The Most Important Thing To Remember

This is the simplest rule in learning. It is the most important rule. Yet it is the one almost everyone forgets, or doesn’t even know.

Never banalize information!

Never say: “I won’t use this?” Never say: “I’m just learning this to pass a test.” Never say: “Once I’m done with this, I’m going to forget it.” Because if you do, you’ll never remember it in the first place.

The Von Restorf effect tells us that unique or strange things are easy to remember. But more powerful than that is: relevant things are the easiest to remember.

Make learning it fun!

The best way to make something relevant, is to make it pleasant and pleasurable. People love joy. People love being happy, having a good time, seeing something funny. How often have you come out of a movie that you laughed at, and you’re able to quote your favorite jokes?

Anything can be made fun, you have to believe that. Even the most boring thing, even the periodic table of elements, can be fun. (How about an evil mutated science teacher that can only be destroyed by mixing all the elements together in order into an obscenely shaped suppository and shooting it at him from a hairspray powered potato canon?)

Think about video games. How many video game players develop a curiously encyclopedic knowledge of weapons and gear, stats, strategies, and paths to favorite raiding locations? There are people in the world who know their way around Azeroth or Nullsec better than they could navigate their own home town!

Because knowing the shortest path, or knowing the right combination of weapons and armor leads to success, and success is the most fun thing of all. Nothing beats winning for a shot of awesome.

About Jason

I am a 31 year old programmer living in the south of France. I currently work actively in the fields of Ruby/PHP/Javascript and server/website administration.
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