Back in the 1970's two remarkable behavioral scientists asked the question:  How is it that some people just learn things faster than others?  These two scientists, John Grinder and Richard Bandler, were teaching some classes and noticed that some students picked up the techniques they were teaching much more quickly than others. They decided to interview these highly effective learners to discover what they were doing in their minds that allowed them to apply new material quickly.

After interviewing several fast learners, they discovered that people who learn things quickly follow the same mental process. They found that effective learners had a natural ability to ‘rehearse’ something in their mind before actually doing it. Mental rehearsals allowed them to easily install new habits or behaviors that they wanted to do in the future.  They mapped out this process, and then created a simple 'technique' anyone could use to learn new things quickly.

Want to learn a new golf swing technique? A new dance move? How to make your hair look the way your hairdresser does when you are at the salon? Or nail that big presentation you have to give at work? Follow this strategy anytime you want to quickly learning something new. For example, I personally use this strategy every time I am at my workout class and the instructor shows us a new move.  I get it in a few seconds and notice I do the move near flawlessly right away while the rest of the class fumbles. The first couple of times you use this process it might take you a few minutes.  You'll get fast at it and be able to move through these steps in just a few seconds.

How to learn new things quickly, step-by-step:

1.   Identify something you want to learn how to do. Break the steps down into appropriate chunk sizes so you can learn the pieces that make up the whole if it's too big to learn all at once.

2.   If you have someone teaching you this information, watch this person very closely. Make a mental recording of it.  For example, if you have someone teaching you a new golf swing, watch this person do it and remember what they did.

3.   Once you have a clear model of the desired behavior, imagine there is a virtual movie screen in front of you. Watch a mental movie of yourself on this screen and notice what you are doing NOW. If you are trying to learn a new golf swing, watch a mental movie of how you are currently swinging the club.

4.   Next, watch a movie of you doing the new desired behavior. For example, watch yourself swinging the golf club in the way you WANT to be swinging it. Notice yourself swinging the club in the same way your instructor modeled it for you.

5.   Once you see yourself doing the new behavior and it feels right, step into the movie and rehearse it being in it and experience it as if you were actually doing it. Move your body, say things to yourself. Really get into the act of doing the behavior as if you were really doing it. For example, physically practice the new golf swing with a club in your hands (real or imaginary). Rehearse it until it physically feels right. Make any necessary adjustments.

6.   Imagine doing that new behavior in the future. Watch yourself doing this new behavior 1 week in the future, 1 month in the future, 6 months in the future, etc. Think of doing it with different people in different situations.

This rapid learning technique can be used for almost anything. If you have a big presentation to give, watch a mental movie of yourself giving the presentation perfectly, then step into the movie and physically rehearse it until it feels like you have it just right.  Then imagine seeing yourself giving this presentation perfectly in the future. You'll be amazed at how fast you'll learn new things when you follow this technique.

 

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