What knowledge explorers really want

“As a knowledge explorer, I want to accomplish the following, quickly and easily, and have fun while doing it:

1. Organize and express what I know and what I don’t know

2. Experience the joy of seeking, discovering, and learning more

3. Share what I’ve learned

4. Belong to a group of like-minded individuals who share a passion to investigate, learn and improve

5. Belong to a group of oppositely-minded individuals who vehemently disagree about certain topics

6. Access information from different sources and be able to go as deep or as broad as I want, for as long as I want, and stay up-to-date as conditions change

7. Make informed decisions, take action, and observe the results in order to keep improving.”

What would you add to this list?  Or change?

Becoming a knowledge explorer in four easy steps

If you want to succeed in today’s complex, fast-changing global economy, you need to become a lifelong knowledge explorer.  And like the explorers of old, some of the waters you’ll be navigating will be completely unknown.

Past explorers heard all kinds of stories about how terrifying those unknown waters were.  But they set out anyway.

At first they felt uncomfortable.  But the more they sailed, and the more new lands they discovered, the more energized they became.  In fact, they began to relish making new discoveries.

Your journey through life can be the same kind of journey – minus the scurvy, sharks, pirates, and other hazards, thankfully!

A key aspect of every explorer’s journey was that they always kept a journal.  A “ship’s log,” if you will.  You should do the same, recording your thoughts and observations, your progress and setbacks, your fears and growing confidence, all in your own handwriting.

It’ll be something you can look back on, both when you need a reminder about a particular topic you’ve been exploring, or about life in general.

Here’s all you need to do…

Step 1. Build a list of topics you want to (or need to) explore

  • Look over the list of topics
  • Put a check mark next to each topic that you feel comfortable with. That is, you understand the topic well enough to explain it to someone else
  • Leave the remaining topics unchecked. These are topics you are not yet comfortable with.

Step 2. Write a narrative about your most comfortable topic

  • Looking at each of the topics you’ve checked, pick the one that you are most comfortable with
  • Give that topic a name, and write it at the top of a blank sheet of unlined paper
  • Using a #2 pencil (there’s a good reason for this), write a one-page narrative, in your own handwriting, illustrating what you know about that topic
  • Share this with one or more of your peers and/or mentors and keep it for future reference.

Step 3. Write a narrative about an uncomfortable topic of your choice

  • Look at each of the unchecked topics and pick one
  • Give that topic a name, and write it at the top of a blank sheet of unlined paper
  • Using a #2 pencil, write a one-page narrative, in your own handwriting, illustrating anything you can about that topic
  • Share this with one or more of your peers and/or mentors and keep it for future reference.

Step 4. Express yourself

  • Teenage girl writing in notebookOn a new blank sheet of paper, make a journal entry about your learning experiences thus far. Anything is fair game, just like the entries you would make in a personal diary.

 

This is obviously quite different from what you’ve experienced in traditional education settings.  Once you get used to this new approach, you’ll find that learning is much more than memorizing a bunch of facts and figures, or picking formulas and crunching numbers.  It’s a way of looking at just about everything in a different light.

The more you can explore and learn topics on your own, and come up with your own illustrative examples, the more satisfying learning experiences you’ll have.  Experiences that will last a lifetime…