In last week’s article, I discussed how to start learning a new topic. Most people often get stuck in that first part. They decide they need to read one more book, take another course, or go to another conference.

So if you’ve gotten past that part congrats! Now that you’ve got the basics down: What do you do with that knowledge? Well, you do… exactly what you wanted to do in the first place. So if it’s learning a language so you can speak it, you start speaking it. If it’s learning about real estate or investing, you start investing. I know. I know. You don’t feel ready yet. That’s okay. We’re going to start with some baby steps.

 

When I woke up on my first day of residency, I was hoping to feel different. Somehow, I’d wake up with all the world’s medical knowledge. Or at least, enough not to kill anyone. Nothing seemed different from the night before. But now I had the title doctor before my name. I felt like I could have used another year of training or ten. But I had patients to see.

 

Those extra years of training wouldn’t have mattered. I needed practical training. Those 6 months alone were priceless in my training. I still refer to what I learned at that time to this day. That’s because I had to put myself out there. I was taking care of real people. My decisions mattered.

Medicine was created this way. Well over 100 years ago. The forefathers of medicine knew we couldn’t learn by reading or listening. I had to go out and do. That doesn’t mean I was out there on my own. I was an intern, the bottom of the totem pole. I had a resident and an attending above me and countless other staff to teach practical medicine. How things were in the real world. I had to be the one that made decisions. On a daily basis. What did the patient have? What medicines should I give to them? Why?

 

Every little decision I made, wrong or right, was a teaching lesson. We went over sample patients. We discussed each other’s patients. Would I have treated the patient the same or differently? What was the eventual outcome?

 

So how would this translate into whatever you wanted to learn? Well, take investing for example. If I wanted to start investing in real estate, I would start to look at houses for sale in the area. What do I like? What do I think of the ones for sale? Would I have made an offer on this one? What would my offer have been? There are apps and websites that will let you favorite a property. How long does it take to sell? Was my pretend offer close to what it sold for? What type of properties sells quickly? What is so special about them

Each test case will get you some more information. Approach each one like the real thing, and you’ll be learning all that much more. Feel free to go back to your notes from the structured learning part. In the next part, we will learn how to get some feedback and solidify all that you learned.