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Now a Wall Street Journal bestseller. Learn a new talent, stay relevant, reinvent yourself, and adapt to whatever the workplace throws your way. Ultralearning offers nine principles to master hard skills quickly. This is the essential guide to future-proof your career and maximize your competitive advantage through self-education. In these tumultuous times of economic and te Now a Wall Street Journal bestseller. Learn a new talent, stay relevant, reinvent yourself, and adapt to whatever the workplace throws your way. Ultralearning offers nine principles to master hard skills quickly. This is the essential guide to future-proof your career and maximize your competitive advantage through self-education. In these tumultuous times of economic and technological change, staying ahead depends on continual self-education—a lifelong mastery of fresh ideas, subjects, and skills. If you want to accomplish more and stand apart from everyone else, you need to become an ultralearner. The challenge of learning new skills is that you think you already know how best to learn, as you did as a student, so you rerun old routines and old ways of solving problems. To counter that, Ultralearning offers powerful strategies to break you out of those mental ruts and introduces new training methods to help you push through to higher levels of retention. Scott H. Young incorporates the latest research about the most effective learning methods and the stories of other ultralearners like himself—among them Benjamin Franklin, chess grandmaster Judit Polgár, and Nobel laureate physicist Richard Feynman, as well as a host of others, such as little-known modern polymath Nigel Richards, who won the French World Scrabble Championship—without knowing French. Young documents the methods he and others have used to acquire knowledge and shows that, far from being an obscure skill limited to aggressive autodidacts, ultralearning is a powerful tool anyone can use to improve their career, studies, and life. Ultralearning explores this fascinating subculture, shares a proven framework for a successful ultralearning project, and offers insights into how you can organize and exe - cute a plan to learn anything deeply and quickly, without teachers or budget-busting tuition costs. Whether the goal is to be fluent in a language (or ten languages), earn the equivalent of a college degree in a fraction of the time, or master multiple tools to build a product or business from the ground up, the principles in Ultralearning will guide you to success.


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Now a Wall Street Journal bestseller. Learn a new talent, stay relevant, reinvent yourself, and adapt to whatever the workplace throws your way. Ultralearning offers nine principles to master hard skills quickly. This is the essential guide to future-proof your career and maximize your competitive advantage through self-education. In these tumultuous times of economic and te Now a Wall Street Journal bestseller. Learn a new talent, stay relevant, reinvent yourself, and adapt to whatever the workplace throws your way. Ultralearning offers nine principles to master hard skills quickly. This is the essential guide to future-proof your career and maximize your competitive advantage through self-education. In these tumultuous times of economic and technological change, staying ahead depends on continual self-education—a lifelong mastery of fresh ideas, subjects, and skills. If you want to accomplish more and stand apart from everyone else, you need to become an ultralearner. The challenge of learning new skills is that you think you already know how best to learn, as you did as a student, so you rerun old routines and old ways of solving problems. To counter that, Ultralearning offers powerful strategies to break you out of those mental ruts and introduces new training methods to help you push through to higher levels of retention. Scott H. Young incorporates the latest research about the most effective learning methods and the stories of other ultralearners like himself—among them Benjamin Franklin, chess grandmaster Judit Polgár, and Nobel laureate physicist Richard Feynman, as well as a host of others, such as little-known modern polymath Nigel Richards, who won the French World Scrabble Championship—without knowing French. Young documents the methods he and others have used to acquire knowledge and shows that, far from being an obscure skill limited to aggressive autodidacts, ultralearning is a powerful tool anyone can use to improve their career, studies, and life. Ultralearning explores this fascinating subculture, shares a proven framework for a successful ultralearning project, and offers insights into how you can organize and exe - cute a plan to learn anything deeply and quickly, without teachers or budget-busting tuition costs. Whether the goal is to be fluent in a language (or ten languages), earn the equivalent of a college degree in a fraction of the time, or master multiple tools to build a product or business from the ground up, the principles in Ultralearning will guide you to success.

30 review for ultra learning

  1. 5 out of 5

    Poyan Nabati

    Warning: The rating on Goodreads is wildly inflated! "Ultralearning" is a really mediocre book on how to learn an arbitrary skill more efficiently, whether it's a language, programming or playing the piano. I was really suckered in by the fancy title. "Ultralearning?? Shut up and take my money!". But honestly, this book reads like a giant blog post and is exactly type of soft writing that I strongly dislike in non-fiction. In any case, the book didn't contain that many new insights for me, but her Warning: The rating on Goodreads is wildly inflated! "Ultralearning" is a really mediocre book on how to learn an arbitrary skill more efficiently, whether it's a language, programming or playing the piano. I was really suckered in by the fancy title. "Ultralearning?? Shut up and take my money!". But honestly, this book reads like a giant blog post and is exactly type of soft writing that I strongly dislike in non-fiction. In any case, the book didn't contain that many new insights for me, but here are some points that I did find useful;. - The Directness Principle. Whenever you want to learn something, try to figure out what the TRUE end goal is. You want to learn German? Well, what do you want to use it for? Is it for reading the newspaper online? Then start by reading the newspaper online. Is it to have drunken chats at the bar? Well, try to have drunken chats at the bar. Whatever it is that you want to learn, figure out the *true* end goal and try to place your practice as close to that end goal as possible. Don't trade it off for other tasks further away from the true end goal, as gains in some other related task will not necessarily easily transfer to your true end goal. - Drilling/Work your way backwards. Periodically, you should asses the skill you are practicing and try to pin point where your weakest points are, and then spend concerted effort on those parts until they stop being your weakest points. - Deepening learning by explaining. If you want to cement your understanding on a topic, then try to explain the idea in writing to someone else. If you sense that you are stuck at some point, or if your reasoning isn't particularly clear (You can scrutinise your reasoning by asking yourself WHY multiple times), go back and research the topic further until you fully grasp the topic. If you keep drilling deeper into a topic, this is a good method of learning something by "first principles" rather than just memorising an answer. In any case, I can't really recommend this book, but if you want a good book on learning and memory, I really recommend the book "Make it Stick".

