In today’s internet world, we can learn anything from various sources. YouTube is one of the first places to learn things. On this platform, we can learn almost everything—cooking, coding, designing, DIY stuff, blogging, photography, the list goes on.
We can indeed become better learners from someone else’s teachings. But there’s a better way to learn things faster and wiser. It is by following other people’s work.
The first step is to know what it is that you want to learn. I’ll take blogging as an example. Let’s say you want to start a blog. The first thing you do is search “how to start a blog” on Google or YouTube. Thousands of results show up. Soon, after learning from those results, you will be able to start a blog of your own.
It is the first step of learning. But it’s just the basics. The next step is where the fun begins.
Now, instead of using only the first technique to learn about blogging, you need to identify what other bloggers are doing. The number one writing/blogging tip I give people is to follow other people’s work. When you follow other people’s work, you will learn from them without directly knowing or communicating with them.
In my own experience, I have learned more about writing by following other writers and reading their work than by trying to learn how to write. Had I just Googled “how to become a better writer“, I might not have improved my writing as much. Plus, it is boring to learn by learning. It is more fun to learn by doing. If you want to learn how to ride a bike, it is way more fun to get on a bike and start riding than to read a book on riding.
The Art of Following
Find people who inspire you. To become successful in life, you have to have someone to look up to in life. All successful people have someone they look up to. They are inspired by their mentors, teachers, and other people in the same business.
When you find people who inspire you, follow them. It is easier to follow someone now more than ever because of the internet. Social media is not the only place you can go to follow them. Everyone might not be on social media. Shocking!!! But you can always find news about them—what they are doing and how they became successful.
I’ll take you back to the blogging example and share my experience. There is a website called Medium.com. It is basically social media for writers. There, you can follow other writers and read their articles. Medium is the best thing that happened to me. I have learned so much about writing and blogging just by following other writers on Medium.
Learn By “Doing”
But…what exactly does “doing” mean? Here, “doing” means taking action. It does not only mean to do the obvious thing but to do more. I became a better writer by reading other people’s work, starting a blog, and writing more articles on different topics. Those were the actions I took.
You can become better at things by learning in standard ways. I could have improved my writing by reading a book on writing or watching fifty YouTube videos on writing. But that would take me a long time. I learned faster by reading people’s work and following other bloggers/writers simultaneously.
You Need To Suck At It
You cannot become good at something on the first attempt. First, you need to suck at it. Suck again. Suck more so that you can learn more. Whenever I read my old articles, I want to throw myself out of the window because they are terrible. I sucked back then. But, if I didn’t suck, I would have never been able to learn so much now. Okay, that’s enough “suck” for today.
The point is that if you are focusing more on “learning” instead of “taking action”, it is going to take a long time for you. So what should you focus on more—learning or taking action? Both. Do both simultaneously. The journey will be much more fun, and the outcome will be good as well.
Break the Rules
Again, don’t focus on learning by the standard rules. In the internet era, there are no rules. You don’t need to read a book or take a class to learn something. You don’t need an MBA to start a business. Instead, you need to follow a successful businessman to succeed in your own business.
There isn’t a single way to learn stuff. But there are hundreds of different ways. Go ahead and explore new ways of learning. See what works best for you. Break the rules.
Find Someone To Follow
Now that you know about the art of following, your job is to find someone to follow. It does not matter what sector you work in. There is already someone who has achieved success in that sector. Think about that someone you can look up to. Who has already achieved the thing you want to achieve? Who inspires you? Find them and follow them.
The best way to learn is from the people who inspire you. Follow these four simple steps:
- Decide what it is you want to do.
- Look for people who have already done it.
- Find out how they did it. Learn from their process.
- And then, do it.
Go on. Follow.