During my teenage years, I am so fond of reading books, I believed the most effective way of learning is to read through books on your own. By learning through books I don’t mean the Formal Education1 but, a learning method similar to Homeschooling with a difference is I choose what I want to read.
It made sense when I learned how long I can through a shot put2 ball with fundamental laws of motion and Newtons’ gravitational law. At that time, It felt like a superpower. I could see the change in gravitation pull as you moved towards/away from the ground.
With thorough and rigorous thought, I can simplify the complex problem into a much simpler one. In schools they didn’t teach me these interesting topics, instead, they taught me the other topics which I find less amusing. I used to be self-fulfilled with my thoughts (confirmation bias).
well, that worked as a teenage boy with the pure intention of general curiosity on how stuff works until I joined college where everyone trying to figure out what to do for the rest of their life with the guarantee provided by another set of people who don’t have much clue yet, confidently tells others what works and what won’t.
During my early college days, whenever I started a project I get bogged down to details, I failed to complete it. I found it less productive so, I made a tweak on my approach by jumping straight into solving the problems first, quickly via shortcuts/hacks without any prior preparation to conform to peers and try to learn it later.
At first, This seems to be an effective method (at least with peers), but it isn’t. Unless you are looking at the urgent immediate problems or solving the least explored problem. With this method Most of the time I ended up replicating sub-optimal solutions to my problem or mindlessly trying everything without the sense of what or how it is working until something comes up.
Most people succeed in their academics not by learning the entire curriculum, but by learning the top (at most) 20 topics told by their academic personnel3.
I think the right kind of learning starts with curiosity followed by involving both theoretical understanding and practical work through at right proportion. If you are just learning without doing it then, you learned less or you are lazy. If you just focused on just showing off without intellectual understanding then, you learned wrong or you doing it for others.
It’s not something you do it once and then forget it. It’s a continuous process acted upon a vast variety of different settings, along with a less errored feedback mechanism to correct it along the way.