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Abugosh

    I wanted to like this book, it has a great premise and the examples are interesting, but it's another example of a non-fiction book with so much padding and fluff! It could have been 10 times shorter, and I would have loved it, but because it was a published book it needs to hit a word count, which sacrificed its quality. I wanted to like this book, it has a great premise and the examples are interesting, but it's another example of a non-fiction book with so much padding and fluff! It could have been 10 times shorter, and I would have loved it, but because it was a published book it needs to hit a word count, which sacrificed its quality.

  3. 5 out of 5

    rory

    Just maybe 10x longer than it needed to be.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Milan

    Scott Young describes ultralearning as learning something hard in a short period of time. I'm more interested in learning than ultralearning but a few things he talks about can be useful. A lot of 'principles' he discusses are already well-known learning concepts. The best thing I took away from this book is to attack my weakest point first. He prescribes nine principles for his method: 1. Metalearning - have a road map 2. Focus - concentrate 3. Directness - go into action mode 4. Drill - attack you Scott Young describes ultralearning as learning something hard in a short period of time. I'm more interested in learning than ultralearning but a few things he talks about can be useful. A lot of 'principles' he discusses are already well-known learning concepts. The best thing I took away from this book is to attack my weakest point first. He prescribes nine principles for his method: 1. Metalearning - have a road map 2. Focus - concentrate 3. Directness - go into action mode 4. Drill - attack your weakest point 5. Retrieval - test your knowledge 6. Feedback - learn from criticism 7. Retention - learn to remember things 8. Intuition - use play and exploration of concepts 9. Experimentation - go outside your comfort zone He gives a lot of examples of so called ‘ultralearners’ including the Polgar sisters. There is a lot of repetition in the book. The book could have been a lot shorter. But it is still useful.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emil Petersen

    If you want a book on how to learn, then there are better books; you should read this one for the 'ultra' part. There are some nice anecdotes on people who worked their asses off and became some of the best at what they do. Young tries to generalize on their behavior and serves the result as principles on ultralearning, by which is meant the more extreme and dedicated kind of learning. There is a definition somewhere in the book, but I have forgotten what it is. The achievements of these ultrale If you want a book on how to learn, then there are better books; you should read this one for the 'ultra' part. There are some nice anecdotes on people who worked their asses off and became some of the best at what they do. Young tries to generalize on their behavior and serves the result as principles on ultralearning, by which is meant the more extreme and dedicated kind of learning. There is a definition somewhere in the book, but I have forgotten what it is. The achievements of these ultralearners, including Ramanujan and Feynnman, are combined with the authors own experience, such as completing the MIT undergrad CS curriculum in a year. If you have not read any Scott H. Young blog posts, then this is pretty cool. Otherwise, the book is pretty much a repetition/compilation of his blog.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ian Pitchford

    Ultralearning is “a strategy for acquiring skills and knowledge that is both self-directed and intense.” The book is Young’s clear, concise, and well-written explanation of how to master this strategy. The excellent chapter on metalearning alone is worth the price of the book and the rest is full of insights and tips that are noteworthy and practical. Get it, read it, and start putting ultralearning principles to practice in your own life.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Manuel Antão

    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. “Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits...” Should we all be learning the same things? This is a rather odd view, and one I've heard before. I would make the following comments. Using history just as an example: 1. If everyone learned the same thing... so let's suggest everyone studied the Greco-Persian wars but no-one studied the French Revolution, then we'd have lots of knowledge floating around about one thing, but no If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. “Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits...” Should we all be learning the same things? This is a rather odd view, and one I've heard before. I would make the following comments. Using history just as an example: 1. If everyone learned the same thing... so let's suggest everyone studied the Greco-Persian wars but no-one studied the French Revolution, then we'd have lots of knowledge floating around about one thing, but not about the other. So a huge-overconcentration of knowledge in whatever the education department of the day chose, and other knowledge at best neglected and at worst lost. Continues elsewhere.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Robbie Engler

    I don't understand the high reviews on this book. The author seems to be attempting to coin a phrase to describe pretty normal modes of learning outside of school. I don't understand the high reviews on this book. The author seems to be attempting to coin a phrase to describe pretty normal modes of learning outside of school.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Scott Wozniak

    Most books on learning are narrowly focused on academic tests, but this book actually helps you learn skills you can use in real life. And I think learning to learn is one of the most important things we can do in life. Some good learning principles from the book: Directness: the best way to practice is to do very thing you want to do. Instead of reading about painting, actually paint. Instead of taking a test on vocabulary, actually practice speaking the language you're trying to learn. Instead o Most books on learning are narrowly focused on academic tests, but this book actually helps you learn skills you can use in real life. And I think learning to learn is one of the most important things we can do in life. Some good learning principles from the book: Directness: the best way to practice is to do very thing you want to do. Instead of reading about painting, actually paint. Instead of taking a test on vocabulary, actually practice speaking the language you're trying to learn. Instead of writing papers on coding, create a program. Direct application is the best practice arena. Retrieval: When asked, people say that good reviews make them feel like they are more prepared and will remember more. But it actually isn't the best for locking things in our memory. Instead, pushing your brain to remember things is better than reviewing it more often--even when we can't get the right answers. The hard work of racking our brains for the answer (which doesn't feel as good as reviewing) is very productive. Meta-Learning: Before learning all the specifics, spend time "drawing a map" and learn the big ideas and patterns behind all the specifics. When you have a frame to hang your ideas on, they will stick in your head and make sense. So, good book, with more tips like this. But the book is focused on "ultralearning" (massive learning in short periods of time) so it's not directly applicable to most people. And there are some missing ideas that I know from my own learning adventures, so while it's very helpful, I couldn't say this is a blow your mind, best book on learning ever. Worth reading, though. 4.5 stars out of 5.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Lubin

