Acquiring knowledge… Something that sounds attractive but can be really challenging at some times. In this article I will help you to find ways to acquire more knowledge, retain the acquired knowledge and how to apply the things you learn.
The desire for knowledge
Some of us go through life with a low level of curiosity. Those people are comfortable with who they are and where they are in life. But some of us, want more. We are curious and have questions about certain things and desire answers.
If you acquire more knowledge you will most likely acquire more perspective. This can improve your self-awareness and might give you some answers. But most likely the answers you will get, will only provide more questions.
Knowledge is power. But knowledge about yourself is selfempowerment.Dr. Joe Dispenza
Where to acquire knowledge from
Finding sources for knowledge can be difficult if you do not know where to look. Below I will share my favorite sources when it comes to acquiring knowledge.
Reading books. Quite obvious, isn’t it? Well, you are right.
Reading books might sound old-school, but it is simply the best way to acquire the knowledge you desire. Books are loaded with value and will give you insights. They can even change your perspective on certain things in life.
Besides that, reading books has a lot of other benefits. Reading books will improve your memory, imagination, focus and concentration.
Is this the Inception? Probably, because on this blog I am going to advise you to read more blogs.
Blogs are convenient, if you find the right ones. If you want to acquire more knowledge about a specific subject I am sure there will be countless blogs that will cover it.
Try to find blogs that provide you the knowledge you desire. This can be a blog about a specific niche/subject, but it can also be a blog that goes really broad. If you find some blogs you like, subscribe to them by signing up for their newsletter.
Subscribing to the newsletter of a blog can be efficient. Most blogs send you a automated mail when they upload a new post. This way you do not need to remind yourself of checking out different blogs, you will simply get notifications in your mail.
Youtube, the double-edged sword of the internet. It is a great website for some escapism: forgetting about all your worries and just zoning out by watching some entertaining videos.
However, at the same time Youtube is one the best websites if you want to acquire more knowledge. It is loaded with valuable content in all branches and niches you can think of. Use that to your advantage.
Want to acquire more knowledge about real estate? Look for channels about real estate and subscribe to the ones who you like.
Want to acquire more knowledge about fitness as well? Look for channels about fitness and also subscribe to those.
You get the point. Use Youtube to your advantage. Learn and entertain yourself at the same time. My advice to you is to make a new Youtube account and only subscribe to channels where you acquire more knowledge from than you already have. That way you have Youtube loaded with valuable content and no non-sense.
Podcasting is a form of audio broadcasting on the internet. Just like Youtube Channels there are also a lot of podcasts that are linked to a certain branch or niche.
Unlike Youtube, you do not have to look at a screen (video) to absorb all the information. You can just listen along. This makes podcasts a really efficient way to acquire more knowledge.
Utilize your time by running podcasts in the background. For example: you can listen to a podcast while cleaning the house, driving or commuting to work, hitting the gym, cooking, etc.
You can find podcasts on Youtube and on different apps on your phone. I use the ‘Podcast’ app on my iPhone most of the time, because you can use it to subscribe to podcasts.
Studying at a college or university can be beneficial if there is no other way to learn the things you desire to learn or if it is the only way you can achieve your dreams.
At a college or university you can acquire more knowledge from the lectures, assignments and your peers. However, in most countries it is really expensive and the chance you will get in debt is huge. My advice is to only consider studying at a college or university when it is the only way to achieve the things you want to achieve.
My advice would be to follow courses if you cannot acquire the desired knowledge on your own. Courses are less expensive and usually contain more value. Try to find courses that not only focus on the knowledge you want to acquire but also on the skill(s) you want to develop around it.
Most of us grew up with a mentor in our live who inspired us to do better and showed us the way. But as most people grow older and become adults they forget the importance of having a mentor.
It is crucial to find a mentor that will help you and take you on. This mentor can also be a person on the internet or an author of books. However, a real mentor can introduce you to concepts and values that are not being shared on the internet. My advice is to find a mentor who is at a place where you wish to go.
If you want to start your own business, look for a person in your area that started his/her own business and introduce yourself. Be humble, ask for advice and build rapport. Even from one simple conversation you can acquire more knowledge than from reading an entire book about business. And maybe the person will even take you under his/her wing.
Retaining the acquired knowledge
Now, when you want to acquire more knowledge it is of course crucial that you also retain the knowledge. If you already have a method of retaining the knowledge you learn and are used to that, then keep doing that. If not, I will share some of my most efficient ways to retain the acquired knowledge.
Take notes while you are absorbing the knowledge. Write your insights down. Do not type them. Writing engages and stimulates your brain more than typing. Which makes it easier to retain the acquired knowledge.
Link the knowledge
Link your knowledge to a larger conceptual framework that you already have. When you absorb the knowledge, think about in which category it belongs. Your brain is basically a network of information. Categorize the knowledge and it will be easier for your brain to retain.
Share the knowledge
Sharing your knowledge with others means that you have to understand the knowledge yourself first. When you understand the knowledge and can teach it to others, you will retain the knowledge way better through the interaction you are having with that person.
Besides that, teaching another person means they can give you direct feedback on how you understand the knowledge yourself and they can give you (new) insights as well.
Applying the acquired knowledge
The most difficult and overlooked aspect of acquiring knowledge: application.
Some of us have already experienced it. You are on your road to acquiring the desired knowledge and before you know it you are spending ungodly amounts of time consuming information. Your curiosity keeps growing. You are aware of the fact that you need to retain the knowledge and you try your hardest to do so.
But, then there is this one aspect lingering in the background: the application of the knowledge you acquired. It might even be the most important aspect about acquiring knowledge.
My advice would be to ask yourself questions while you are acquiring and retaining the knowledge. Ask questions which lead to application. Questions yourself questions like:
-Which three things can I implement in my daily life after reading this book?
-Why did this knowledge change my perspective and how can it impact a situation in my life?
Questions are a powerful tool towards application. But, there comes a lot more to it. I will write a more detailed blog post on how to apply the knowledge you acquired. For now: use the suggested sources to find the knowledge you desire. Retain it. And try to apply it.