#11: The Truest Way to Learn

Knowing ≠ Learning

#11: The Truest Way to Learn
Photo from GetYarn

When reading, instead of memorizing details you won't use (as we're taught in school), focus on the character-building elements of the material. As Ryan Holiday writes, "We're not trying to ace tests or impress teachers. We are reading and studying to live, to be good human beings—always and forever."

Knowing is not enough.

One of the concepts I've learned from the course The Science of Well-Being is the G.I. Joe fallacy. This is the mistaken idea that "knowing" is half the battle. According to Professor Laurie Santos of Yale University, "Merely knowing something is not enough to put it into practice, it's not enough to change one's behavior."

We have to regularly practice what we're learning to develop a skill or habit—or to build our character.

In a similar sentiment, Epictetus reminds us, “Don't just say you have read books. Show that through them you have learned to think better, to be a more discriminating and reflective person. Books are the training weights of the mind. They are very helpful, but it would be a bad mistake to suppose that one has made progress simply by having internalized their contents.”

"The most important knowledge is that which guides the way you lead your life." — Seneca

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