    I was drawn to this book because I like to read a lot of self-help / personal development books. I’ve read a good amount of them and I always pull something out of them but I wouldn’t say I absorb 100%. I probably retain subconsciously 50% and apply consciously 10% which I felt is pretty low. I figured reading Ultralearning would help me get more out of the books I plan on reading this year. This was an accurate assumption. This book will help you learn better. It gives a lot of practical tools I was drawn to this book because I like to read a lot of self-help / personal development books. I’ve read a good amount of them and I always pull something out of them but I wouldn’t say I absorb 100%. I probably retain subconsciously 50% and apply consciously 10% which I felt is pretty low. I figured reading Ultralearning would help me get more out of the books I plan on reading this year. This was an accurate assumption. This book will help you learn better. It gives a lot of practical tools to improve your learning and it also provides inspiration to be a better learner. I had never really thought about the process of learning before and this gives you a 3D image of how we learn, apply, and retain information. I believe that anything can be learned and the case studies from the book affirm that belief. I think this book is best applied to mono-skills. What I mean is, if you have a laser focus on one particular skill, I think this book will help you design a program that will help you maximize your efficiency at learning it. I think this book is better applied to knowledge-based skills than athletic pursuits. If you want to learn something specific, you need to know how to learn before you attack it and the book provides the roadmap and tools to do so. It’s a good system. It’s clearly laid out and clearly communicated. Hopefully, I can apply it in totality. NOTES FROM READING: Bias towards action. It’s not just soaking up knowledge but putting it to use. Learn by doing. Learn by directly doing what you want to learn. You have to practice the craft. In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice but in practice there is. The author of the foreword ultra learned photography by taking over 100,000 photos - James Clear authored the foreword, my favorite e-newsletter author. Meta-learning examine successful examples Learn writing by writing Always have a challenge Everyone that wants to succeed at a game, is going to practice the game. You can practice haphazardly or you can practice efficiently.  What if you immersed yourself in whatever skill you were trying to learn? If it was a language you only spoke the language if it was a skill you surround yourself with the skill You need inspiration that excites you. It’s more than just money. Learning at its core is broadening horizons. Seeing things that were previously invisible. And recognizing capabilities within yourself that you didn’t know existed There are nine universal principles that underlie the ultralearning projects described so far. Each embodies a particular aspect of successful learning, and I describe how ultralearners maximize the effectiveness of the principle through the choices they make in their projects. They are: Meta-learning: First Draw a Map. Start by learning how to learn the subject or skill you want to tackle. Discover how to do good research and how to draw on your past competencies to learn new skills more easily. Focus: Sharpen Your Knife. Cultivate the ability to concentrate. Carve out chunks of time when you can focus on learning, and make it easy to just do it. Directness: Go Straight Ahead. Learn by doing the thing you want to become good at. Don’t trade it off for other tasks, just because those are more convenient or comfortable. Drill: Attack Your Weakest Point. Be ruthless in improving your weakest points. Break down complex skills into small parts; then master those parts and build them back together again. Retrieval: Test to Learn. Testing isn’t simply a way of assessing knowledge but a way of creating it. Test yourself before you feel confident, and push yourself to actively recall information rather than passively review it. Feedback: Don’t Dodge the Punches. Feedback is harsh and uncomfortable. Know how to use it without letting your ego get in the way. Extract the signal from the noise, so you know what to pay attention to and what to ignore. Retention: Don’t Fill a Leaky Bucket. Understand what you forget and why. Learn to remember things not just for now but forever. Intuition: Dig Deep Before Building Up. Develop your intuition through play and exploration of concepts and skills. Understand how understanding works, and don’t recourse to cheap tricks of memorization to avoid deeply knowing things. Experimentation: Explore Outside Your Comfort Zone. All of these principles are only starting points. True mastery comes not just from following the path trodden by others but from exploring possibilities they haven’t yet imagined. It’s easier than ever to find experts in fields. Twitter and Instagram and the web makes finding experts simple. Just follow them and reach out if you have questions. Use the web to find coursework, syllabuses, and materials on your subject. The quality of your resources will have an enormous impact on your learning. The quality of materials you use can create orders of magnitude difference in your effectiveness. You need goals methods and resources in your planning stage. You must learn to have extreme focus and concentration. (Deep Work - Cal Newport) Start, sustain, optimize your focus.  The first problem people have is starting to focus. This manifests itself in procrastination. You must tackle your problems. The first step to getting over procrastination is recognizing that you are procrastinating. Make a mental habit of recognizing when you are procrastinating and if you are avoiding the activity because you don’t want to do it or because you have a strong desire to do something else. Build this awareness. If you are avoiding the task because you don’t want to do it, just get started, usually, five minutes of just starting will be enough to get over the unpleasantness of the task Directness is critical to learning and with transfer (the application of lessons learned in another context) You have to drill a skill. Be specific. Isolate components of the skill. Retrieval practice is the most effective way of solidifying material. You have to test yourself even when you aren’t ready. Your retrieval practice must be difficult. Question book method: during note-taking, phrase your notes as questions to be recalled later. Restate the big idea of material as a question. Feedback is an important ultra learning tool. When feedback attacks your ego it can feel uncomfortable you have to get feedback you can utilize. You don’t want criticism. Outcome feedback informational and corrective feedback. Outcome feedback is how you’re doing. Are you doing it wrong? Think of a grade it comes after the fact I can tell you if you’re doing better or worse but can’t tell you why Informational feedback is what you’re doing wrong but it doesn’t necessarily tell you how to fix it. It’s like showing you the question you got wrong on the test but not giving me the solution Corrected feedback is what you’re doing wrong and how to fix it. It’s informative and applicable. Corrected feedback requires a correct answer. Trying to turn informational feedback and correct feedback can work against you. If you were consistently getting the same type of information that can lead you to a clue or an answer.  Question method: what are the three types of feedback Active recall and rehearsal. You have to practice pulling the information back up in order to have retention. You have to focus on memory. Recall things visually. It’s easier to recall. The ultra learning ethos. It’s hard work. You have to have the dedication to learn. It may not be a secret beyond Hard work.  Experience will give you patterns and patterns will give you principles. Orientation while processing information: students asked to review a list of words. Some were told to notice the letter e, some were asked to determine if the meaning was pleasant or not. When asked to recall the words the ones focused on a deeper meaning and interpretation of the word were able to recall better. The Fiemman technique: wite the concept. Teach it to an imaginary person. Work hard on understanding things Don’t focus on gifts. Focus on efforts.  Your first project: Do your research - pick your topic and scope, pick your resources, direct practice. Schedule your time - Execute your plan - meta-learning, focus, directness, drill, retrieval, feedback, retention, intuition, experimentation Review your results - Choose to maintain or master what you learn - maintenance, relearning, mastery,  What would I want to ultra learn? Stock trading Technology- games/websites Writing App/website building Negotiation Piano Dropshipping Government contracting Speed reading and typing Virtual reality programming Real estate Law Pop Music / DJ-ing / EDM SEO Instagram Photography Public Speaking Stand up comedy Poker Question Method & Test: 1. Describe what directness means in regards to Ultralearning. 2. List and describe the nine universal principles of Ultralearning . 3. What is the first step in Focus? 4. What is the first step of overcoming procrastination and how do you overcome it? 5. List and describe the three types of feedback 6. What is the Ultralearning ethos? 7. What is the Fienman technique? 8. List the steps of your first project.

