Learn to Teach Yourself

Whenever practical, work in teams of three (3) to identify, plan, and solve problems.  Students have few opportunities to earn respect, and working together to individually teach themselves useful parts to contribute in solving problems, builds self-respect.  Building Self-Respect is a motivator for all of us to engage difficult problems with persistence.


Learn how to find things quickly on the internet; especially Google Search.  Google provides control codes to use with their search engine that accelerates greatly the finding of better pages.  Pages that contain more usefulinformation/skills related to what you really are looking for.  When searching for information, pay attention to the jargon (industry specific words) and unique phrases, collectively referred to as “keywords and tricky phrases”, that are expressed within the group that shares related useful information/skills with each other.  People with certain skills most often share information in a way that similar people have come to agree upon as “common foundations to more directly achieve their goals leading toward greater broad diversity in being able to support accomplishments” (useful).  The following link provides examples of some of these shortcuts:




When writing a report like a journal article, cite where you found supporting information at the end of the report, and before appendices.  A simple way of providing a properly formatted reference citation is to usehttp://www.easybib.com/


Basic Mindset to Learn Anything:


  • Who is this important to?
  • Are there time constraints or potential impacts on other priorities? 
  • What are my long term goals? (Seek out a mentor to identify gaps from your lack of experience)
    • Do not ask mentors what you know how to find and learn from on the internet 
  • Where am I in relation to my long term goals?
  • What do I have to work with, to include other potential collaborators?
  • Where do I want to be by the end of this present effort?
  • How do I get there?
    (organize your research plan, seek out expert information, question authority, broadly consider usefulness)
  • Are there different solutions to consider that have a better fit? 
  • Who can I mentor, with what I have learned? (this builds a foundation to help support future efforts) 


  1. Write down “who” has an interest in your effort.  In addition to you being accountable to them, they and those they know, are potential resources in engaging your plans.
  2. Get a $1 daytimer (daily calendar) from Walmart and make notes of deadlines.  Alternatively, write all the deadlines down on the first page of your 3-ring binder.
  3. Get a 3-ring binder and “TAKE NOTES”.  The human brain only takes notice of a small fraction of the relationships we are exposed to.  By “TAKING NOTES” the brain is reminded about how systems of relationships are tied together to create perspectives, so that complex systems of information are meaningful and can be acted upon; by you.
  4. Write goals down or even blog about them.  Setting goals helps the brain select what information is more important, or has higher priorities than others.  Set priorities without being self-deceptive.  Every goal is composed of tasks that have qualities of Urgency, Importance, and Difficulty.  Plot two separate coordinate axis graphs: 1) Importance versus Difficulty, and 2) Importance versus Urgency.


1) First list in a column every effort you are required/need to complete; the order is not important

2) Put sequential numbers in front of every task

3) Create three (3) additional columns next to the list for Importance, Difficulty, and Urgency (IDU … I do)

4) Based on your experiences and current knowledge, quickly rate each task related to each column 
    of IDU (0 = low 9 = high)

5) Then plot the numbered identifier of each task on a chart of Importance versus Difficulty

6) Then plot the numbered identifiers of just Quick Wins in a chart of Importance versus Urgency

7) List in order of Urgency all of the tasks that are Important and Urgent; and focus on getting them 
    completed as soon as practical; this provides breathing room to act on what is needed next.


The following is the order of priority for the Priority Matrix cycle:


  • Quick Wins of Important and Urgent tasks (requires learning why each task is related to long term goals; i.e. consequences),
  • Important and Urgent tasks that are more difficult (tasks requiring time to complete before deadlines)
  • Important and not Urgent (more than sufficient time to complete after more difficult tasks are finished and no longer urgent)
  • Not Important but Urgent (delegate to someone else if practical where the same effort is Important to them, or do something to make the relationship not urgent without hurting long term goals; consider ignoring), and
  • Not Important and Not Urgent (ignore it, just care for it so it does not become important, and if it evolves to be important then elevate its priority).


