knowledge base. So what? My goal is a speaker is not to transmit every single thing in my brain to everything that's in your brain that's sort of like the matrix, right? That whole nio thinks I know kung fu, right, that that doesn't happen. What the words, the words that I speak right now, you are setting off little fireworks in your head that are based on what it is you already know, and they're going to set off different fireworks in everybody, else's heads because of what they know, and if you don't put yourself in the situation of hearing that, then you lose that opportunity to really connect all of that information to the to the new things so used properly, I think giving people your notes, giving people all of that information up front is great. But you have to warn people that there's a danger that they might think they know it already now, and you really don't want to do that now we're going to a quick recap, everything that's coming up, but I know in the next segment we're talking a little bit about making and using habits anything you want to tell everyone about that? Well, you know, this is the core of what we're up to write. I wanted to start by by thinking about how to learn effectively so that we're all on the same page and weakened nail everything we're about to do, but you're all here because you want to develop better habits, and that means we need to understand what habits are, how you, how you build him on dh what's required for habit changed because once we understand that we put ourselves in a position to then be ableto actually generate the plans we need to make change great. Now, before we head out, I do have a few things I want to share from the chat rooms, and this quote comes from mad panda, and they say, I'm still shocked that I've been going about habitual life all wrong good thing art markman is here to save my brain. We're all fortunate that he's here there's gonna be a lot more to learn, so that's only the beginning. Stick around for more. Ah, quick update on exactly what's coming up now, we break this down into three separate sessions. Within each session, we have four segments, so this first segment, we just talked about the role of three. But coming up we'll be making and using habits, followed by motivation, the stop and go system, and then creating good plans in session to we're going to be talking about no yourself basic personality, followed by no yourself, advanced personality, influence, used the environment and influence. Use your neighbors, and finally, in session three, we'll be talking about feelings and emotions, asking, why, using knowledge and defining problems.