  11. 4 out of 5

    George

    I'm very interested in the topic of "ultralearning", although I hadn't heard that exact term before. More importantly, I've already worked through Scott Young's programme Rapid Learner, which is excellent and covers much of the same material as Ultralearning. So for that reason, not much in this book was new to me. Still, if you haven't got the time or inclination to work through an expensive six-week online course, this book is an excellent lesson in how humans can learn effectively, efficiently I'm very interested in the topic of "ultralearning", although I hadn't heard that exact term before. More importantly, I've already worked through Scott Young's programme Rapid Learner, which is excellent and covers much of the same material as Ultralearning. So for that reason, not much in this book was new to me. Still, if you haven't got the time or inclination to work through an expensive six-week online course, this book is an excellent lesson in how humans can learn effectively, efficiently, and fast. Scott gives numerous examples of successful ultralearners, ties it in with the latest scientific research, and organises everything into 9 handy "principles of ultralearning" that you can apply to your next educational endeavour. (Even better, he makes it all the way through 300 pages without once describing any of his techniques as a "hack" - a word so overused these days that's it's become almost as meaningless as "literally" or "fascist". God I'm sick of being told to "hack" everything.) The one thing I thought could have been expanded was the section (or rather the paragraph) on mnemonics. Scott mentions these tricks (number pegging etc.) as potentially helpful but is quite dismissive of their benefits, and doesn't elaborate on what they actually are. I think he's right that they aren't the most important weapon in an ultralearner's arsenal, but they're still worth knowing. That's only a minor quibble: if you want to become a memory master, there are plenty of other resources you can turn to. Scott recommends the book Moonwalking with Einstein, which I haven't read but I'm sure is great. Personally, I learned a lot of useful tricks from the chapter on memory in Derren Brown's Tricks of the Mind. Anyway, that minor omission isn't enough to prevent me from giving 5 stars to Ultralearning. It's a dense, concise, info-packed and practical book that'll teach you how to learn - and it's much better than The Four-Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Olem Modiga

    The idea for the book is a great one, but the execution was a total failure. I really liked the book when starting it, but the further I read on, the more I hated it and just found it to be unnecessarily long. As much as the author is trying to make it seem original by coining the term "ultralearning" there is nothing original in the book, almost everything in the book can be better learned elsewhere with much better success and enjoyment. I like the fact that the author went through the effort of The idea for the book is a great one, but the execution was a total failure. I really liked the book when starting it, but the further I read on, the more I hated it and just found it to be unnecessarily long. As much as the author is trying to make it seem original by coining the term "ultralearning" there is nothing original in the book, almost everything in the book can be better learned elsewhere with much better success and enjoyment. I like the fact that the author went through the effort of trying to take all the good parts from all the books that have been published in recent years focusing topics related to learning, and bringing all those parts into this one book! Basically, the idea is to write a book that unifies areas of cognitive studies, performance psychology, and everything to do with memory, learning, and mastery of skills. Well, As I said, great Idea, poor execution, but a very nice effort tho...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Taylor

