6th April 2018

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Month

Ray Dalio’s Principles: Life and Work is a masterpiece of insight, not only on how to achieve your goals, (whatever those goals might be), but on how you can build an organization that is structured for success.  Dalio knows what he’s talking about—he founded his investment firm, Bridgewater Associates, out of a two-bedroom apartment. Now, forty years later, Bridgewater has made more money for its clients than any other hedge fund in history, and grown into the fifth most important private company in the United States.

Dalio attributes some of Bridgewater’s  success to his principle of radical open-mindedness. This means, at least in part, being aware of your internal signals of annoyance, anger, or irritability—which are all signs of close-mindedness.  You can use those internal signals to trigger quality reflections. Radical open-mindedness doesn’t mean accepting all information—it means seeking out quality information that you may not want to hear.

We have often used radical open-mindedness even in our research—for example, we send advance versions of our research papers to people we know will dislike our work. When we get past our own petty feelings of “ouch—that’s not true!” in the responses, we’re not infrequently surprised to find how the criticism, even “bad” criticism, helps improve what we’re working on.

Dalio’s Principles will, we feel, go down in the annals of best books of the decade. It is a deep book of productivity that gets at the essentials of your life.  

Getting Things Done

One of the great classics of productivity is David Allen’s Getting Things Done.  The indefatigable Arthur Worsley has done a 5,000 word crunch of the book.  Arthur notes: “That book single-handedly got me through Psychology, Philosophy and Physiology at Oxford and into a job at McKinsey while running two companies with over 150 part-time employees. It’s the bomb.” We must add, so is Arthur’s crunch!

Some Ideas to Boost Your Language Learning

We’ve just read 50 Ways to Learn a Language, a short book by Shane Dixon and Justin Shewell that gives terrific insight and encouragement about language learning. If you’re wanting a little mental boost to get you going, you’ll like Shane and Justin’s book!


And speaking of language learning, we’re keen fans of the website Yabla, with great videos and translations in Chinese, Spanish, Italian, French, German, and English. Our only complaint is that we want Yabla in more languages—like Russian and Portuguese!

Latest Updates from Class Central

Class Central has a new look, along with more of their MOOC-world insights.  Check the latest out here.

That’s all for this week. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!

Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team

Get the course recommended text, A Mind for Numbers!

NEW! Learning How to Learn: How to Succeed in School Without Spending All Your Time Studying; A Guide for Kids and Teens. Great ideas for parents, too!

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