To reiterate, do NOT participate in self-deception.  Often, inexperienced people will choose emotional “wants” over realistic “needs” and harm their long term career goals. For instance, choosing to avoid difficult homework to instead watch television; where avoiding work gets a person fired, causes low grades, can prevent a student from being able to get into college, and in-general makes a person less desirable in which to associate in the long term.  Similarly, choosing easy classes instead of classes that provide practice in problem solving; this action avoids building brain tissues needed to solve diverse types of problems.  The result being the brain NOT being built to solve difficult problems.  Every employer then observes that person demonstrating this lack of persistence, which leads to not being offered career opportunities to achieve significant long term goals; the person that chooses not to apply themselves mentally is trapped behind self created road blocks.


Human Resources tracks the productivity and leadership qualities of every employee, and then uses a form to rate their effectiveness.  Every employee is expected to rate high in every area.  Sub-standard employees are provided supervisory notification, training, demotion to a useful level, or are replaced. High rating employees are provided advancement to better serve the needs of the company.


Notice that by actively setting priorities it allows a person to “decide for themselves” and choose to use time productively so that it is possible for them to achieve their long term goals.  Setting Priorities often provides opportunities to leverage other peoples skills and resources to help achieve those goals.  Creating a cohort (team that shares mutual goals) and setting priorities in developing and providing useful information by all members of the Cohort, each person no longer needs to develop all of the related information/skills themselves. Through the sharing of information and skills related to tasking, each Cohort member more efficiently achieves mutual intermediate goals with less total effort and in less time.  Each member can take more time to learn perspectives (systems of relationships) and relationships (how to manipulate the inputs/outputs/variables of high priority related relationships) to mutually share with Cohort members, before a deadline is reached.  Allowing for each member to leverage the efforts of each member to accomplish more than could be accomplished individually in the same available time.


Examples of a Cohort include, but are not limited to: after school study group, rotating in-class study teams, business administration, political office organization, lobby group, research group, classroom laboratory team, student club (student robotics and rocketry club, students activities support club, student career planning club, student internships club,  STEM Sisters, community service club, Junior Achievement, American Indian Science & Engineering club,…).


2. Attain the ability to see how you hurt yourself related to long term goals, and actively set priorities and even write out a strategic plan so your long term goals are attainable: especially career planning.  Career Planning requires thinking about consequences many years in advance, so that the education and mentor support is developed to assure success.


3. Breeze through online tutorials of what you have an interest in and build a foundation to understand the jargon and how jargon “relates” to other jargon.  Build a mental picture of the “relationships” because they form logical patterns with concepts you already developed in your mind.  This stage is like throwing a bunch of puzzle pieces on the floor that came from different boxes of puzzles.  You look for commonly connected relationships.

4. Every professional takes notes, laborers don’t.  The brain needs to see relationships repeatedly to become significant enough to remember.  Statistically, each person reading this will retain less than 10% of the relationships presented.  So when complex relationships are critical for your employer, your teacher, or mentor, and you do NOT take notes, they infer that you are being disrespectful.  Respect is a communication process.  The people in a social group share “Useful” information so together they can leverage each other’s skills and resources to accomplish mutual goals.  When complex relationships are presented by an employer/teacher/mentor and notes are not actively taken, the assumption by the employer is that their employee either has a learning disability, or does not care about the goals.  The employer can only act on some combination of choices: live with the employee shortcoming and demote the employee to their most useful position, training by at first just mentioning the employee’s shortcoming and allowing them to actively solve their own problem and if not then escalate to required training, for those that catch-on assign them a mentor to grow into more useful positions, and for those that refuse to share respect with their employer/teacher/mentor they should be replaced by someone who has the capacity to share mutual goals as shared respect.  Time is a limited resource for employers/teachers/mentors and wasting it prevents them from helping other people; benefiting the most with the available time.  Politeness is NOT respect, it is an offering of being allowed to EARN respect.  Always have a notepad or index cards and a pen available to take notes.