    You’re in good company when your book is recommended by James Clear and Barbara Oakley. Ultralearning shares some overlapping information with Atomic Habits and Learning How to Learn, but stands on its own with valuable self-study strategies taught in the "Nine Universal Principles of Ultralearning". There’s also overlapping topics from Range (by David Epstein), to the point that both books have chapters on the Polgár family and Vincent van Gogh. The methods taught in Ultralearning can greatly he You’re in good company when your book is recommended by James Clear and Barbara Oakley. Ultralearning shares some overlapping information with Atomic Habits and Learning How to Learn, but stands on its own with valuable self-study strategies taught in the "Nine Universal Principles of Ultralearning". There’s also overlapping topics from Range (by David Epstein), to the point that both books have chapters on the Polgár family and Vincent van Gogh. The methods taught in Ultralearning can greatly help any student or self-taught learner. Mapping, drilling, retrieval, retention, etc. It can have massive returns when applied. The main drawbacks are the obvious overlap with other meta-learning books, and that this book could have easily been 100 pages shorter, or been a killer Medium article/personal site post.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bjoern Rochel

    A good structured guide for approaching focused learning. Some of the bits I already was familiar with through Levi’s “Becoming a Superlearner”, but this book expands on the ideas and also nicely generalizes and structures them. If you’re in IT and constant learning is part of your job, you should give this one a try

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ivan

    A good companion to Cal Newport’s ‘Deep Work.’ According to Young, ultralearning is a “strategy for acquiring skills and knowledge that is both self-directed and intense.”

  16. 5 out of 5

    Aloha

    Fantastic! I’ve always loved learning and is naturally self-taught in several things. Nice to know that there is a science to it, and that I’m not among oddballs.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Max Martin

    ULTRALEARNING: A strategy for acquiring skills and knowledge that is both self-directed and intense. This book really hit the spot for me. It combines learning, productivity, and doing things in unconventional ways to increase effectiveness. There was no way I was not going to read this. I think I learnt about it from a mention by Cal Newport somewhere. It has a similar feel to his own writing. I found much of the advice matched my own experience of language learning: while I didn't have names for ULTRALEARNING: A strategy for acquiring skills and knowledge that is both self-directed and intense. This book really hit the spot for me. It combines learning, productivity, and doing things in unconventional ways to increase effectiveness. There was no way I was not going to read this. I think I learnt about it from a mention by Cal Newport somewhere. It has a similar feel to his own writing. I found much of the advice matched my own experience of language learning: while I didn't have names for the principles, I definitely used a lot of them. Examples of ultralearners in the text are not just from language learning, but also public speaking, the authors’ own experience learning of the MIT curriculum, chess, drawing, etc. The anecdotes are actually useful in giving examples of the principles in use, not just sprinkled through the text as filler. The author touches lightly on many different learning tools, but the focus is more on the principles held in common by these learners. The idea is that regardless of what you're studying, you can use the same principles to learn more quickly and more effectively than you would in a traditional school environment period (not a high bar, maybe). With self directed learning, staying motivated is often the bottleneck, and this book delivers plenty of motivation (enough to get you started, probably not enough to keep you plugging away for a few months, you have to work that part out yourself). I am also reminded how good we have it right now. Learning a language has never been so easy. You can consume foreign media 24/7, for free, without needing to be in the country (although that does help a lot still). Anki, sub2srs, podcasts, youtube, newspaper websites, blogs, online chat, etc. etc. Upon finishing I couldn’t wait to design your own project and become fluent in some new skill. It made me feel nostalgic for my language learning days. I already have a couple of pages of notes written for a “learn to write better” project. Worst case scenario, my writing improves. (Best case scenario, nobel prize?)

  18. 4 out of 5

    John

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is a great, easy to read primer on the process of learning. To take the definition from the author, Ultralearning is "A strategy for acquiring skills and knowledge that is both self-directed and intense." This book had a very similar feel as atomic habits in terms of its structure. A story would introduce a concept then the author would break down the learning areas further into sub-topics, which are easy to digest and implement if one wishes. I lament that the author did not use more This book is a great, easy to read primer on the process of learning. To take the definition from the author, Ultralearning is "A strategy for acquiring skills and knowledge that is both self-directed and intense." This book had a very similar feel as atomic habits in terms of its structure. A story would introduce a concept then the author would break down the learning areas further into sub-topics, which are easy to digest and implement if one wishes. I lament that the author did not use more varied examples for learning projects as I felt like I kept reading about his experiences when learning languages. Nonetheless, it is up to the reader to execute his own learning regime and many of the concepts the author spoke to are universal in nature. Here were some of the key takeaways I took from the book: 1. The 9 principles of ultralearning. (page 48) A. Metalearning: First Draw a Map. B. Focus: Sharpen Your Knife. C. Directness: Go Straight Ahead. D. Drill: Attack Your Weakest Point. E. Retrieval: Test to Learn. F. Feedback: Don’t Dodge the Punches. G. Retention: Don’t Fill a Leaky Bucket. H. Intuition: Dig Deep Before Building Up. I. Experimentation: Explore Outside Your Comfort Zone. 2. Metalearning - understanding your why, what and how. (page 57) 3. Rate-determining step - "Learning, I’d like to argue, often works similarly, with certain aspects of the learning problem forming a bottleneck that controls the speed at which you can become more proficient overall." (page 110) 4. Retrieval post learning - restate big idea of chapter as a question. (page 131) 5. Feynman's method of learning. (page 192) 6. Key questions to ask when executing your ultralearning plan. (page 222)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Neelam Babul

