Thomas Edison, inventor and innovator, leader and entrepreneur, one of the greatest minds in the history of the human species, once said: “I only hear and I forget. I see and I may remember. But I do and I understand.” Edison’s quote here is an eloquent and simple manner of expressing a singularly inarguable fact, a fact that high achievers have always known: the best way to grasp new information and turn it into new results, skills, and the completion of goals is not just to learn new things but to apply them.
There’s no secret. Human beings can definitely learn by hearing, reading, watching, seeing, and analyzing…but when it comes to getting results you simply cannot learn better than to learn by DOING. You learn best by doing. So do I.
Think of how you learned as a child. Remember how you mastered your mother tongue, the way you picked up the trick to tying your shoes, how to get your parents’ attention when you were hungry, sleepy, or cranky, or think on the trial-and-error scared-but-joyful minutes and hours of your first couple of bicycle rides. Did you read how to do those things from a book and then just magically have the skill? Or did you learn these things by doing them, and in the practice get feedback on how to get better, until eventually you could do it without thinking?
That’s why the best trainings of any kind are interactive, and that includes learning “how to” information or new skills, both in school and on the job. When you set out to really learn something, whether it’s the science of building rockets like the teenagers in that favorite inspirational movie of mine “October Sky”, or how to get results for a real estate business through internet marketing like the members in my free apprenticeship for aspiring real estate investors, finding what works to best train the human brain isn’t about just seeking more information. And while we all love to have fun and live life, the purpose of seeking knowledge to ‘hear’ and to ‘see’ as Edison would say, is certainly not to just entertain us.
If we want to get the most out of any powerful training or information designed to help us gain new competence (skills) and confidence (ability), then we need to take what we learn and immediately apply it to the real world through a practice-first and practice-often approach that allows the continual trial-and-error feedback loop we receive back from our efforts to give us much-needed data for the improvement of our success ratio.
That’s why the best education, whether it’s an academic course in school, or a training “how to” information such as those currently for sale in today’s world to teach you how to make more money, marketing tactics to get more customers, information on how to buy and sell properties, or the specific strategies professional real estate entrepreneurs use to build wealth in real estate, or anything else, should be structured as a “learn by doing” experience. It should be an experience that, like we learned as children, that will literally take you by the hand and regularly stimulate your response, ask for your input, and channel your ability to take action on what you’re learning.