Learning

I don't have a prescribed method as to how to learn. As I reflect on it, I think such a process is continuously evolving. Every individual pushes their mind to adapt to new information in different ways. And that approach is relative to the person.

It's also worth recognising there's never a persistent method we can rely on throughout our lives. How we absorb information in our infancy and through adolescence is not the same as we process new things as adults. Some are capable of learning from a book, others learn by doing, while a few lucky ones inherently see connections without understanding precisely what they're looking at.

I think as we mature and continue learning for growth, we have to regularly assess our skills and abilities to acquire knowledge. Experiment with new methods of exposing ourselves to information where it's interesting enough to keep one's momentum. Otherwise, the interest subsides over time.

I have also come to realise the importance of underlying emotions we associate with what we're learning. If we derive little joy out of doing something, in the long run, the ability to understand the fundamentals will lessen. Of course, there are times where something we enjoy infuriates us. That's to be expected. It's how we react to the emotion that determines our ability to grow from the experience.

Along with understanding our emotions is a necessity to understand what motivates us to push forward into something new. A lot of people look outside of themselves for motivators. Whether it's material possessions, status, internal drive to overcome a perceived slight, as previously mentioned, such things are relative to an individual. I've encountered many people with different motivating factors. For myself, the hunger to understand something enough where it affords me insight into life is a persistent goal for me.

I would also encourage time for reflection. Whether through meditation, running, swimming, being in nature, or simply walking to process newly handled information. I often go for long walks where I think of nothing else other than the path ahead of me. It's something that's proven useful for many people to handle complex problems away from the desk.

My Process

I don't have any books or authors to recommend. Where I've gained success is through experimentation. In the past, I would read and ask questions of people who knew the subject matter better than me, but as I've matured, I've embraced new ideas of processing information.

Audio

When I lost my eyesight in late 2018 and then dealt with continued issues as I recovered in 2019, I found listening with intent to be of great benefit for the comprehension of difficult material.

Listening with intent is hearing and reading a text simultaneously with heightened focus. It's a method of improving the mind's mental agility by continually testing its ability to concentrate. I seldom have issues where I'm stuck reading the same paragraph over and over again with this approach as it helps push my mind through the hurdles and while blocking out distractions.

An unexpected byproduct of such a strategy is that it's helped identify essential items in the text faster than before. I would recommend apps like Voice Dream to use for processing written information.Listening to podcasts and audiobooks at speeds of 2.5x-3.0x while also removing the unnecessary pauses helps improve one's mental concentration. While in the beginning, everything sounds like gibberish, over time, the mind can comprehend content much faster than we can imagine.

Video

I love to watch videos to mine for something new, but in every hour-long one, there's likely only a few minutes of valuable information. If a video is on YouTube, I make use of the speed options and adjust the speed to process the content quicker.

Watching video material at a faster clip helps avoid passively missing something because my attention is focused on what I'm digesting. I've made use of online tools like YouTube-Dl to strip away the content for me to process better in applications like VLC.

Programming and Mathematics

I'm a terrible programmer, but it wasn't for the lack of trying. I spent years working as a UI engineer, building web and mobile applications. Yet, even a month after writing something for a project, I had little understanding of what I created. And why is that? Because I understand the world both visually and orally.

Programming, for the most part, is done in the abstract. While I can imagine complicated things visually, the process of programming, whether with PHP, Python, or any other language, is difficult. I often ask friends who are better at programming how to navigate complex code concepts.

As for math, I've spent the past couple of years making use of Khan Academy, purchasing books, and watching YouTube channels like 3Blue1Brown on complex mathematics. I also cheat by asking my father-in-law questions on concepts I'm unable to grasp as he's a retired mathematician and physicist.

Notes

While I take notes on things I'm reading for later reflection, I don't take them for the act of memorising. It's either I know it, or I don't. Rote memorisation through the repeated review of collected notes is a common practice for many learners, but it's not possible for everyone. Probably why I did so poorly in class. Learning in the context of a school is staggered with short and immediate goals through a catalogue of quizzes, tests, and exams. But that's not learning for growth.

Design Abilities

  • Product Strategy
  • Visual Design
  • UI/UX Design
  • User Centered Design
  • Design Mentoring
  • Usability Research
  • Design Systems

Trading Skills

  • Probability Analysis
  • Financial Markets
  • Trading Strategies
  • Derivatives
  • Options
  • Equity Trading
  • Futures Trading