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How I learn something new

Chris Hufnagel Avatar

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How I learn Something New

I struggled in school. If something did not interest me, I didn’t really want to put in the effort.

But when something peaked my curiosity, I was all in.

This has continued through my adulthood and into my career.

When I started freelancing I was in a perpetual state of learning. I didn’t have kids yet so I would completely engross myself in the world of freelancing as a web designer. I learned not only how to design and code websites but how to run a successful business.

I did this by watching YouTube videos, listening to Podcasts, reading blog posts, and following the people a few steps ahead of me on social media.

When I want to learn something I immerse myself completely in that world.

I may not fully understand it right away, but eventually it all starts to click. As I listen to a podcast I might hear a concept that I have not heard before. So I stop and give it a Google or find a new resource.

When watching a YouTube video I try to follow along and write the code as they do it. I often will try and do it just a little different than how the person on the video, so I can make it more relevant to what I am trying to do.

I have used the power of immersion to learn complex topics like PHP, CSS, and some sales techniques all on my own.

Right now I find myself using this technique again as I look to learn React for WordPress block development so that we can add more powerful features to the Rockbase WordPress theme.

When using the immersion technique to learn something new I like to follow a few rules:

  1. Know why you are learning this topic. What is the first thing you want to do with it?
  2. Find different sources. Don’t only consume information from one place.
  3. Find ways to apply what you are learning immediately. Consuming content is important to learn but if you don’t apply it, then what is the point?
  4. Find a community. This is super easy with WordPress as communities are everywhere. The goal is to find like minded people on Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social platforms. Give them a follow. Read through their past content. Engage with them.
  5. Check your ego at the door. You are going to SUCK at first. It will be painful because you are probably coming from a place of mastery, you are used to being good. But when you learn something new you have to start at the place of suck. Don’t worry, keep at it. It is usually short lived.

By keeping the above items in mind I stay on course. If I find myself in learn mode for too long then I find ways to exit. If I don’t have enough knowledge just yet, what is a smaller version I can start building?

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