real learning vs. fake learning

Jay Clouse learning

I’ve previously written about the problem of real work vs. fake work. The threat of doing fake work (work that doesn’t actually represent meaningful progress) is the endorphin rush of having “accomplished” something.

By feeling like you’ve accomplished something, you feel the same physiological response as having actually accomplished something. This can lead to indulging in more fake work to get that feeling of accomplishment, while actually putting off meaningful work.

The same can to be true of learning.

Every day, I spend at least 2-3 hours reading, listening, or watching ‘educational’ material that I expect to learn from. It’s easy to read some massive article, watch a TED talk, or listen to a podcast and feel like I’m learning.

Some of it is purely out of curiosity or entertainment. There’s a lot to be said about expanding your worldview or general understanding of a topic. But much of what I learn is intended to be directly applied to my work.

Real learning happens through action. Through experimentation or implementation.

How many more pieces on growing an email list do I need to read before I actually start implementing some of the strategies?

I’ve read so much material on building an online course; surely I’ve learned the best way to do it. So why am I not doing it?

Fake learning – learning without attempted implementation – is just more fake work.


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