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Now displaying: June, 2017
Jun 30, 2017

In Western society, many of us have now accepted the belief that productivity and efficiency are the foundations for success and happiness. While having some systems in place is important to reduce stress, the truth is that many of us stray towards the other extreme by trying to control everything about our environments and ourselves.

Not only does this obsession with control reduce the quality of our learning and daily experience, it can also harm the creative process by getting us stuck in fixed routines that prevent us from pursuing novel experiences.

In this short episode, Will Reynolds, writer, videographer and all around MetaLearner, joins me to discuss a range of topics including:

- The problems with worshipping at the altar of productivity
- The importance of constraints for the creative process
- Why productivity and creativity are not always competing forces and how to balance them

So whether you're curious about about productivity techniques, want to learn more about the creative process or want to find a way to balance these forces in your life, this episode will give you all that and much more.

Jun 27, 2017

Nelson Dellis is a 4x US Memory Champion and one of the leading memory experts in the world. He’s also the Founder of Climb For Memory, a non-profit charity that aims to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's research through mountain climbs around the world.

Memory is a critical part of learning anything but we’re never taught how to use it properly. In fact, many people simply assume they have a bad memory when the truth is that all of us have the capacity to remember astounding amounts of information.

Nelson is a perfect example of someone who started out with an average memory like the rest of us and trained himself into one of the world’s leading memory athletes through consistent deliberate practice.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:

- The techniques Nelson and all competitive memory athletes to memorise everything from names and faces, to decks of cards
- The importance of regular mental training for mental health
- The life lessons Nelson has learned from mountain climbing

You’ll also learn what it’s like to climb Everest and Kilimanjaro, compete at the World Memory Championships and memorise 200 names in 15 minutes. So whether you’re a beginner just looking to remember more names at work, or want to memorise huge quantities of information, this episode will give the principles and techniques needed to succeed.

Jun 22, 2017

"What's the point of school?" is a question that’s been asked for hundreds of years. It’s a question that some of history’s greatest thinkers have spent their entire lives trying to answer.  

But we still don’t seem to have an answer that most people would agree with. If anything, the debate about what should be going on in schools and universities is getting fiercer with every year that passes.

In this short episode, Will Reynolds, writer, videographer and all around MetaLearner, joins me to discuss a range of topics including:

- The difference between learning and education and why it matters
- The harmful mindsets that education instils in us and how to combat them
- How the method of teaching has evolved in schools across history

So whether you're curious about the effects that the educational system has on us or just want to learn more about what some of history’s greatest thinkers have contributed to the debate, this episode will give you all that and much more.

Jun 20, 2017

Will Reynolds is a videographer, writer and all around MetaLearner who has become a regular fixture on the MetaLearn podcast in our weekly short form conversations on learning and skill acquisition. 

We’re currently living in a world where it’s possible to learn almost any skill given the resources we have available for almost no cost. But taking advantage of these resources, learning hard skills and making a living from them is not without its challenges. 

Will is a perfect example of an autodidact who has taken control of his own learning and taught himself skills, including writing and videography, that he now earns a living from. 

In this conversation, we discuss a range of topics including:

- How to go from novice to getting paid for new skills like videography
- The importance of cultivating transferable MetaSkills
- The lessons we can learn from autodidacts like Eminem and Frank Zappa 

So whether you’re looking to pick up hard skills and get paid for them, upgrade your transferable toolkit or navigate the challenges of being an autodidact, this episode will give you all that and much more.

Jun 15, 2017

Technology is changing the way we learn. Gamified learning apps, live webinars and online degrees are now an increasingly common part of the learning landscape and personalised learning systems are already being tested in classrooms.

This shift has brought some fresh thinking to a field that’s been desperately in need of it. But because of this, many have framed digital tech as a magic pill that will solve all our educational problems, without considering its drawbacks.

That’s why I believe we all need to think more critically about how we interact with digital technology on a daily basis, because the secret to learning well with it is not related to which devices we use, but to how we use them.

In this short episode, I'm joined by Will Reynolds - writer, videographer and all around MetaLearner. We discuss a range of topics including:

- The best ways to filter information online to get to the good stuff quicker
- The importance of working diversity into your content consumption
- How to protect your precious attention in the digital economy

So whether you're looking to leverage technology more effectively in your learning, filter content more efficiently or stay focused in a world full of distractions, this episode will give you all that and more.