5. Take a deep breath; get things Wrong.  Have fun !!!!  But don’t kill an opportunity by giving up; take what was learned and re-approach the problem to include all of your new perspectives and relationships.  This promotes Brain Building.  Significant opportunities are not offered to people who give up; solving complex problems to create useful outcomes is a required life skill.  While discovering what works, pay attention to what does NOT work; and next time choose a slightly different path.  Get excited about the little wins!  Complex problems result in many diverse efforts before mentally connecting “broadly considered” relationships to “usefully” model a solution.  Recognizing patterns of what does not work is every bit as important as learning what does work; it allows for solving similar problems more efficiently.  Pay attention to the potential opportunities that the broad “useful” relationships you have learned provide; great deeds are built by connecting “usefully engaged moments”.

6. Scrap the exactness of symbolism standardized by others.  Do not try to infer meaning from the construction of a symbol or “Syntax”.  Symbols are used to represent unique perspectives, but the form of symbols is historically generated by random events.  Create a pseudo representation or notation of your own that allows you to associate interactive relationships.  Mneumonics, Pseudo-Code, Short-hand, Doodles…are often used for Pattern Matching to learn how to recognize relationships.  Then connect the standard accepted syntax of a particular language with your pseudo code.  Through practiced use of Standard Syntax in relating to your Pseudo Code, the Standard Syntax will eventually dominate over your natural expression of the relationships.  With your new found exactness of relating to relationships, go back and more carefully review previously viewed tutorials to understand in greater depth the broad usefulness of what was presented.

7. Find a stickler; someone that encourages trying, but won’t let you get away with mistakes in your details.  This is important to become fluent.  In most computer language Integrated Development Environments (IDE), the computer will act as your mentor and hold you accountable for your details; unforgivingly noting your mistakes.  We need to find other mentors in other areas where we need expertise to help us define the details of other areas of interest; like music, mathematics, business, career planning … where internships, teachers, counselors, clubs, forums… are some ways of acquiring the stickler we need to become fluent.  Without a Stickler within the expertise we need, it is much more difficult to recognize where our system of relationships and perspectives we think we understand, fall short.  Appreciate a Stickler, they are difficult to find, and their importance is significant to each of us.

8. Actively pursue Practiced Experience.  If learning a spoken language, you might carry on both sides of a conversation with yourself, or participate in logical debate with others.  In a written language, perhaps writing influential logical rhetoric for and against a particular perspective; with authoritative references cited.  In computer language, try different coding techniques to explore accomplishing the same tasks.  Play with it.  Visualize what the potential outcomes might be before coding.  If a person only learns one way of expressing themselves, it is difficult for them to express diverse relationships within a changing environment.  However, a person that has a big set of tools and has a feel for what does not work, can more easily relate diversely to provide a solution that fits eloquently within a changing or different environment.  When we have a feeling of what does not work then we are much more successful in attempting new efforts.  A non-useful outcome rarely exists, unless it is consistently repeated.

9. Use what you Learn.  If your primary language is English and you are learning Spanish, you want to find someone with a different primary language like Chinese who is trying to learn Spanish.   In this way the incentive is to share the best language in-common, the one you are trying to learn.  Choosing a partner who is Spanish will likely result in their boredom, and someone who speaks English will likely revert to English instead of Spanish.  The same is true for computer coding and anything else to be fluently learned.  In what stimulating social environment is your desired level of coding the best skill shared in-common with someone who is not fluent in coding?  Someone who is building a different part of the same project; especially when mutually supporting enterprise.

10. Learn how to learn.  Did you take notes to remember how to learn efficiently?  Statistically you retained less than 10% of what you read.  So what are you going to do so that you can apply how to learn as an employable life skill?  Read this material again and this time take notes.  Identify the series of major relationships that are critical for you to learn efficiently; and apply them until they are a natural part of everyday discovery.


11. Lead the way: where each person needs mentors to more effectively learn important relationships related to their goals, each person also needs to develop themselves to be worthy of becoming a mentor to those that follow in their foot steps.  In the process of teaching others, a person practices better expressing themselves using the relationships and perspectives related to their goals.


