Whenever the world's most successful individuals spill the secrets behind their accomplishments, one practice they consistently share is continually challenging themselves to learn. Whether it's making a point to read prolifically, immersing themselves in new experiences, or picking up new hobbies or skills, keeping the mind stimulated has been correlated with success.
One Quora thread asking "How do I train myself to learn faster?" received a series of suggestions for ways to accelerate self-improvement. Whatever you're setting your mind to, these strategies will help you retain information or new skills you hope to acquire. Simply making a point to learn is already a step in the right direction—the more you use your brain, the better it will perform—but these particular habits will enhance your learning.
Work your memory. Quora user Daya Shankar Tiwary describes New York choreographer Twyla Tharp, author of The Creative Habit, who challenges herself to remember 12 or 14 corrections she spots during her performances without writing them down. When you're in a position to test your memory without consequence, try this experiment to begin exercising your memory more to strengthen it.
Take notes. Though it may seem to contradict the first suggestion, writing down things that you read will help your brain learn faster. "I have found that it is more effective to use a pencil and piece of paper instead of taking notes on a tablet or PC," says Quora user Abdullah Shiryar.
Explain the things you learn to others. It has been said that teaching is one of the most effective ways to learn. Shiryar also notes that "it's easier to remember something if you use the information you learn" and that "explaining it to others is one way to do that."