You don’t have to attend college or any form of education to know how to teach yourself anything these days. There are so many educational materials readily available, often for free, or at a small fee. This is not to say that formal education is unnecessary in many circumstances but there are times that you want to learn a skill quickly.
Let’s say you want to master how to create WordPress website or know how to use a certain computer software or application, you can just teach yourself using free or cheap resources. You can’t teach yourself to become a professional licensed teacher in Zambia unless you have attended college or university and obtained a diploma or degree and are registered with the Teaching Council of Zambia but there are a lot of things you can learn on your own.
You don’t have to attend school to learn about Egypt, speak Bemba or Tonga, train your dog, create a website, play the piano, or how to weld. With the right habits, you can learn just about anything you like.
Follow your motivation. It’s much easier to study or practice something that truly interests you. There are plenty of things you don’t know that you’d like to know more about. What are those things? Make a list. Life is short, so spend your time wisely. Motivation is that inner edge that dares you to do something. It is also the small voice telling you what to do.
Find that voice within you. I motivated myself to learn how to create websites without going to school. It has taken time to master the skills I have now but throughout the journey, motivation was high. When you think of motivation, you need to find a good reason to keep you going even when what you are doing is hard.
Read. Whatever it is that interests you, odds are that someone has written a book about it. In fact, there are probably hundreds of books on your topic of interest. Make it a habit to read, at least a little each day. Seek out the most important books related to your area of study and work your way through them. I cannot say that I like reading but I have come to know what I know today through reading. I read because I love learning. Why do you or would you read? Find a reason to read.
Practice. If you’re interested in learning a skill, you’ll have to practice regularly if you want to master it. Break up your practice into several sessions a day if possible. The more frequently you practice, the more skilled you will ultimately become. Practice is an integral part of skill acquisition. Learning through practice is one of the fundamental ways in which African learn their stuff.
You know it is said that if you want to hide something from an African, hide it in a book. But if it’s practical, an African would be the first to find it. So use that as motivation to practice. So, I can say, how to teach yourself anything depends on how practical you can be as a learner.
Study daily. There’s reading, and there’s studying. Reading is a passive activity. Studying takes things to a higher level. When you study, you have the intention of educating yourself. You have the intention of understanding, not just adding facts to your knowledge base. You need to take this approach and evaluate yourself. Reading an English grammar book isn’t the same as studying for an English test.
Use a variety of sources. Within reason, the more sources you use, the greater the level of your mastery. Use multiple books, online courses, mentors, and other materials. Gather all of the opinions and ideas. There’s more than one way to do something. Find the best way for you.
Verify. The internet has allowed everyone to present themselves as an expert. It’s easy for anyone to write an eBook or an article and look like they know what they’re talking about. Avoid making the assumption that everything you see, hear, and read is accurate. Check the information for accuracy. One of the ways you can verify information is by reading peer reviewed articles on platforms like Google Scholar, and Academia.
Reach out to others. You don’t have to educate yourself in a vacuum. There are experts floating around out there that would love to help you. All you have to do is find them and ask. Ask people that have knowledge and skills in specialized in areas where you want to venture. You can also ask in online forums and groups. A website like Quora is one good example where you can ask questions and people will give you genuine answers.
Plan your time. Have a plan. Your time will be more productive if you have a plan versus being disorganized. Make a plan. Work your plan. They say failing to plan is planning to fail. If you cannot plan your time, forget about how to teach yourself anything because learning how to teach yourself anything means planing for it.
Set goals. Have goals to focus your intention and add a bit of urgency to your study. You might decide to understand a particular concept by the end of the month, master 100 words of Tonga vocabulary, or be able to hold a handstand for 10 seconds. Planning and working to fulfil your goals will help you a lot.
Take a look at a course syllabus. If you’re interested in a university-type subject, take a look at the syllabus for a course that interests you. You can see the materials that are used and get a feel for the pacing. It can be a good general guide. I have taught myself just by going to websites which offer eLearning such as like SkillRipe to look at the topics included in the courses provided there. Another place to try is Udemy.
What do you want to learn? What interests you? You can learn more about nearly anything without having to take an expensive or inconvenient class. Take full advantage of the age we live in and teach yourself somthing. All it takes are the right materials and effective habits.
If you have other habits about how to teach yourself anything which have not been discussed in this article, please leave them in the comment section so that we can learn from you. You can also leave your questions for us in the comments section below.