Success in life comes down to 2 things: Being curious and always learning – Robin Sharma.
How many of us have thought of spending more time reading or learning a new skill, but never got around doing it because we “don’t have time”?
The truth is, we do. Any minute spent on Instagram and Facebook, is a minute away from learning something that feeds our souls (Unless social media does really feed you). But even as I knew that deep down, I needed ALOT of HELP actually putting it into action, and I thought I’d share some which helped me.
Arranged in order of effort needed (lowest to highest) (And we’re not affiliated to any of them. Personal opinion only!):
Gary Vee explains it best- with limited time and various content fighting for our attention, it’s hard to take time to sit down and read a book, or watch an online course. This is why podcasts come in handy. Pre-download the ones that you like (so it doesn’t consume your data! I learnt this the hard way), and play it when you are commuting to and from work instead of listening to music. And there! 60 minutes of personal development and learning done.
My favorite app: Castbox
2. Summarized Books
They call this book reading for CEOs. This app takes key nonfiction books and distilled them into key insight summaries you can read or listen to in 15 minutes. While you do miss out on the actual pleasure of reading a full book, it is an efficient method for the busy ones who want to remain well-read! The good books – Good to Great, Zero to One, Thrive, Contagious are all in there!
My favorite app: Blinkist. There’s a monthly subscription fee, so I recommend trying out the free trial first before subscribing!
3. Online Courses
Learning has never been more accessible. Seriously, for every interest you have, there’s an e-learning platform that caters to you. Most of these are video-based which you need to pay attention to and watch, but some allows you to download and watch offline, which makes it perfect for those commutes!
For Creative Stuff: Skillshare and CreativeLive. From photography, videography, UI/UX, design, music…These are food for the creative souls. Skillshare charges a monthly subscription and lets you take as many classes as you want, while CreativeLive is on a pay per video basis, is more curated and also hosts free live videos.
For Tech: Udemy, Udacity, Coursera. If you’re looking to learn tech skills from tech companies and want a certificate, go for Udacity. If you want very academic courses from universities, Coursera is the right one. For the widest range of topics (including non-tech), I like Udemy.
For Humanities: Mindvalley brings the world’s leading authors and gurus online by creating online classes which are more affordable than attending a live seminar on the other side of the world. They focus on teachings in productivity, mind, health, relationships, and career; teachers include Robin Sharma, Jon Butcher, Lisa Nichols and more. I love that they have a ton of free 1-hour videos that on their own are already chock full with wisdom. And then if you like the guru, you can sign up for the quests. Caveat: Some of their gurus/ teachings may seem abit cult-like or overly-spiritual to some people, but I think we’re adults and can be discerning about what we like and not like – just ignore those in the latter!
To Learn from the Stars: For the ones who are star-struck: Masterclass. Featuring Gordon Ramsay (Cooking), Stephen Curry (Basketball), Marc Jacobs (Fashion design).
4. Curated Talks and Workshops
I think these are especially useful for those who are thinking of changing careers and want to build vital skills relevant to today’s world. When I first jumped into entrepreneurship, General Assembly was my savior – they regularly conduct workshops and talks by practitioners with interesting topics like SEO Training for Beginners, Intro to Coding, Social Media Strategy Mapping. Their events and workshops are usually on weekday nights and weekends. My first full day workshop was a Go-To-Market workshop by Ashok Miranda, which was so good that we asked Ashok to be our branding advisor thereafter.
My humble suggestion: Join the mailing list of GA and others like Wework, Collision 8, Eventbrite and Peatix to keep abreast of upcoming talks which may interest you!
There are a ton of free materials out there which we can leverage on. And more in-depth learning typically does come with a price. But quoting Warren Buffett, the most important investment we can make is in ourselves.
And that’s all for you adults!
For your kids, you know where to check out our fuss-free, convenient e-learning classes on Smarter Me 😉