Derek Sivers
from the book “How to Live”:

Here’s how to live: Learn.


Learning is underrated.
People wonder why they’re not living their ideal life.
Maybe they never learned how.

You get healthy by learning healthy habits.
You get wealthy by learning valuable skills.
You build a great interpersonal life by learning people skills.
Most misery comes from not learning these things.

The biggest obstacle to learning is assuming you already know.
Confidence is usually ignorance.

Never consider yourself an expert.
It’s the strong swimmers who drown.

Don’t believe what you think.
Have questions, not answers.
Doubt everything.
The easiest person to fool is yourself.

Don’t answer a hard question too quickly.
Don’t stop at the first answer.
In mystery stories, the first suspect is not the culprit.

If you’re not embarrassed by what you thought last year, you need to learn more and faster.
When you’re really learning, you’ll feel stupid and vulnerable — like a hermit crab between shells.

Be surprised by something every day.
Find that exciting moment when you get a completely new perspective.
Like a movie that reveals something at the end which changes the way you think of everything you’ve seen before.
If you’re not having these moments often, find new inputs.

Whatever scares you, go do it.
Then it won’t scare you anymore.

Whatever you hate, get to know it.
Then you won’t hate it anymore.

Talk with people you usually avoid.
Pursue subjects you know nothing about, and experiences unlike anything you’ve done before.
If you’re not surprised — if you didn’t feel your brain changing — then you didn’t really learn.

Don’t be consistent with your past self.
Only idiots never change their mind.

Sacrifice the things you used to believe, and the ways you used to be.
Learning leaves a trail of little deaths.

Remember what you learn.
Know why you’re learning.
Information doesn’t stick without emotion.
You learn better when you’re having fun.

Take notes.
Review them often.
Make flash cards to remind your future self what you learned today.
Quiz yourself with spaced repetition.
Knowledge fades and eventually disappears unless you keep it refreshed.

Internalize it.
Don’t expect to just look it up when you need it.
Integrate it into how you think.

Get out of your room and try out a new skill in the real world.
Go to the physical place where it’s happening, and put your ass on the line with something to lose.
A vivid, visceral feeling of danger will teach you better than words.

Knowledge is often described simply — “in a nutshell”.
But the inside of a nutshell is complex.
So crack open nutshells to understand them better.
Put concepts in a nutshell to keep them in your pocket and pass them around.

Communicate knowledge to others to make sure you understand.
Don’t quote.
Put it in your own words without looking up or referencing what others said.
If you can’t explain it yourself, you don’t know it.

To communicate clearly, you have to think clearly.
Writing is refined thinking.
Public speaking tests your writing on a real audience.
Great public speaking comes from great private thinking.

Teaching and learning are telepathy.
We can connect across oceans and centuries.
Words written by someone long ago and far away can penetrate your mind.
Share what you learn so it can be received by others, even when you are long gone.

Learning makes you a better person and makes the world a better place.
Learning is a pursuit you can’t lose.
As you age, you’ll lose muscle and beauty, but you won’t lose your wisdom.
Learning is how to live.