The Learning Experience: Cheap or Deep?

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Brian Kight

People now place too much emphasis on learning fast and not enough on learning deeply. The consequence is a false equivalence of consumption with learning and a false confidence that what gets consumed is understood.

Lists like "The 50 books I read last year" or "Cheat codes I know at 40 that I wish I knew at 20" promote a cheap and shallow form of learning that fails to grasp both the purpose and mechanics of learning.

Learning happens through depth, not volume. It occurs through immersion, not cheat codes. No one cares how many books you've read or podcasts you've heard. No one cares what podcasts you listen to or books you've read. These are not marks of success, achievement, or wisdom.

Success is applying the lessons of one book in a manner so disciplined that it transforms your life or at least impacts it in a meaningful fashion. Achievement is converting what you hear in a podcast into a result you otherwise would not have been capable of producing.

Learning requires a depth of work, not necessarily a volume of consumption. It requires deliberate study, disciplined practice, and dedicated consistency. It means putting yourself thoroughly inside the subject matter, evaluating yourself against the standards you're learning, and attempting to raise the quality of your actions to meet those standards.

You can't do that if you constantly move on to another book, topic, or podcast. That is the illusion of learning. We can call it infotainment. Little will change if anything. It won't last. More depth is needed to create a genuine impact. 

To learn, transform, or build something of lasting capability, merit, and value, immerse yourself in the learning experience. If you want a change, fully engage. If you want to learn, fully commit. 

Shed volume for depth. Swap variety for rigor. Don't minimize your effort through hacks or cheapen your experience with cheat codes. Go deep and intense, not shallow and casual.

The illusion of learning might trick you into feeling like you're growing, but real, deep, immersive learning is the only way to discover your best self. 

Are you trying to feel good for a while or improve yourself forever?

The time is now. Do the work.

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