Thursday, September 2, 2010

Use It Or Lose It!

If you're like me (and I know I am) you learn something new everyday.  Part of that is because I truly am addicted to learning so I seek out ways to learn new things as much as possible.  The other part has to do with being human and facing personal, professional, social, and spiritual challenges on a regular basis.

The problem is putting what I learn into practice.  I may hear something profound in a sermon, at a conference, or from a mentor or friend and want to come back and put that into practice...but never do.  I might read something in a book, blog, or on twitter that totally changes my perspective...for a few minutes.  Then I start doing something else, get back into my routine, and forget all about it. 

Here are a few things that have helped me remember what I learn.

1.  Apply it to you.  Great teachers make information relevant to students.  Great students make information relevant on their own.  Think about how this new information connects to what you already know.

2.  Summarize it.  It's hard to remember everything. Constantly be looking or listening for the main idea, the one thing you can take away from any book, conference, lesson, sermon, etc...

3.  Use it or lose it!  If you don't use what you have learned within 48 hours, chances are you will lose it.  

4.  Tell someone.  When you tell someone what you learned it does a few things.  It helps you remember because you have to put it in your own words.  It helps you decide if you agree with it enough to put your name on the idea.  It also makes you think more about it if someone begins to ask questions.  Many people believe you truly haven't mastered a subject or skill until you have taught it.

You learn something new everyday.  Do something with it!

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