    I love learning about different things. I always have since I was a child exploring the library at school or the town library. The domain of knowledge is expanding every second, new discoveries are being made every hour and new fields of study are created almost with every technological breakthrough. The only way to stay informed and up to date with the happenings of the world is to learn, read, ask questions and explore the universe. Scott Young describes ultralearning as an intense practice re I love learning about different things. I always have since I was a child exploring the library at school or the town library. The domain of knowledge is expanding every second, new discoveries are being made every hour and new fields of study are created almost with every technological breakthrough. The only way to stay informed and up to date with the happenings of the world is to learn, read, ask questions and explore the universe. Scott Young describes ultralearning as an intense practice revolving around self-learning different from the rigid on fits all approach in schools. He provides nine principles of ultralearning which include the following: 1. Metalearning - have a road map/guide 2. Focus - concentrate on what you want to study 3. Directness - go into action mode/apply what you are learning directly 4. Drill - attack your weakest point and work on mastering it 5. Retrieval - test your knowledge 6. Feedback - learn from criticism or understand what kind of feedback is useful 7. Retention - learn to remember things 8. Intuition - use play and exploration of concepts 9. Experimentation - step out of your comfort zone He provides numerous examples of ‘ultralearners’ including the Polgar sisters who were masters at chess and the projects they undertook to master. A great guide and the ultimate resource on self directed leaning. He also provides a brief guide on how the reader can try out their own ultralearning project and the benefits of using it in today's fast paced world.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Trung

    A little bit disappointed with the book. Could have been a 2 stars. With James Clear's forward (he's the author of "Atomic Habits"), I expected the book to be more practical. However, it's quite generic and as the author said, they are just principles. The examples he's used to prove for the principles were also idiosyncratic. A little bit disappointed with the book. Could have been a 2 stars. With James Clear's forward (he's the author of "Atomic Habits"), I expected the book to be more practical. However, it's quite generic and as the author said, they are just principles. The examples he's used to prove for the principles were also idiosyncratic.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Allysia K

    Great book! I took copious notes. I almost wish for some more specific step-by-step ideas, as the concepts are largely taught via stories and examples, but I understand how tricky of a thing that would be to do.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tõnu Vahtra

    Push yourself out of your comfort zone and don't forget about metalearning. I really wanted to like this book because of the title and concept (while considering myself an ultralearner also) but eventually was not very impressed. The book was only 300 pages long but could have been significantly shorter as could not be considered very "dense". It was built upon a relatively limited number of examples: home-schooling for MIT Computer Science degree, learning new language in 3 months, improving dr Push yourself out of your comfort zone and don't forget about metalearning. I really wanted to like this book because of the title and concept (while considering myself an ultralearner also) but eventually was not very impressed. The book was only 300 pages long but could have been significantly shorter as could not be considered very "dense". It was built upon a relatively limited number of examples: home-schooling for MIT Computer Science degree, learning new language in 3 months, improving drawing skills. Longest description was about Judit Polgar and how his father was scientifically growing her into a chess genius from birth. From theory perspective the book did not offer much novel ideas compared to other books on learning techniques. Ultralearning principles: 1) Metalearning - learning how to learn 2) Focus (references to Cal NewPort's Deep Work), appropriate level of focus for a task (mostly not FLOW). 3) Directness - matching the context in which you plan to apply what you learn 4) Drill -drilling the weakest skills that are holding you back. 5) Retrieval - spend as much time as possible recalling what you know about a topic, even to the point of testing yourself on it before you start studying, to prepare your brain for the information to come. 6) Feedback - The most effective feedback comes from an expert coach who designs a training plan specifically for you and tells you what you're doing right and wrong as you carry out the plan. From basic tools, selecting practice problems that you have an answer key for. 7) Retention - Using four memory mechanisms: spacing out your learning, turning skills into procedures, learning beyond basic competence, using mnemonics. 8) Intuition - After you have learned a topic, you should not have just a collection of facts and procedures, but a flexible understanding that allowed you to answer deep questions about it and seamlessly connect it to other topics (Feynman Technique). 9) Experimentation - Throwing out the mainstream metalearning knowledge about topic and just experimenting what best works for you. ULTRALEARNING: A strategy for acquiring skills and knowledge that is both self-directed and intense. First, ultralearning is a strategy. A strategy is not the only solution to a given problem, but it may be a good one. Strategies also tend to be well suited for certain situations and not others, so using them is a choice, not a commandment. Second, ultralearning is self-directed. It’s about how you make decisions about what to learn and why. It’s possible to be a completely self-directed learner and still decide that attending a particular school is the best way to learn something. Finally, ultralearning is intense. How many of us have dreams of playing an instrument, speaking a foreign language, becoming a chef, writer, or photographer? Your deepest moments of happiness don’t come from doing easy things; they come from realizing your potential and overcoming your own limiting beliefs about yourself. In the words of the economist Tyler Cowen, “Average is over.” In his book of the same title, Cowen argues that because of increased computerization, automation, outsourcing, and regionalization, we are increasingly living in a world in which the top performers do a lot better than the rest. Driving this effect is what is known as “skill polarization.”