12. Drama is an active political effort to convey disrespect.  No useful information or skill is shared and the attempt by the perpetrator is to emotionally disturb others with no useful outcome.  The perpetrator feels more in control because they can inflict destructive influence by wasting time of others, but as a result are destructive to their own reputation and the result is that they are shunned from being allowed to participate in future significant opportunities.  Avoid people who create Drama, it is a waste of mental efforts and confuses actual relationships, which distorts Useful priorities and causes self-destructive tendencies.


Cohort members that are non-productive are of two types: Drift Wood contributes minimal effort, or worse, Dead Weight is overtly destructive.  Often non-productive Cohort members try to use politics and personality to participate in a Cohort without actually providing USEFUL effort.  To be Useful requires each member to independently teach themselves something the Cohort will find useful in achieving their mutual goals.  Drift Wood and Dead Weight intents are to benefit with the least effort of their own by abusing the social relationships of the Cohort.  This is destructive because it wastes time and derails useful incremental accomplishment, and makes it more difficult for the Cohort to achieve its USEFUL goals.  As a result, the Cohort most often fails to achieve its goals or is significantly delayed.  Productive team members most often exclude Drift Wood and Dead Weight from future Significant Opportunities because of the risks they represent in NOT being able to achieve Cohort goals.


What is often not seen by the Cohort team members is that there are usually Mentors that observe Cohort activities.  Mentor supported Significant and Low-Risk Opportunities will less often be shared with Drift Wood, while Dead Weight is excluded from any significant participation, and the Cohort members that are productive are selected in future efforts.  Leadership in a Cohort is demonstrated by developing and sharing information and skills that are USEFUL to the Cohort.  Thus the career related importance of efficiently learning to teach one’s self; it is the main tool to obtain future career opportunities by persistent application in every effort.


Groups involved with self-destructive activities should be avoided, because they often permanently harm the productive member.  For instance: drug abuse permanently damages the brain; at no future time will a person that abuses drugs ever be able to think with the clarity had they not ever used drugs.  Continued events of abuse results in more and more brain damage.


In a report of persons in prison related to the use of marijuana, 54% of those in prison used marijuana before they were arrested.  No surprise; we all can spot the dead head pot smoker, the one with no common sense, the one that will never achieve much for themselves because they keep their brain corrupted and priorities derailed because their brain is perpetually distracted.


Starting NOW, each person can begin becoming valued by persistently (not giving up) learning to more efficiently teach themselves USEFUL information and skills needed by USEFUL groups.


Strategic Planning of a career can be outlined by identifying the USEFUL groups (Cohorts) needed to sustain your future goal; and preparing with practiced experience in learning to teach yourself USEFUL information and skills needed by each of those groups.  Many of the skills needed are common to many/most Cohorts.


For example:

Career Goals:

  1. Be able to consistently support my future family both locally or with a prestigious institution.
  2. Be able to use my knowledge/skills to altruistically help my community (local, regional, global…)
  3. Become part of Cohorts where our shared use of available resources sustainably supports our continued efforts
  4. Develop a core set of skills that allows me to identify and engage diverse opportunities throughout my career
  5. To work with ____________________


Related groups:

  1. http://www.monster.com is a group of people that continually makes available information about local opportunities and opportunities with prestigious institutions
  2. http://www.google.com is a group of people that provides resources for investigating institutions to learn if they are prestigious and to learn about their corporate culture.  Google Search:  definition “corporate culture”
  3. Google Search your city’s representatives and find out what they are concerned about through their contact information
  4. Each state has a Department of Labor, and that group is dedicated to providing information about employment.  Contact them or use the resources they provide to see what the future projected needs are by the time you graduate and the related pay scales.  Google Search: YourState “Department of Labor” OR “Bureau of Labor and Statistics”
  5. Google Search: YourState colleges OR universities
  6. Find people who can directly provide career guidance, or can refer you to people who can provide career guidance.  Google Search: UniversityName “Academic Advisor” OR “Financial Aid” 

    For Native Americans for instance: By going to the following page contact almost any Secretary and they can refer you to an Academic Adviser in whatever field of study you have an interest:



The great purpose of higher education is to train the brain to efficiently teach one’s self; to become an expert at anything passionately pursued.







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