Jun 13, 2017

Uri Bram is the bestselling author of Thinking Statistically, a book that explains the essential concepts in the field in a clear and simple way. He also consults for major international organisations, and speaks at businesses and non-profits about using data and statistical thinking effectively in the real world. 

In a world that’s becoming increasingly driven by big data, understanding statistics is becoming increasingly valuable. But even if you don’t want to become a data scientist, understanding statistics can help you avoid common thinking mistakes and make better decisions in your everyday life.

Uri is someone with a remarkable ability to explain complex ideas in a simple, entertaining way with wit and flair – and he’s not only done this with statistics, but a range of other disciplines including music, game theory and writing.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:

- The key statistical principals that everyone should be aware of
- Whether understanding musical principles makes you a better musician
- How to learn complex skills from experts

You’ll also learn how big data is like teenage sex, why Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates are bad models for success and why eating ice cream doesn’t necessarily increase your chance of drowning in the summer! 

So whether you’re math-phobic and looking to gain a basic understanding of statistics, or already consider yourself a data maverick this conversation will give you a whole range of useful insights that you can take away and apply to your own life.

Jun 8, 2017

Anyone can learn another language - regardless of how old they are, where they live or where they work. But the thing that holds most people back is a series of limiting beliefs, which mean that they rarely end up getting started or get demoralised so quickly when they do that they give up within a few weeks!

That's why it's so important to unlearn a lot of the ideas that we absorb from the world around us - especially when they're ones that stop us from making progress in the thing we want to learn!

In this short episode, I'm joined by my friend Will Reynolds - writer, videographer and all around MetaLearner. We discuss a range of topics including:

- Whether there is a "language learning gene" that most great polyglots have
- Whether immersion is important for the language learning process
- Whether children are actually better language learners than adults

So whether you're looking to learn your first foreign language, or have learned one or two and feel that it's not your strong suit, this episode will eliminate any doubts you have about your abilities and give you the tools needed to make real, tangible progress.

Jun 6, 2017

Gabriele Oettingen is a Professor of Psychology at New York University and the University of Hamburg and a bestselling author. Her research focuses on human motivation and goal setting, exploring the impact of the way we look at the future on our emotions and behaviour.

We’re living in an age where positive thinking is all the rage – from pop music to political speeches thee message is the same: think positive, focus on your dreams and they’ll come true before you know it. The problem with following this advice is not only that it’s empty and hard to action – but that it can actually reduce your chances of achieving your goals.

Gabriele Oettingen has spent twenty years researching the science of human motivation and discovered time and again that conventional positive thinking falls short. By changing the way we think about the future her research has proven that we can become healthier, improve our personal relationships and perform better at work.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:

- How people normally set goals and what they’re doing wrong
- The pitfalls of positive thinking and how to avoid them
- The practical tools you can apply to get better results in your life

So whether you’re looking to make some major changes in your life or just level up that extra one per cent, you’ll learn the practical strategies needed to change your mindset and habits in order to achieve your goals.

Jun 1, 2017

If you’re someone with multiple interests, you’ve probably been branded a “Jack of all Trades, Master of None” more times than you can remember. And those of us with many interests sometimes struggle because we can’t be put into a box and labelled as an expert in a specific field.

But during the Renaissance, a polymath was seen as a perfected individual, someone who had mastered intellectual, artistic and physical pursuits. Hence the term “Renaissance Man” that’s still often used to describe people with multiple interests to this day.

In this short episode, I'm joined by my friend Will Reynolds, who is a perfect example of a polymath and MetaLearner because he’s taught himself a whole range of skills including writing, playing the guitar and videography – and importantly he’s been able to make a living from these skills.

We discuss a range of topics including:

- The lessons we can learn from great polymaths like Leonardo Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin and Johann Goethe
- Where society's obsession with specialisation comes from and how to deal with it
- How to balance exploring different fields with focusing on getting things done

So whether you're looking to balance your multiple interests, make progress on your learning projects or learn from the great polymaths of history, this episode will give you all that and much more.