  23. 5 out of 5

    Judith

    The pace at which our industries change and adapt new tools, new methods, or even become obsolete in favour of new branches, is ever increasing. Therefore, the key predictor for people's careers isn't so much their current skillset, but rather their adaptability and their ability to quickly learn an additional skill or even to switch course and master an entirely new field. The most extraordinary learning results - such as mastering the MIT computer science curriculum in a quarter of the regular The pace at which our industries change and adapt new tools, new methods, or even become obsolete in favour of new branches, is ever increasing. Therefore, the key predictor for people's careers isn't so much their current skillset, but rather their adaptability and their ability to quickly learn an additional skill or even to switch course and master an entirely new field. The most extraordinary learning results - such as mastering the MIT computer science curriculum in a quarter of the regular time, or learning a new language in just three months, or acquiring native-like Japanese as an adult learner, or studying world literature in dozens of languages, or being a world-class chess player at the age of 12 - are celebrated online and develop a following of people who also want to quickly develop their skills. Ultralearning is the first to collect the similarities in learning approaches between such outstanding achievements and to deduct general principles, presented as actionable strategies and ideas without assuming that one-size-fits-all. As such, the book is invaluable to anyone who wants to achieve a newsworthy learning result himself/herself, but it is also very valuable to people with more modest goals, especially those who want to ride the waves that are transforming our industries rather than be drowned by them. One can see Ultralearning as one in a line of books on how to learn, but that would be to miss the essence, the ultra of it: this book doesn't say so much about general learning (mnemonics for example are just a few paragraphs), but extreme learning, the preparation and strategies and goal-setting and methods to realize a result far above the rest, given one has the motivation to do so (the idea of achieving this can also be the motivation). The only regret I have is that this book doesn't come with the worksheets that Scott's online RapidLearner program has. The worksheets really helped me clear my mind and zero in on what project I want to do and how I will do it, as well as to plan and track it. RapidLearner is a six-week communal study program, so there is the pressure of the pace and the community of other learners which may be beneficial to those actually setting up their own intense learning project. The way I see it, this book goes more deeply into the theory, to help people understand what these projects involve, whether they might want to do something like this, and what elements they could use even in their everyday learning, and the RapidLearner program provides practical guidance and a community for those who are ready to jump in and start a learning project.

  24. 4 out of 5

    A.G. Stranger

    Learning is a lifelong endeavor. In this day and age, it is no longer an option to keep on learning, it's a must. It's not about having an edge on other people. It is a prerequisite to survive in a knowledge economy. If learning is this important, how come none of us truly knows how to learn? I drew a blank the last time my cousin asked me "Uhm, okay and how should I study?". This book is an answer to that question and more. Its author finished the MIT curriculum and graduated in just one year. He Learning is a lifelong endeavor. In this day and age, it is no longer an option to keep on learning, it's a must. It's not about having an edge on other people. It is a prerequisite to survive in a knowledge economy. If learning is this important, how come none of us truly knows how to learn? I drew a blank the last time my cousin asked me "Uhm, okay and how should I study?". This book is an answer to that question and more. Its author finished the MIT curriculum and graduated in just one year. He learned to converse in multiple languages, also in one year. The secret is a term he called 'Ultralearning'. Ultralearning is self-directed learning that is intense, efficient and effective. It allows one to carry-out learning projects in a period of time that would've been otherwise far longer. It's based on 9 guiding principles: - Metalearning: Breaking down the skill one wants to learn to its foundational and essential concepts/facts. Doing deep research on the best methods of studying a given subject - Focus: Making sure to remove distractions. - Retrieval: Practicing free recall instead of shallow reviewing. - Directness: Practicing what one is learning. - Drilling: Working separately on the sub-skills that would take one to the next level. - Feedback: Making sure to receive objective, constructive feedback. - Retention: Making sure that one remembers what one has learned through spaced repetition. - Intuition: Understanding the core concepts deeply so that one develops an intuition about how things work - Experimentation: Going beyond the comfort zone and trying different learning tools and trying to develop a unique style.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tadas Talaikis

    There is better and clear how to use one: Learning How to Learn, which is actually used in real schools, can be verified by anyone that "it's possible to teach oneself anything", and can be summarized into "there are three barriers that prevent students from learning: "absence of mass*", too steep a gradient, and the misunderstood word". Study Tech * "Absence of mass" is the idea that abstractions must be illustrated physically (including physical contact with the equipment, as an example) before There is better and clear how to use one: Learning How to Learn, which is actually used in real schools, can be verified by anyone that "it's possible to teach oneself anything", and can be summarized into "there are three barriers that prevent students from learning: "absence of mass*", too steep a gradient, and the misunderstood word". Study Tech * "Absence of mass" is the idea that abstractions must be illustrated physically (including physical contact with the equipment, as an example) before they can be fully understood.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin

    5/5 for quality of advice and cultivating inspiration, 3/5 for rigor. The anecdotes are piled much higher than I prefer, the studies cited frequently don’t merit their terse summarization (the surgeon versus internist doctors example being one), and some of the anecdotes undercut each other (Van Gogh versus raising geniuses, for instance). All that said, following the steps outlined is likely to lead to results, I just would be unconvinced by this book’s arguments in favor of its approach if I w 5/5 for quality of advice and cultivating inspiration, 3/5 for rigor. The anecdotes are piled much higher than I prefer, the studies cited frequently don’t merit their terse summarization (the surgeon versus internist doctors example being one), and some of the anecdotes undercut each other (Van Gogh versus raising geniuses, for instance). All that said, following the steps outlined is likely to lead to results, I just would be unconvinced by this book’s arguments in favor of its approach if I wasn’t familiar with other (stronger) supporting material.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brad Smith

    In this book, Scott H. Young provides the reader with a well-blended mix of inspiration, guidelines and scientific facts. I agree with Cal Newport that if the reader makes an effort and incorporates Young's teachings, he or she will get an edge in the professional life. Also, I think ultralearning gives people opportunities to "improve" their spare time by learning and getting good at new hobbies. Young's drawing portrait ultralearning project is an example of this, I believe. However, like any In this book, Scott H. Young provides the reader with a well-blended mix of inspiration, guidelines and scientific facts. I agree with Cal Newport that if the reader makes an effort and incorporates Young's teachings, he or she will get an edge in the professional life. Also, I think ultralearning gives people opportunities to "improve" their spare time by learning and getting good at new hobbies. Young's drawing portrait ultralearning project is an example of this, I believe. However, like any other practical book, it only proves its true value when the reader actually tries the methods in his or her life. I myself will certainly attempt to follow some of the ultralearning principles, and I imagine that most of them will be as efficient as Young claims they are.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jay Hennessey

