A learning strategy

Read in 3 minutes ·

For the past two years I have become increasingly interested in getting to know why I wasn’t getting the results I wanted in certain areas of my life, like fitness or finance. I felt some of the answers I was given in my local community (close friends and family) were either contradictory, shallow or simply non-existing. And even when the answer was correct, the reason was not very clear.

That’s when I realised that whatever I have achieved in my life, was mostly because I had someone in my local community whom I could learn from, either by listening or observing, and then applied a few of those lessons to my own context and goals.

But how can I invest my money if none of my friends have done it before? How can I get in shape if my cousin doesn’t know what triggered her weight loss? It’s obvious that I need information but personal mentors/trainers are expensive and there are thousands of books to choose from.

The answer is, online communities.

For many years, there were dedicated communities on the internet where anyone could sign up for anywhere in the world. However, that alone didn’t solve the problem because unless you knew someone inside that community, you probably wouldn’t know it existed.

That’s when networks of communities, like Reddit, come into play. Networks of communities interconnect people’s many shared interests and enable us to explore and discover communities with knowledge that we would otherwise have no access to.

I realize now that I have learnt successfully about the basics of relationships, nutrition, fitness, personal finances and investing just by joining reddit and reading the recommended beginner’s books about these topics without ever writing a single comment.

Unintentionally, I have developed the following strategy:

  1. Open your search engine of choice and search for a question or topic preceded by the word reddit, ex: “reddit best books about money” Select the first search results and browse a few related reddit threads as well.
  2. Search for a subreddit (community) dedicated to the topic you want to learn about. Pay special attention to the date of its recent posts and the number of members, to make sure the subreddit is thriving.
  3. Search for a beginner’s thread (usually sticky) and read the recommended books section. Check each book’s ratings on Goodreads, Amazon, or any other platform with product reviews.
  4. Read the book, take notes and create a set of actions to do.
  5. Congratulations! Now you probably know more about a specific topic than anyone in your local community.
  6. (Optional) Get back on reddit and/or your local community and contribute with your experience by sharing what you learnt.
  7. (Optional) Check the references and bibliography of that book if you want to expand on adjacent topics or learn more advanced content.

This might seem obvious but you will be surprised by the results you will get.

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