Curious, by Ian Leslie
Do you remember being a child – or watching your children? Their endless “Why’s?”, their constant testing? Do you feel that you’ve lost some of that innocence and wonder? Maybe you are too busy to think about it. But, as new technology takes on more physical and analytical – and even predictive work, human curiosity and the creativity it depends on, becomes a way to keep relevant as well as to keep learning. Also curiosity is what helps us rise about our assumptions to look with fresh eyes on the world, including people, we think we know. It opens us to the new perspectives we need to solve today’s complex problems and create tomorrow’s better future. Curiosity is a critical capability for people and key building block for the agile enterprise!
Ian Leslie’s book, Curious, The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends on It, is a great place to go to help you activate and build this most vital learning muscle.
He recognizes that we never lose our ability to be curious – but that idolizing childhood curiosity misses the boat. Adults are not children, we have more knowledge and should be continually pursuing more knowledge because knowledge is part of the perspective we bring to our questions. One key point he makes is that it is not enough to just learn how to learn – outsourcing our knowledge reservoir to Google.
Mind Hacking, by Sir John Hargrave
I’d like to introduce a valuable, practical, and example-filled book about how to hack into your mind so that you better shape and influence your destiny.
Learning is always a mind-hack: something new happens to rewire and add connections (neuroplasticity), to add or replace ideas and habits, or to physically change and sometimes even add (neurogenesis) new neurons.
And who better to talk about how to do it than somebody who’s brain is wired for humor (humorists see connections that most of us miss). Sir John Hargrave, author of Mischief Makers Manual and Prank the Monkey is serious but sometimes playful in his book Mind Hacking: How to Change Your Mind for Good in 21 Days. Worth picking up and filled with great tips that support, reinforce, and add to the Learning 4.0 practices you learn in Unstoppable You.
The Half Life of Facts by Samuel Arbesman
Facts and our use of them are big news today. And all the talk and hype present a challenge to us all: what can we trust and how can we be a discerning learner in today’s information environment? You’d like to know that the information fueling your views and learning describes something that is true — and that you can rely on that knowledge when you need it in the future. You’d also like to believe that when you know something, it will stand the test of time – that what you learn is factual and won’t change unless new insights and evidence demands it.
And, hopefully, you’d like to know that, when you share information that will affect others’ thinking, it is trustworthy. You want to know that by sharing you are helping to spread “truths” that will help people be smarter about the world as it is: you don’t want to be spreading “fake news.”
Facts and factual information are important bases for living our lives, making decisions, and learning. But what are facts and how should we think about them.
A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science, by Barbara Oakley, Ph.D.
A Mind for Numbers is written for students of math and science, but Barbara Oakley’s perspective, interviews, and recommendations are very useful for everybody who wants to be a SMART 21st Century lifelong learner. It is a practical book that reflects the best knowledge about how our brains process things – both logically and creatively, from the details up AND from the ideas down. I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn better – or who wants to help a scholar who wants to excel and LEARN in school.
Oakley uses good teaching/learning approaches in this book. It is peppered with stories and even pictures that bring lessons to life. The stories are from very successful scientists – many of whom struggled to learn or were even written off by their teachers. They are stories that say – “persist, be smart about how you learn, and you will succeed.” This, of course, is the learning mindset that is so crucial for discovery and living an unstoppable life.