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“In order to keep up with the world of 2050, you will need not merely to invent new ideas and products but above all to reinvent yourself again and again.”

— Yuval Noah Harari

The most important skill anybody can learn is the ability to learn rare and useful skills on-demand.

The reasons are simple:

  • To succeed over our entire career, we’ll need to learn dozens of new skills.

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Over the last five years, I’ve spent over a thousand hours uncovering the most surprising and important learning habits of the world’s top innovators, like Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos.

More recently, I’ve realized there is a deeper pattern that connects all these innovators together. That pattern is what I call hidden games.

Most people play popular games — games with predefined boundaries that are played in crowded sandboxes. Popular games are often those with the most short-term, concrete rewards. …

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We know we’re living in the next generation’s history book. We just don’t know the name of the chapter… yet.

It’s hard to see past the fog of the moment amidst all of the conflicting daily updates.

Right now, it feels like our world is falling apart. But when future commentators look back, they’ll see the world that emerged more than the one that was lost. The ups and downs that obsess us now will be smoothed out by time.

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It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Futurists from the 20th century predicted that labor saving devices would make leisure abundant. According to the great economist John Maynard Keynes, the big challenge would be that…

“For the first time since his creation man will be faced with his real, his permanent problem — how to use his freedom from pressing economic cares, how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have won for him, to live wisely and agreeably and well.”

— John Maynard Keynes (1930)

Fast forward almost a century later.

Things didn’t quite go as…

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Credit: mohamed Abdelgaffar

This article is like one of those movies that shows you the final scene first and then uses the rest of the movie to explain the ending.

So here’s the ending…

  1. Reality is fed to us through a straw (algorithmic newsfeeds).

Mix all these together and what you have is a cold war for our…

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“The greatest CEOs that we ever studied manage for the quarter… century.” ― Jim Collins

Over the last 5 years, I’ve spent hundreds of hours studying and writing about self-made billionaire entrepreneurs like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Ray Dalio, and Elon Musk. These innovators have built multi-decade track records like few others in history. Cumulatively, they have donated tens of billions of dollars and helped create world-changing products. In other words, the planet would be very different right now if they had never been born.

One of the most surprising patterns they all share is that they see…

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This is the mental equivalent of eating McDonald’s every day.

Have you ever wondered why the Internet seems to be making people stupider rather than smarter? Even the smartest, most successful, most disciplined people are being affected.

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I don’t know what I think until I write it down.” ― Joan Didion

It is peculiar irony in life that the fastest and best way to learn something is to give it to others as soon as you learn it — not to hog it yourself.

Knowledge wants to be free. To rest in other people’s minds. To connect to other knowledge. It’s an innately social organism.

Therefore, teaching is knowledge’s oxygen.

In teaching what you learn as soon as you learn it, magical things happen before, during, and after:

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Research confirms.

Have you ever wondered…

What’s the fastest, most effective way to learn?

What’s the secret to remembering what you learn?

When it comes to learning how to learn, these are the big questions. If you have a better answer to them, you will be more successful. Period.

Learning faster than others is the ultimate, lasting competitive advantage. Self-made billionaire Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s long-time business partner, captures this truism in the following quote:

“Without Warren Buffett being a learning machine, the [Berkshire Hathaway investing] record would have been absolutely impossible. The same is true at lower walks of life. I…

When Bill Gates first met Warren Buffett, their host, Gates’ mother, asked everyone around the table to share the single most important factor to their success. Gates and Buffett both gave the same one-word answer: “Focus.”

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When I tell people that Warren Buffett follows the 5-Hour Rule and spends 80% of his time reading and thinking, they have an immediate and predictable reaction: “Well, he can do that because he’s Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world. I could never do that.”

While this response may help people feel better about themselves, it certainly won’t make them smarter.

Because the reality is: Buffett has spent most of his time reading and thinking since he was in grade school. Having more money or managing a large company doesn’t magically give you free time.


Michael Simmons

I teach people to learn HOW to learn / Serial entrepreneur / Bestselling author / Contributor: Time, Fortune, and Harvard Business Review

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