The Secret of Fast Learning

Are you always in a hurry, much like the Roadrunner zooming past the obstacles laid out by Wily Coyote. Speed may allow you to arrive at your intended destination; but along the way, you may miss some noteworthy things along the fast lane? You may have missed the cattle grazing in a field, the setting up of a new circus in town, a plant sale… you name it. The same can be said about learning.

Reading and Fast Learning

We learn through reading. Primarily a mental activity, reading can help you expand your mind. Reading enables you to gain new insights, learn more about the world around us, and allow us the opportunity to tap into the minds of great people. The more you read, the more you know. Thus, reading can be so enjoyable. However, as a student or a life-time learner one always feels that in order to get through as many books as possible, one have to attempt fast track reading. The faster you read, the more you cover.

Image: “Interior with young man reading” by Vilhelm Hammershoi (source).

Fast track reading is not like word-for-word reading. It involves reading of key phrases and concepts so more pages can be read within a given time. Like the fast driver, a fast track reader can miss the important details of the book and remember a fraction of the main idea. However, fast track reading can be successful if you are mindful of the technique you use. This little shared technique is based on the principle that the mind thinks in pictures.

Fast Learning with Visualization

This technique can accelerate learning as well, when you see the whole picture (idea) of the write-up or book. When you see “pictures” of ideas and thoughts, reading can become unforgettable. If you cannot see pictures while reading, you learn nothing; and fast reading becomes useless. The  technique that could aid your fast reading is called visualization.

Visualization is vital to quick learning. Visualization in reading is like constructing a jigsaw puzzle where pieces are put together to form the whole picture. The whole thing not only “appears,” but actually “comes alive” before you. All of these happen in the realm of the mind. Visualization enables fast reading to be effective by impressing on the mind visual pictures that can be stored permanently. Fast reading without visualization is like going through the motions. It is difficult to produce a clear picture in your mind. Fast reading without visual pictures often informs but very seldom impresses and information is easily forgotten. Impressions last while information changes with time. Past information is easily forgotten in favor of new ones. Impressions change you, and these are stored permanently in the mind.

Thus, for learning to become effective, it requires brief pauses to be able to visualize and reflect. Effective learning is not about how fast you can finish reading a book. It is more on how you effectively comprehend the ideas brought forth by the writer. Visual pictures provide lasting impressions. Go after ideas and how it will enrich people’s existence. Go for lasting impressions and insights that will mold you into a better individual.

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