Learn to Turn Your Expertise Into Expert Profits

How to Retain 90% of what you Learn


Imagine if you had a bucket of water. And every time you attempted to fill the bucket, 90% of the water would leak out instantly. Every time, all you’d retain was a measly 10%. How many times would you keep filling the bucket?

The answer is simple: just once.

The first time you noticed the leak, you’d take action
You’d either fix the bucket or you’d get another bucket, wouldn’t you?

Yet that’s not at all the way we learn.
Almost all of us waste 90% of our time, resources and learning time, because we don’t understand a simple concept called the Learning Pyramid. The Learning Pyramid was developed way back in the 1960s by the NTL Institute in Bethel, Maine. And if you look at the pyramid you’ll see something really weird.

That weird thing is that you’re wasting time. You’re wasting resources. You’re just doing everything you can to prevent learning. And here’s why.

To summarize the numbers (which sometimes get cited differently) learners retain approximately:
90% of what they learn when they teach someone else/use immediately.
75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned.
50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion.
30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration.
20% of what they learn from audio-visual.
10% of what they learn when they’ve learned from reading.
5% of what they learn when they’ve learned from lecture.

So why do you retain 90% when you teach someone else or when you implement it immediately?
There’s a good reason why. When you implement or teach, you instantly make mistakes. Try it for yourself. (In this article for instance, after I’d read the information, I cited the loss rate as 95% instead of 90% to begin with. I had to go back and correct myself. Then I found three more errors, which I had to fix. These were factual errors that required copy and paste, but I still made the errors).

So as soon as you run into difficulty and start to make mistakes, you have to learn how to correct the mistake. This forces your brain to concentrate.

But surely your brain is concentrating in a lecture or while reading
Sure it is, but it’s not making any mistakes. What your brain hears or sees is simply an abstract concept. And no matter how clearly the steps are outlined, there is no way you’re going to retain the information. There are two reasons why.

Reason 1: Your brain gets stuck at the first obstacle.
Reason 2: Your brain needs to make the mistake first hand.

Reason 1: Your brain gets stuck at the first obstacle.
Yes it does. And the only way to understand this concept is to pick up a book, watch a video, or listen to audio. Any book, any video, any audio. And you’ll find you’ve missed out at least two or three concepts in just the first few minutes. It’s hard to believe at first, but as you keep reading the same chapter over and over, you’ll find you’re finding more and more that you’ve missed.

This is because the brain gets stuck at the first new concept/obstacle. It stops and tries to apply the concept but struggles to do so. But you continue to read the book, watch the video or listen to the speaker. The brain got stuck at the first point, but more points keep coming. And of course, without complete information, you have ‘incomplete information’.

Incomplete information can easily be fixed by making the mistake first hand.

Reason 2: Your brain needs to make the mistake first hand
No matter how good the explanation, you will not get it right the first time. You must make the mistake. And this is because your interpretation varies from the writer/speaker. You think you’ve heard or read what you’ve heard/read. But the reality is different. You’ve only interpreted what they’ve said, and more often than not, the interpretation is not quite correct. You can only find out how much off the mark you are by trying to implement or teach the concept.

So how do you avoid losing 90% of what you’ve learned?
Well, do what I do. I learn something. I write it down in a mindmap. I talk to my wife or clients about the concept. I write an article about it. I do an audio. And so it goes. A simple concept is never just learned. It needs to be discussed, talked, written, felt etc. (I wrote this article, ten minutes after reading these statistics online).

The next time you pick up a book or watch a video, remember this .
Listening or reading something is just listening or reading.
It’s not real learning.
Real learning comes from making mistakes.
And mistakes come from implementation.
And that’s how you retain 90% of everything you learn.

Which is why most of the people you meet are always going around in circles.
They refuse to make mistakes. So they don’t learn.
They’d rather read a book instead. Or watch a video. Or listen to an audio.

Their bucket is leaking 90% of the time.
But they don’t care.
The question is: Do you?

Next Step: “Before I purchased the Brain Audit, I thought this is just crazy, I’ve got so much marketing material that I still haven’t implemented.

