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As I grow older, I’ve come to realize how important knowledge really is. It’s true that our brains are the most prime to absorb new knowledge when we are young, but the trouble is that young people have a much harder time realizing the long-term benefits of learning. As an adult it can be much harder to learn and retain new knowledge, but it is still possible! Here are some really useful things you can do every day to make sure you are always filling your head with new knowledge.

1. Read a Book

This may sound like a no-brainer, but if you’re like me, you don’t find reading particularly enjoyable. I realized recently though that I really just need to find books that keep my attention and cover topics I am deeply interested in. Since I’m interested in American History I recently began reading Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power and I’ve been able to consistently digest it in small nightly chunks, usually a chapter or two a night.

2. Play Mobile Games & Apps

Mobile apps can be a great way to learn new things. The key here for me was to identify holes in my general knowledge and find ways to fill them in a quick and fun way!

Personally I’ve always had a hard time with Geography (probably has something to do with the fact that I cheated on every Geography test I had in high school). So I hopped on the app store and downloaded GeoExpert for my iPad. Within a couple hours I had memorized the location and name of every country in Europe! It was a small time investment for such a huge intellectual gain.

I’m also very interested in the American Presidents but never really learned much about them. So I searched the app store and found a really cool app called American Presidents. I open it up at least a few times a week to expand my knowledge on the Presidents and on American History in general

I also started using out Lumosity, a daily bran challenge app focused on improving concentration and reaction time. It’s a lot of fun and does seem to help, but at $14.95 a month for full access, I haven’t been able to justify the leap to paid just yet.

3. Read a Wikipedia Article Every Day

This is something I’ve been doing for quite some time now. It’s particularly good for learning about things you’ve always wondered about but never had the time to research. I use Wunderlist to keep a running list of cool topics for me to checkout on Wikipedia, and try hard to thoroughly read at least a few a week.

Here’s a quick screenshot of some of my more recent topics:

Wikipedia Articles

I have the Wunderlist app installed on my iPhone as well so any time a cool topic jumps into my mind, I just fire it up and add it to the list!

4. YouTube

Youtube has been a great resource for researching science experiments and just learning random things. Here are some gems that I’ve found randomly while searching youtube:

  • How to Make Beer Freeze Instantly
  • How Sound Affects Water
  • GoPro Backflip Over 72ft Canyon
  • Sky Diving into the Blue Hole

Just be careful you don’t get sucked in. Sometimes I go to YouTube just to watch a single video only to end up spending a good hour browsing their recommendations!

5. Keep up with news daily

I highly recommend using Feedly to keep up with daily news in your industry or area of interest. I typically use their iPad app. It’s a super quick and simple way to stay current and find great content to share!

6. Learn from your peers

Everyone is an expert on something. Why not pick the brain of your colleague or friend? Find out something they are passionate and knowledgable about and start asking questions! This can be a great social tool too. Everyone likes talking about their own knowledge and experience, and giving people the opportunity to converse about it can be very rewarding.

7. StumbleUpon

StumbeUpon is a great daily resource for learning about random, off-the-wall or obscure topics. It also gets better over time based on the topics you enter and the articles you thumbs up. This ensures that the content is catered specifically to you!

8. Browse Quora

Quora is an amazing resource for expanding your knowledge or even sharing your own! Take some time a few days a week to browse around the topics that matter the most to you. Be sure to upvote the best answers as this helps increase overall answer quality. You can even follow users who post good answers so you can keep up with their answers every time you log in!

9. Play a board game

Over the Holidays, I had the chance to play a great game with my family called Wits and Wagers, a game where you bet on answers to obscure, often stats based questions. By the end of the night I learned that Benjamin Franklin was 81 when he signed the Constitution, the average dairy cow weight around 1400 lbs, and Americans consume a total of 325 million gallons of beer on Super Bowl Sunday (let that last figure sink in a moment).

Trivial Pursuit is a classic game but really fun and a great way to expand your knowledge! For extra fun get drunk before you play.

And there’s always Fact or Crap.

10. Watch a Documentary

I love documentaries because they don’t require a huge time commitment and usually have a lot of visuals which help to keep me engaged and interested (since I’m more of a visual learner).

Netflix has a ton of great documentaries, a few of my favorites are The Impostor, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Happy, What the Bleep Do We Know, Inside North Korea, and How to Die in Oregon (Careful though, this last one is extremely depressing!).


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