    ULTRALEARNING is an Amazing book, especially for anyone passionate about learning and personal development. I really appreciated how the author, Steve Young,shares so many examples of his 9 principles in practice. Having read a lot of other books on the learning, my favorite being Make It Stick by Brown and Rodiger, many of the principles were the same. That said, the part that I really appreciated was Steve’s deliberate methodology to learning, specifically Principle 1 Metalearning - First Draw ULTRALEARNING is an Amazing book, especially for anyone passionate about learning and personal development. I really appreciated how the author, Steve Young,shares so many examples of his 9 principles in practice. Having read a lot of other books on the learning, my favorite being Make It Stick by Brown and Rodiger, many of the principles were the same. That said, the part that I really appreciated was Steve’s deliberate methodology to learning, specifically Principle 1 Metalearning - First Draw a Map. In this chapter, Steve discusses not only mapping out what you want to learn, but what resources are available and how to draw on your existing knowledge and competencies to support your effort. I also appreciated the idea of determining how much time you will allocate to your learning project - then, (rule of thumb) dedicating 10% of this time to the mapping and looking at resources. In reflecting on my own process, I realized I never had one. In fact, even my book selection is often haphazard. So while I feel like I am constantly learning, I now ask my self, “to what end”. Truth is, some of the best books or articles I have read, I stumbled into. So, I want to be a bit careful not to be overly rigid, but rather, take the time to think what I want to accomplish over the year. What topics or skills do I want to learn or acquire. I also liked the explanation of Transfer, a.k.a. The Holy Grail of Education - applying what you learned in class. This concept made me reflect on my own development. The books that I get the most out of, I have either shared with friends and colleagues, or thought deeply on how to apply the concepts at work. This seems like an area for continued focus. As a parent, there was so much to think about regarding my kids....from testing to retrieval to the Dunning-Kruger effect - my kids were definitely happy to to have me finish this book! Finally, this book provided me with so much material to reflect on in both my personal and professional life. I highly recommend it to anyone who is passionate about their development or helping their children think about how to approach education and learning.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Filipa Canelas

    Learning a language. What would be your first step? The author of UltraLearning, Scott Young, went 3 months to Spain with the condition of not speaking a single word in English. Not even on the phone or with his traveling friend. Brazil, China, and Korea followed. These were 4 Ultralearning projects, lasting over 12 months. But what exactly makes an UltraLearning Project different from any other learning goal? It is both self-directed and intense. Self-Direction: Traditional education is not self- Learning a language. What would be your first step? The author of UltraLearning, Scott Young, went 3 months to Spain with the condition of not speaking a single word in English. Not even on the phone or with his traveling friend. Brazil, China, and Korea followed. These were 4 Ultralearning projects, lasting over 12 months. But what exactly makes an UltraLearning Project different from any other learning goal? It is both self-directed and intense. Self-Direction: Traditional education is not self-directed. You enter a classroom and are taught a one-size-fits-all curriculum. It does not matter if most of what you're learning is not serving you, or if it has a real-world application. On the opposite way, with a self-directed approach, you embark on a learning journey where you get to pick multiples teachers, techniques, and construct your own path. Intensity: Intensity is also a key component of an UltraLearning project, but I don’t get to incorporate it in most learning projects. When I decide to learn a new skill, I focus on making consistent progress every day, even if for a couple of minutes. It's a valid approach and it's been a great help to learn video-editing, writing, drumming, and so on. But an UltraLearning project is different — you are supposed to go deep and immerse yourself completely into a new skill. That is, the main goal is to accelerate your progress. Now that you know which 2 characteristics an UltraLearning project must have, there are 3 main steps you should follow to embark on this journey. 1) Develop a meta-learning map: Spend 5-10% of your time understanding every bit of information and content you need to reach the desired level of mastery. Ask yourself: "If I want to do ________, what concepts do I need to understand, what facts do I need to memorize, what procedures do I need to practice?" As an example: If I want to hold a conversation in Mandarin, I need to understand how sentences are structured, memorize words, verbs and conjugations, and the procedures of mandarin tones. Use the web, books, experts, and any other source to understand the different components of a skill and build a meta-learning map. You can revisit your map frequently and update it alongside your own understanding of the subject. Once you have your map structured, you need to identify which of those will be critical for your success. 2) Design practice drills: What are the key activities you must really good at? Assess your level on each activity and prioritize the ones you’re weaker at, the bottlenecks, as they are compromising your progress and efficiency. If you want to grow your biceps, you should practice isolation bicep exercises consistently. If you want to be a public speaker, focus on delivering any speech with the right tone and posture. Drills are decisive practices to help you succeed. 3) Overlearn: Once you have your drills, commit to overlearning certain components. That is, become extraordinarily good by going a step further than your initial target. This will make what you are learning stick for long periods of time. Ask yourself: "What's my target performance and what's my next level?" Do it. Read more here: https://www.filipacanelas.com/blog/ul...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kair Käsper

    Another one of those popular science books that is 90% based on the author's own experience, anecdotal stories and opinions (from mostly other such authors). The book aims to structure the process of “ultralearning”, but comes off as an attempt to draw the first map of unfamiliar territory. It feels like it’s all duct-taped together with some of the parts described superficially, and others incoherently pulled together to form a whole. A for effort, and 2/5 for execution. In its current form it do Another one of those popular science books that is 90% based on the author's own experience, anecdotal stories and opinions (from mostly other such authors). The book aims to structure the process of “ultralearning”, but comes off as an attempt to draw the first map of unfamiliar territory. It feels like it’s all duct-taped together with some of the parts described superficially, and others incoherently pulled together to form a whole. A for effort, and 2/5 for execution. In its current form it does not hold a candle to Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, but hopefully, it will inspire actual experts to publish more books in this field.

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