How to learn more in 2022

by Anita Naik

Evidence shows that expanding your knowledge has multiple benefits. It can help raise achievement, improve engagement in work and class and bring greater depth to your life. Here's how to expand your learning in 2022.

Be mentally flexible

The good news is it's possible to become mentally flexible and learn more at any age. Organisational psychologist and author of Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know, Adam Grant, says, "The data around how we think and learn is interesting. Older people tend to be more fixed in their views, whereas younger people can often have an inflated view of their opinions. This is why it pays to adopt mental flexibility and understand that the quest for knowledge never ends and every interaction is a chance to expand your knowledge."

As Grant says, being mentally flexible is about recognising that we might be wrong or not know as much as we think. This thought process then helps us become more motivated to listen to ideas that will make us think hard. Help yourself by surrounding yourself with people who challenge your thought process and let yourself be more curious to discover more from them.

Ask more questions

Innovative thinkers never stop asking questions because they know that this is the best way to gain deeper insights. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, says, "We run this company on questions, not answers." We know that if you keep asking questions, you can keep finding better answers.

This means whether you are watching the news, reading textbooks or listening to a podcast, don't be a passive viewer. Challenge yourself to think about what you are reading and listening to with questions such as:

Do I agree with this? What's the alternative point of view? Is this theory dated or relevant? How can I find out more?

Read as many books as you can

Reading is the number one way to boost your knowledge base. And when you have a solid knowledge base, it's easier to learn new things and be open to new ideas. However, if you want to acquire new knowledge and want to be able to remember and apply what you are learning, make sure you read critically and choose challenging reads that make you think. This type of reading is a more active, conscious, and complex way to engage with books. Remember, you can't deeply understand the topic if you don't ask questions, raise objections analyse the evidence and reflect thoughtfully.

Also, make sure you read as many different genres as you can. Mixing up topics and reading styles is a great way to retain information. It works by forcing your brain to recall different information and apply it to situations.

Listen to more thought leaders

It's human nature to seek out information that corresponds with our beliefs, so listening to alternative and new points of view allows you to think critically about what you believe. Podcasts are a brilliant way to do this as they expose you to the theories and beliefs of thought leaders in every field.

Try Ways To Change the World Krishnan Guru-Murthy talks to the brightest figures in tech, politics, economics, science, business, arts, and culture to explore their work and ask one big question: what's their big idea to improve the world? Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History is a fascinating self-contained story covering topics ranging from basketball free throw shots to college rankings. The idea is to take another look at past events and reassess them with the benefit of hindsight.

Enlist the help of an expert

If you're keen to improve your knowledge in a specific area, learn something new, perfect a skill or even learn something from scratch, you can't go wrong enlisting the help of a tutor. Despite the idea tutors are for academic subjects only, there are, in fact, tutors who can help you with everything from public speaking, law and HR all forms of dance, music, and photography and fine art.

For more information on learning more, see our posts on Top 10 Podcasts to listen to the Benefits of learning artistic skills and Learning a new language.