Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

The trick to hyperlearning in digital era

In recent years our scope of self-learning has expanded to meta themes like biohacking, neuroplasticity and the future of society

Making sense of VUCA—the world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity that we live in—is an essential life skill, and upskilling is a key enabler to stay relevant. ‘Self-learning provides the highest return on investment’ is a mantra we have followed for two decades of our corporate careers. In the spirit of constant learning, we have done executive education courses, and design-thinking classes linked to our corporate skills.

In recent years, however, our scope of self-learning has expanded to meta themes like biohacking, neuroplasticity and the future of society—subjects that would help grow our knowledge base. The challenge, though, has been to formulate a learning model that would get us to the relevant knowledge.

So, we did three things. First, we made a list of areas of knowledge we thought were important to know more about—to be more healthy, wealthy and wise. Hence, the list went from good sleep and clean food to creative thinking and blockchain. Second, as a couple we envisaged a learning model that would be built on our complementary strengths. The third step was about activating our network of experts and ensuring we tapped into deep sources of knowledge that we had access to. This meant we could move conversations with friends and colleagues from the mundane to more insightful and purposeful.

We devised a three-step hyperlearning process to understand the key facets of our shortlisted topics. Step one was our research into the existing literature on the subject, ranging from ancient texts to scientific whitepapers and books. Step two involved making appointments to leverage our networks to learn in detail from experts on the topic and hacking into their learnings and tricks. Step three involved debate between us and led to the distillation of our learnings into actionable nuggets which we could incorporate into our daily lives.

For example, on the topic of creativity, we researched ancient wisdom as well as contemporary white papers, and met adman Piyush Pandey. We spent a fascinating morning with him chatting about life, ideas, creativity and storytelling.

Here are three key takeaways on creativity from our three-step hyperlearning model. Firstly, have an open ear and a keen eye.There are no prescriptions for life and creativity. Passion and observation often become learning. His hack was “immerse yourself in the stories around you and file them away in your mind." Secondly, build a network of sources of insights. You can learn from anything and anywhere, every day. Stories are everywhere: neighbours as you walk in the park, and with people on a train or a bus. His hack was, “The more you interact with people who are not there under compulsion or civility, the better off you are with respect to learning." Thirdly, do not show or talk about the obvious. Never shy away from asking questions .

Hyperlearning in this hectic digital age is perhaps the need of the hour to stay ahead.

Eika and Siddharth Banerjee are authors of 52 Red Pills: A New-Age Playbook To Become Healthy, Wealthy And Wise.

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