Teaching is one of the most rewarding gifts one can give to another person.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a certified professor or hold a degree in education. Anyone can teach something to another person.
You could be giving a presentation to a group of people, tutoring someone in Spanish, or be a mentor to someone in need.
Through teaching, you can help other people learn something that can drastically improve the quality of their lives.
But the real beauty of being a teacher, is teaching yourself to remember new knowledge.
Have you ever tried teaching something to a friend or colleague, and realized that you were able to retain most of the information you taught?
I sure have.
In fact, there were many moments when I didn’t feel nearly competent, but decided to share the minimal knowledge that I did know.
For some weird reason, that information stuck in my brain — even days after.
As research shows, it turns out that people retain:
5% of what they learn when they’ve learned from a lecture.
10% of what they learn when they’ve learned from reading.
20% of what they learn from audio-visual.
30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration
50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion.
75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned.
90% of what they learn when they teach someone else/use immediately.
Yes, this is how to remember 90% of everything you learn.
This is one of the many reasons why I’m so against our current formal education system. Over 90% of the education system is focused on the most ineffective methods of learning: lectures and reading outdated textbooks.
The fastest and most effective ways for us to learn anything in life is to direct apply the learnt knowledge in a practical setting, or teach it to someone else.
The main reason for this is through the process of teaching, you instantly make mistakes or errors, which forces your brain to concentrate in order to correct yourself.
This is why positioning yourself as a teacher — whether you call yourself one or not — has numerous benefits to your life because you’re:
- Giving value to someone else
- Improving your interpersonal and communication skills by keeping your explanations brief, easy to understand, and to the point.
- Learning at the top of your potential by remembering everything you learn
The irony of the famous teacher-student relationship is that the teacher is often learning more than the student looking to learn from them.
Unfortunately, we’re not always in the position to teach others what we have recently learned.
This is where teaching yourself comes in.
As weird as it may sound, we all talk to ourselves — in our heads or out loud.
Embrace the advantages of teaching yourself outloud by acting as the teacher and the student at the same time.
Rather than learning something new for the first time and moving on with your life, think: “how can I teach this to someone else or myself?”
Then depending on your situation, immediately teach it to yourself out loud or teach someone who would gain value from learning this information.
Here are a few ways you could position yourself in a teaching role:
- Start a Blog. This could a private blog for your personal use, or you can make it public and grow a following. Either way, blogging will force you to learn, structure, and teach in ways you’ve never experienced before.
Remember, you don’t have to be a writer to blog. You can also start a podcast, or create videos for yourself and your audience.
- Join/Create Your Own Mastermind. This year, I joined an elite mastermind full of talented online entrepreneurs, and my learnings have gone through the roof. This is because each of us have different strengths, and we’re constantly teaching (and therefore learning from) each other every time we interact. If there’s no mastermind that fits your interest, create your own!
- Become a Mentor & Coach. Invest the time to give back to those looking to learn from you. As we mentioned, you’ll learn just as much from your mentees as they’ll learn from you.
The ability to retain more knowledge in an age of infinite access to information and countless distractions is a powerful skill to achieve any goal we have faster and more effectively.
By grasping more information everyday, we can spend less time re-learning old knowledge, but rather focus on acquiring new ones.
The highest achievers in the world are leveraging the skill of teaching to advance their lives and careers, and so should you.
This entire article can be summarized into three simple sentences.
Acquire new knowledge by learning what you don’t know.
Preserve the knowledge by teaching what you do know.
Rinse and repeat.
Did you enjoy this article? I’d love to hear any tips you have on how to remember what you learn.
I read every comment daily.