The most important skill to getting rich is becoming a perpetual learner. You have to know how to learn anything you want to learn.
— Naval Ravikant
The world around us keeps changing. Learning helps us adjust to these changes. When we learn, we grow.
If you don’t keep learning, you don’t just become stagnant; you devolve.
This is why learning how to learn is key to your progress.
Charlie Munger refers to the importance of being a perpetual learner in his Commencement Speech at USC:
Another idea that I got and this may remind you of Confucius too is that wisdom acquisition was a moral duty. It’s not something you do just to advance in life wisdom acquisition is a moral duty. And as a corollary to that proposition – which is very important – it means that you’re hooked for lifetime learning.
And without lifetime learning you people are not going to do very well.
You are not going to get very far in life based on what you already know.
I constantly see people rise in life who were not the smartest, sometimes not even the most diligent. But they are learning machines. They go to bed every night a little wiser than they were when they got up and boy does that have it help. Particularly when you have a long run ahead of you.
The benefits of learning how to learn
- You can quickly adjust to new situations and new challenges.
- You become stronger and more adaptable.
- You have an advantage over others.
- You feel more confident. New challenges feel like puzzles you know you can solve.
- You can make smarter choices.
- You’ll know the right questions to ask when facing problems.
- Learning becomes fun. When you’re comfortable with learning, you become curious and will naturally want to know more.
- It’ll become easy for you to pick up all ideas across different disciplines and build your own mental frameworks.
What does this mean for you?
If you have a job, you can learn new tasks or adapt to a new role faster.
If you provide a service, you can understand the needs of your new clients quickly and broaden your services offer fast if the demand requires it.
If you’re a maker/indie hacker, you can learn new tools or languages to create and launch new products faster.
The main idea is simple. And you might have heard it hundreds of times. But we often forget the importance of getting better at this essential skill. Instead, we focus more on learning specific hard skills like using new tools or improving your programming skills.
So this is my invitation to you: prioritize the art of learning to learn.