Did you know that you have a hidden super power?
It’s true, you do.
Just as birds have mastered the art of flying and spiders have mastered the art of weaving, humans have the ability to master the art of learning. However, many humans haven’t yet mastered this skill, because they are unaware that learning is indeed a skill that can be mastered.
Accelerated learning can be attained through a process called meta-learning; or learning how to learn. We as humans seem to think that we have a very limited brain, with a limited capacity to store new knowledge — we are under the notion that, in order to retain something new, we must let go of something old.
In the world of science, this is utter nonsense! We have a near-infinite capacity to learn (our brain's ability to always learn new things is referred to as neuroplasticity). A psychologist, Paul Reber, explains this in the Scientific American by stating:
“The human brain consists of about one billion neurons. Each neuron forms about 1,000 connections to other neurons, amounting to more than a trillion connections. If each neuron could only help store a single memory, running out of space would be a problem. You might have only a few gigabytes of storage space, similar to the space in an iPod or a USB flash drive. Yet neurons combine so that each one helps with many memories at a time, exponentially increasing the brain’s memory storage capacity to something closer to around 2.5 petabytes (or a million gigabytes). For comparison, if your brain worked like a digital video recorder in a television, 2.5 petabytes would be enough to hold three million hours of TV shows. You would have to leave the TV running continuously for more than 300 years to use up all that storage.”
So, for these reasons, we can ALL not only learn how to retain more information, but also learn how to learn at a much faster rate (and still retain everything). Accelerated learning is not a genetic trait, it can simply be attained.
Here (in this article), we will be demonstrating some easy ways for you to begin to accelerate your learning (at a speed that may surprise you) and begin strengthening your inherent human superpowers!
Improve Your Memory With Memory Tricks
When it comes to accelerated learning, there’s a lot to cover. So, we will begin with learning how to improve your memory, because memory plays a huge role in learning; after all, without being able to remember what you’ve learned, have you really learned it?
A hardy memory coincides with faster learning— the more swiftly you can remember, the faster you can learn. Luckily, there are many tricks for training your mind to have a better memory (no fancy genetics needed). Here are a few:
Yes, exaggerate. Our brains must love the drama. This trick is quite simple.
Can you ever remember where you left the keys?
Fret not — as soon as you set them down, take note. Did you set them on a side table? Then imagine a GIANT side table. Perhaps, one that peaks through the clouds. This way, you brain will be like, “wow, this is huge!” and will be sure to remember the location of your keys.
Create a Memory Palace
Yes, a Palace of Memory! The Memory Palace technique is based on the principle that our spatial memories are much more prominent than memories of words or specific objects.
So, let’s say you are trying to remember a grocery list and you don’t have a pen and paper to write it down— no problem. Perhaps, you are trying to remember these items: oranges, toilet paper, milk (we’ll keep it short for now but this works on long lists, as well).
The concept is this: imagine walking through a place you know very well (for instance, your house!). Then, as you walk through your house, imagine scenes where these items will be placed along the way.
For instance, as you enter, you see your roommate juggling with oranges, you walk into your living room and see your couch completely covered in toilet paper, and into your kitchen to see your sink overflowing with milk.
Connect new ideas with old concepts
Let’s say you are trying to remember that someone’s last name is Baker. Instead of trying to remember the sound of the letters B, A, K, E, and R together, you would be much better off just imagining this man in a baker’s hat with flour on his hands.
The name Baker isn’t necessarily tethered to anything pre-existing in your brain. So, when you try and recall the name, it is more difficult to get to as it is free-floating around in your head, unattached to anything relevant.
In order to incorporate this trick to improve your memory, simply aim to make stronger neural connections by relating what you are learning to something your brain is already familiar with.
Accelerate Your Learning With Brainwave Entrainment Technology
Brainwave Entrainment is the brilliant ability to direct the use of sound (and sometimes even light) to encourage the brain’s frequencies to align with the frequency of the sound being used (there are different frequencies for various desired brainwaves). Here is a great resource for the various brainwaves and which brainwave is best to tune into for which circumstance.
Much like how our bodies incessantly want to move to the beat of music, our brains want to vibrate on the same frequency as the stimulus. With these, we can easily tune our brain to proper frequencies, whether these frequencies be used for meditating or accelerated learning. There are two main types of brainwave entrainment tracks:
Binaural beats consist of two separate, slightly differing tones, each entering the brain from a different ear (headphones are necessary) to collide in the middle and create the entrainment tone inside the brain. It is your brain that actually creates the tone; you don’t hear two separate tones, only the intended one. If you played binaural beats on your car speakers, the entrainment tone would not exist. Binaural beats don’t only change the frequency of your brain, but they also encourage a harmonious synchronization of the two different brain hemispheres, which greatly increases your ability to be creative, learn, and retain information.
An amazing binaural beat starter package can be found here, with a leading-edge company called Omharmonics.
Unlike binaural beats, isochronic tones don’t require headphones— they are tones that pulsate very strategically, producing a desired entrainment frequency by turning the tone (rhythm) on and off repeatedly. It is said that this process is perhaps the most effective at inducing an entrainment frequency in the brain.
Isochronic tones can even be listened to over the entire body, a process referred to as Cymatics (and is also the same sensation you get when you can feel the bass vibrating throughout your chest at a concert).
Here is a great isochronic tone for clearer, faster learning.
Accelerate Your Learning With Brain Food
Yes, we know this headline made you smile. Food, too, can nourish your brain to improve your memory and accelerate your learning! Here are a few of the top foods/herbs/fungi for brain health:
- Lion’s Mane mushroom (seriously amazing stuff)
- Omega 3 fatty acids
- Found in fish oil, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, and much more
- Gingko Biloba
- Gotu Kola
- Kombucha (linked to gut health)
- Nootropics are supplements specifically designed to enhance mental cognition, increase intelligence, and improve your memory. Some of the best nootropics available can be found here.
Other Tricks to Try For Faster Learning
Along with all of the above mentioned tips, here are a few others you can implement immediately:
Teach someone else
A great way to accelerate your learning (and improve your memory) on any subject is to let your brain digest the information enough so that you are able to teach it to someone else. You can even just pretend to teach it to someone else. This simple switch in mindset tells your brain that you have already mastered this new lesson. Cheers!
Change up your learning environment
We have traditionally been told to dedicate a certain area to studying. However, new science is saying that that isn’t quite right. As it turns out, the more environments in which your brain can rehearse something, the clearer and stronger of a memory it creates— this happens because the memory isn’t associated with a particular place (for instance, your study couch) and is instead more deeply engrained in your mind.
Can’t quite pick something up? It just won’t stick in your brain?
An awesome way to accelerate your learning is to find a way (even if it is weird) to be interested in the topic you are learning. You can stretch this in any way you like.
For instance, perhaps learning about cars is boring to you. However, if you think about how useful this car knowledge would be on your next cross-country road trip if your car ever broke down, perhaps then you would find learning about your car to be much more interesting.
Finding a way to become interested in what ever you are learning is like giving your brain permission to store it.
Remember Your Superpower
Above everything else, remember your superpower. Meditate on it— meditate on how powerful your mind is, and give it permission to become that powerful.
Your mind will only expand as far as your beliefs will let it. For that, it is important to really believe that you have this accelerated learning superpower, because you do. The more you feel mentally powerful, the more mentally powerful you will become— it’s just how our brains work.
So, what are you interesting in quickly learning next?
BONUS! If you are looking for one more way to accelerate your learning, this video by Vishen Lakhiani will enlighten you on how to do so using his "brain exchange" method. Enjoy!