But right from Sean’s first story and metaphor, I could see this was different. I was hooked. The Brain Audit challenged virtually every principle of marketing I’d grown up with. Like selling benefit or never starting with a negative or problem.

And it’s this refreshing, innovative approach that makes the Brain Audit a must buy for anyone who is really serious about challenging the status quo and taking their business to new heights.

Already we’ve applied the principles to one of our workshops and the response has been fantastic. The Brain Audit and our ongoing association with Sean has been one of the best business decisions we’ve every made.



How To Retain 90 Of What You Learn News


House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel Hearing - Insurance News Net (press release)

House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel HearingInsurance News Net (press release)One of the many lessons we learned during the more than 20 years of rebuilding after the war in Vietnam was that individuals join and remain for a wide variety of reasons. .... As you consider the Pentagon plan, the National Military and Veterans ...

From a man who makes epics, a departure for Ken Burns - Boston Globe

From a man who makes epics, a departure for Ken BurnsBoston GlobeBut “The Address” clocks in under 90 minutes. The film focuses on a school in Vermont for boys with learning difficulties and shows how their lives are enriched as they learn to recite President Lincoln's famous 273-word speech. ... We just finished a ...and more »

General Assembly 2014 Winners and Losers - Baltimore City Paper

Baltimore City PaperGeneral Assembly 2014 Winners and LosersBaltimore City PaperThe Maryland General Assembly considered 2,672 bills in the 2014 session that, after 90 days, ended at midnight on April 7, and 811 of them got the thumbs-up in both the Senate and the House of Delegates. That's a lot of ... Robinson's bill seeking to ...

Scheme to help homeless in Glasgow is hailed as a success - BBC News

Scheme to help homeless in Glasgow is hailed as a successBBC News"People learn to become good neighbours and learn the responsibilities of holding a tenancy." Scott Campbell said he "feels ... Independent analysis by Heriot Watt University showed that no-one was evicted from their flat and the majority of ...

Earl Stonham: Sushi maker Ichiban seeks up to 90 temporary staff to meet peak ... - East Anglian Daily Times

East Anglian Daily TimesEarl Stonham: Sushi maker Ichiban seeks up to 90 temporary staff to meet peak ...East Anglian Daily TimesIchiban managing director Andrew Wilkinson said: “The ability to source and retain ever greater numbers of experienced staff, and bright starters keen to learn, has been absolutely vital for us in meeting the challenge of a dramatic upswing.” Stafforce ...

Why You Should Learn to Nap Like a Pro

If naps haven’t become a part of your daily routine, you might want to reconsider.

Tony Benn: Peter Wilby reads the diaries

Tony Benn left behind 11 volumes of his diaries. What do they reveal about his political ambitions, beliefs and refusal to compromise? Peter Wilby reflects on how Benn's failure to get the top jobs led to his true vocation as preacher and prophet No politician in history has left such a comprehensive account of himself and his times as Tony Benn. From his mid-teens until almost the end of his ...

Treading Carefully: Exploring the Dangers That a Business' Digital Footprint Yields

by Sergio Galindo Nearly 90 years after his death, Harry Houdini is still revered for escaping a straitjacket while suspended upside down from a crane, and living to tell about being buried alive and submerged in water. He was the master of removing himself from one seemingly impossible situation after another. However, if alive today and asked to help businesses remove a digital footprint from ...

Happy new year - but what exactly will make the news in 2014?

If 2013 goes down as a year of conflict and protest, then what lies in store in 2014? Give us your tips for what will make the news in the comment thread Guardian correspondents report from their patches round the world on what will dominate the headlines in their part of the globe. Elections loom large – in rising economies, in the US with midterms, and also in Europe, with the parliamentary ...

In Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees buy a ready-made ace

The black SUVs stood idle on a street in Beverly Hills, inert as a steel Stonehenge, though not nearly as mysterious. Inside these cars waited some of baseball's most powerful decision makers. If ever one picture told the definitive story of how cherished frontline starting pitching has come to be, this was it: In January, teams lined up in America's leading neighborhood of $10 million homes to ...