Our guest for this week is Jonathan Levi, a serial entrepreneur, accelerated learning and online course expert, and the founder of SuperHuman Academy.
Jonathan was born and raised in Silicon Valley but the success he’s experiencing today didn’t come easily. Throughout his life, he struggled with school, to a point where he felt looked down upon by the teachers and other classmates. Jonathan realized that this was due to an issue with learning which he fought every day until he discovered accelerated learning.
After experiencing astounding benefits from acquiring these new methods of learning, he went on to pass the gift to others and became one of Udemy’s top-performing instructors. A year later, he was inspired to start his own company called SuperHuman Academy, which produces high-quality, educational, and entertaining media products that empower and inspire people to live richer, fuller, healthier, and happier lives.
Jonathan also hosts the award-winning ‘SuperHuman Academy Podcast’ which welcomes intriguing guests each week in order to discuss topics such as learning, memory, productivity, health, fitness, and lifestyle.
He recently published his newest book titled ‘The Only Skill That Matters’ that tackles the question “How can we learn, unlearn, and relearn fast enough to stay relevant in the world to come?” In the book, Jonathan reveals a powerful, neuroscience-based approach to reading faster, remembering more, and learning more effectively.
Connect with Jonathan:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jonlevi
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathanlevi/?originalSubdomain=il
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5LTk0F3wQGoAnIt4EmKDMg
- Website: https://superhumanacademy.com/
In This Episode We Canvas:
The Contrasting Timescales of Evolutionary and Technological Development
Technological advancements have put us as a species in an extremely unusual situation – we were not biologically prepared for the world that we’re currently living in. Evolutionary changes need a magnificent amount of time in order to be established. The swiftness of technological development means that throughout it, we’ve been relying on the same biological equipment. Jonathan has developed his super learning expertise around the idea of helping people adjust how they learn in order to optimize the learning process.
“I spent a lot of time thinking about this hardware that I have, which is a miracle and a blessing but is outdated for the world that I’m living in. How do I come into alignment?” – Jonathan Levi
Improving Memory by Adding a Sensory Component to Learning
Our traditional approach to learning is not the optimal way to learn and throughout our conversation, Jonathan explains why. One of the three pillars of his approach to super learning is adding a sensory component to learning, primarily visual since it’s the most practical. The effectiveness of visual mnemonics in learning is something that’s been validated through scientific studies yet people rarely utilize them to their fullest potential.
“How do I turn that learning into a visual and sensory experience? And once you do that you can do superhuman feats of memory. You use techniques like visual mnemonics techniques like the memory palace you can memorize literally anything!” – Jonathan Levi
Learning by Creating Meaningful Connections
As we continue to explore the rest of the fundamentals of super learning, Jonathan explains the importance of making meaningful connections between different pieces of information in order to improve retention and memory.
“The way that our brains work is based on connection… You can fabricate those connections to anything that you learn. All human knowledge is connected… Even if it’s not, you can find new ways and unique ways of creating these connections as if.” – Jonathan Levi
Using Familiar Locations to Organize Your Memory
Finally, the third essential approach to improving your learning is relying on our brain’s capacity to easily memorize locations. This method is an incredibly useful tool for mnemonists everywhere which demands a lot of effort and practice but in terms of improving your memory, the returns are unbelievable. One particular technique also is known as using a “memory palace” has been portrayed in movies and television lots of times, for example in shows like BBC’s Sherlock or The Mentalist.
“Because of that evolutionary design… we’re really good at memorizing locations… Mnemonists, at the highest level, hack this and they actually store their memory in what’s called a memory palace.” – Jonathan Levi
The Power of Repetition
To rely upon an old Latin proverb, “Repetition is the mother of all learning. (Repetitio Est Mater Studiorum.)” The importance of repetition for efficient learning is something that has been well-known throughout human history, but Jonathan proposes additional guidelines for us to follow in order to truly get the most out of the process.
“Our brains thrive on this frequency as well as novelty as well as connection… Repetition is this huge thing and we don’t do it enough in schools or if we do it – we do it wrong. Because you only need to review things that you’re at risk of forgetting.” – Jonathan Levi
Getting Yourself Excited for Learning
Taking everything that’s been said into account, it’s important to point out that super learning is not just about what we do, but also about how we feel while we’re doing it. There’s an entire chapter in Jonathan’s new book dedicated to what we can do in order to prepare ourselves for the learning process.
“Find a way to generate excitement, interest, and curiosity.” – Jonathan Levi
Why You Need to Close Down Questions When Learning
This is just one of the gems that Jonathan has sprinkled throughout our entire conversation but also a very practical one, which surprisingly isn’t all that intuitive. Otherwise, more people would be applying it and this would not be the amazing life-hack it actually is. Our ability to narrow in on the things that we’re missing improves our efficiency in learning and closing down our open-ended questions is an amazing way of doing this.
“Too many people ask open-ended questions when they’re trying to learn… A quick hack that you can make is – close your questions up. What you want to do is you want to verify your knowledge.” – Jonathan Levi
Jonathan’s Message of Inspired Evolution
I can’t believe how amazing this conversation has been for me. Jonathan’s perspective on the importance of learning for all of us that are living in modern society and taking huge steps into the unknown is somehow both astonishingly pragmatic while being extraordinarily deep. Super learning a huge thing for the personal growth and transformation movement because it enables us with the tools to make the process more efficient. So wherever the world decides to go in the years to come and however it may change the requirements for achieving success, I think Jonathan completely hits the nail on the head when he says that:
“The only skill that matters is learning.” – Jonathan Levi